INTRODUCTION: It’s that time of year, again, and my favorite time of year. That is right, it is Kageoween and I am kicking off one of my favorite months with this short horror collection. I’m not sure when I picked this Kindle e-book up but it was probably for Halloween and it was either cheap or free. I decided to read the first few stories in it, because it only has a few and wow! I managed to make my way through five of 10 of the stories in this collection and skipped the “bonus novel” which, if that is anything like the 5 stories I read is ironically named. (Turned out, you had to e-mail for the bonus novel, still a pass).
The stories were filled with shallow characters. The first one alone was a clear Stephen King homage and boy did it miss the mark on both characters and homage. The woman draws a nine millimeter on a homeless person, without much hesitation. What a horrible character! How do we know the homeless character is what the author tells us “she” is without build? She was shallower than my character in Happy Acres, which isn’t my finest of hour when it comes to writing, so I’m an expert on this. All of them in the first five are highly forgettable.
PROSE: Telling, telling and more telling. The first one had one decent part of showing, which was the old woman’s hands which you can see for yourself and compare it to the excerpt down below.
The fingers, Wendy noticed, were exceptionally thin, the forefingers longer than the middles. And each finger was tipped with a long, dull gray nail, the edges of which looked wickedly sharp.-Going for a Walk by Ron Ripley.
Who the hell was the curator and editor on this thing, Stevie Wonder? Rubbish is an understatement!
DIALOGUE: Oh good god! It has more cringe than an autistic or a YouTube if you want to get technical, trying to be cool. This excerpt is from the second story within the book:
My hand appears to have some kind of bracelet around it, most likely a hospital admittance bracelet; the kind with name and DOB.- Story Two, The Doctor’s Questions, Eric Whittle.
Never mind the face a comma would have sufficed and there was no need for a semicolon, but no shit Sherlock? What other type of bracelet would it has been?
How about this little piece of cringe from the first story
From the chain’s sagging center, a faded sign reading “No Trespassing” hung limply. There was no breeze to move it.-Going for a Walk by Ron Ripley.
This simple sentence could have read “The sign hung still, dangling from a single rusted chain. The faded and chipped white sign had bold red lettering, reading “No trespassing.”
Instead we get his shitty take on the sentence. I’m not saying mine is the end all be all of writing, but it is a step in the right direction.
SUBTEXT: None, unless, how to shill shit counts as subtext.
CONCLUSION: For a book that was most likely free, it is still, somehow, too much of a cost for the “pleasure” of read this short story collection. If you’re looking for something to read this Halloween, I highly advise to steer clear.
1 out of 5 stars.