Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mr. Moon's Review of Sins and Tragedies

Sins and Tragedies

By The Staff of the Dark Fiction Show.

Sins and Tragedies is an anthology composed of three stories apiece from Stephen W. Roberts, JD Stone, Staci Bolli, and Thadd Presley (with a wicked sick cover by Chuck Hodi). As you should very well expect from the staff of something called The Dark Fiction Show the fiction here is indeed dark, horrific, and well written.

Stephen W. Roberts is the only one of the four I have read before as Mr. Roberts and I have both been contributors on Jason Baker’s Abandoned 1, 2, and 3. He has a style that is poetic and beautifully grim. Each of his three stories here (‘A Voice Within’, ‘Rose’s Roses’, and ‘Clutch My Heart Nevermore) are great examples of his style as each drips with grace and menace. The horror in these 3 stories is emotionally taunt and naturally gripping.

JD Stone writes his form of classic horror with wonderful descriptions and great action. His stories here (‘Glass Atrophy’, ‘Phantom Weight’, and ‘Cursed Blessing’) all took me back to the horror stories by King, Koonz, and Straub from my youth in that each is well told, features well developed characters, and are very immersing. Stone shows a confidence that enables him to drag you from everyday America to the streets of India and then to the deepest thralls of terror seamlessly.

The three stories from Staci Bolli (‘Momma’s Boy’, ‘Toilet Troubles’, and ‘Music of the Swamp’) are all three quite different from each other. She manages to write with a gentle wit that never draws from the horror of each story yet almost gives you a false sense of ease before the terror of inner turmoil drowns you. Bolli is a brave new female voice in horror that is unafraid to make you cringe, cry, or laugh.

Thadd Presly’s stories impressed me the most as they are vivid and fearless in looking at the monsters inside of human-kind. His style is dark (everyone knows I like the darkness), raw, and brutal. His three stories (‘The Treatment’, ‘Shallow Grave’, and ‘Halloween’) are each explicit and unsettling character studies in the abyss of human depravity.

As with most anthologies I enjoyed some stories more than others (and a few even left me flat) but taken in as a whole Sins and Tragedies is a good collection of varying horror tales that captures many of the things that made us all fall in love with the darkness. No matter if you like your horror dripping with gore, story, or emotion these talented writers got you covered with Sins and Tragedies.

Snag yourself a copy here!

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