Reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Itâ€™s always a pleasure to find a horror anthology whose authors are not the usual suspects, famous as they may be, but a cluster of less known, comparatively newÂ writers . Who knows, among them, perhaps, is hidden a new, extraordinary talent, the new King, Campbell and such.
Thus, the present book, the second volume in a series from Blood Bound Books, promised to be a treat and, to a certain extent, does fulfill that promise.
Mind you, the book assembles twenty-seven stories, therefore it would be naÃ¯ve to expect constant, top quality from all of them. There is a fair amount of ordinary, run-of-the-mill material, of implausible plots andÂ sloppy writing, but ,thanks god, there is also a bunch of excellent stories, so much so that Iâ€™m very sorry to have missed the first volume.
Take , for example, â€œHabemus Papamâ€Â by Desmond Warzel, a short, iconoclastic piece revealing the hidden, dark side of the conclave committed to elect the new Pope or â€œThe Boy in the Wellâ€ by Danny Rhodes, an atmospheric tale graced by a solid storytelling, where a childhood incident casts is sinister shadow on a future tragedy. Two excellent stories indeed.
In â€œUntil I Come Againâ€ Justin Gustainis provides a quite original explanation of what really put an end to the Jack the Ripper killings, while in the well crafted â€œDarkly Dreaming in Black Watersâ€Â Jason Andrew sets Lovecraftian horrors on a nazi ship during WW2.
The creepy â€œA Motherâ€™s Loveâ€ by John Peters depicts a mother ready to do anything to retrieve her lost son and the vivid â€œOne For the Roadâ€ by Jason V BrockÂ describes how a highway rest area becomes the site of a frightening nightmare.
John Morganâ€™s â€œThe Prophetâ€ is an allusive, unsettling tale trying to discover whatâ€™s awaiting us after death, while Bob Macumberâ€™s â€œA Cat Named Mittensâ€ , although always on the verge of getting preposterous, does exude pure horror and manages to keep the reader nailed to the chair.
A special mention is due to â€œAll Cryâ€ by Patricia Russo, , a tense, superb story where a happy family has to face an unexpected, terrible ordeal.
In conclusion, various , good new authors to watch and an interesting imprint to which weâ€™d better keep an eye on in the future.