The much beloved fairy tale of Snow White gets a cold, dark twist in this paranormal reinvention by Lanie Goodell. Many elements of the story remain the same, although the reader experiences a heightened sense of sinister suspense as Snow’s true nature is revealed to the reader.
This is definitely not the Disney or children’s storybook version of the story, harking back to the macabre intensity of the fairy tale’s earliest form while adding additional original twists to the tale.
Comfortably read in under an hour, this story was both interesting and darkly entertaining without being too mentally demanding.
‘Perverse’ is a collection of poems and short fiction that exhibit the broad and diverse range of writing talent of Tim Walker, author of the excellent Light In The Dark Ages historical fiction series.
Walker’s poetry offers insights and reflections on the trials, triumphs and unexpected twists of life. The poet offers a somewhat jaded but also grateful perspective that reminds the reader that as hard as life can be, it’s still worth living.
The collection also includes a number of dribbles and short stories that showcase the author’s gift for storytelling in prose form. Each story is interesting and uniquely twisted to surprise the reader, and the underlying cynicism and dark humour add depth and most appealing irony to some of the stories.
Much like the proverbial box of chocolates, this book is full of different textures and flavours, but there is definitely something that will suit the tastes of each different reader. While the subject matter and reflective depth of the poetry makes it more likely to be appreciated by readers who have lived and lost a little, the prose will appeal to a wider audience.
Overall, this is a thought-provoking and enjoyable collection that offers a range of short reads that can fill in a short break one at a time, or colour a whole afternoon of reading and reflection.
‘A Dark Covenant’ is a Gothic horror short story filled with foreboding and dramatic tension, embellished with macabre scenes that cause the reader to hold their breath and open their eyes just that little bit wider as they read.
The writing is evocative, subtly appealing to the reader’s senses while appearing to tell the story in a quite straightforward fashion. The terror of the climax is heightened by the profound contrast with the main character’s indifference toward his situation, and with the pathos of his childhood experiences.
This outstanding short read demonstrates not only the author’s versatility, but also her ability to draw extraordinary horror stories out of the most ordinary of circumstances.
Readers of horror who want a top quality short read will be well pleased by this dark and twisted short story, which can easily be enjoyed during a coffee or lunch break.
Doyle’s writing is always easy to read and her characters realistic and relatable. That dreadful things can happen to ordinary people is an underlying premise that enables a great horror story to evoke shock and fear in its readers, who are invariably aware of the fact that such things could happen to anyone. When the story takes an unexpected turn, it heightens the anticipation of what is to come and the fear of the unknown.
It is in these elements of the story that Doyle successfully manages to immerse her readers in a situation, turn it around, and leave them gasping, all within the space of just a few minutes.
This book presents three Victorian-style short stoeies featuring Viola Stewart at different phases of her life – one as a child, two as an adult. Throughout, she is clever, vivacious and scientifically minded, creating a sense of positive connection and admiration in the reader’s mind. It is easy to see how the young girl with a toy dirigible grew into the optician with a scientist’s eye for detail.
The second and third stories explore mysterious circumstances that occur, with the investigations falling to Viola and her friend, Dr Henry Collins.
The stories are interesting and entertaining, leaving the reader keen to know more of Viola Stewart.
This book offers a compilation of original flash fiction and short stories in different genres, each with a twist at the end. The stories are all imaginative and clever, and varied enough for the collection to remain interesting throughout.
This would be a good collection for people who struggle to find time to commit to a longer story or full novel, as they can be read and enjoyed in a coffee break or when brief opportunities present themselves.
It’s common knowledge that taking drugs isn’t good for you — and you should never take something if you don’t know what it is.
This chilling tale reinforces that premise in a very powerful and graphic way. The portrayal of seedy drug dealers and drug use may seem stereotypical to some but is probably quite accurate and certainly feels realistic to the reader.
Camille’s experiences when she swallows what is in the black vial are shocking on both a physical and a psychological level. The author combines the horror of the unknown with a very cleverly constructed sense of dread to position the reader to fear for Camille and anticipate possible outcomes that may await her.
At times grungy, at other times macabre, this a short but effective dark suspense story.