The Blood of Before by Scott Hale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the first short story collection, all leading up to the events in The Bones of the Earth and The Three Heretics.
I was surprised to find that the ones that I had already read were smoother, but here's the best part: The ones I hadn't read were great. :) It's really nice having geeky kids and hardened investigators and hapless family members slowly discover that the world they live in is not their own. Objects and objects of horror often have a lot more life than anyone guesses.
But before you think that these are regular horror stories, check your premises at the door and read these. What always appears to be steadfast and true usually turns into truly nightmarish surrealism brought on by the actual warping of reality or mind or both.
The scale? Getoutofhere... you wouldn't believe the scale.
My favorite of this bunch was the new one I hadn't read yet, but I did get a very nice glimpse of in Three Heretics. The Black Hour has the fabled Dread Clock. :) Again, check your premises. What Scott Hale does with a simple grandfather clock boggles all expectations. :) This is the truly gruesome and extreme horror I've come to know and love and expect.
I can't tell for sure whether I'd recommend these stories before or after the novels, but they would be an interesting "regular life" exploration of the kinds of powers that completely overwhelm and fracture the world later. :)
Honestly, I think anything can be read in any order without any issue, with the novels before or after these stories. Characters and objects are persistent and show up in the strangest of ways. It's like piecing together a tapestry of events and people among an enormous horrorshow of epic proportions. :)
And golly, is it fun! :)
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