Volume 1 offers an interesting assortment of macabre tales, and manages to form a quite cohesive product despite the assortment of fiction on hand. While not every tale is a grand slam, there are a few homerunâ€™s to found here. Remarkably, the majority of this collection could be considered appropriate reading material for children. Donâ€™t get me wrong, there are some truly vile tales intact, but thereâ€™s also what I often refer to as â€śuniversal horrorâ€ť, meaning fiction fit for one and all.
Ada Hoffmanâ€™s childlike tale of a massive slime monster is remarkably dark beneath the surface, yet Ada unravels the account in an innocent fashion, leaving the door open to all. Believe me however, when I say that this one ends on a bleak note, and the conclusion is the point in which the sinister elements of â€śJennyâ€™s Houseâ€ť manage to slap readers in the face, serving as a cruel reminder that this is a multifaceted tale with no light at the end of the tunnel.
Elizabeth Twistâ€™s, Last Nephew adds some extra intrigue to the collection by fusing horror and science fiction in a brief tale that actually rings quite melancholy when you see beyond the mystery and initial dazzle. Itâ€™s a multilayered tale that certainly looms near the forefront of memory once youâ€™ve ingested the story for all itâ€™s worth.
Rather than analyzing each specific tale, Iâ€™d really like to point out what I consider to be an incredible short, and the highlight of the collection, Mark Onspaughâ€™s, A Lullaby for Caliban. This is a piece of work that will likely summon traces of nostalgia for many readers and visions of classic pictures such as Something Wicked this Way Comes and Tobe Hooperâ€™s, The Funhouse. In fact, one might consider this as a contemporary collision of the stories that fuel the two aforementioned films. Needless to say readers are deposited on a haunting carnival fairway where creatures lurk and malicious happenings seem the norm. Itâ€™s a fantastic tale that should not be missed, especially when taking into account the remarkably fair price of a buck.
Volume 1 boasts a bit of everything so beloved by horror fans. Monsters (quite a few!), revenge, age old folklore decorated with a modern spin, and even a touch of originality; itâ€™s all here to soak up, and itâ€™s certainly the kind of material that reverberates in the mind of readers long after the final page has become a thing of the past.
Pardon the pun, but this is an awfully big bang for your buck!
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