Review: “Twilight Madhouse Vol. 1”

OK, so let me start with the obvious. Yes, this is the anthology with my story Achievement Unlocked. I have not read the stories until the book was released like everyone else. I will not include my thoughts on my story below (Umm…it rocks!) but what follows are my impressions of the rest of the stories.

Review: Twilight Madhouse Vol. 1

This is a new horror anthology from Schreyer Ink Publishing. (This review and it’s format is based off their post about reviewing anthologies by the way).

1st Story: “Cracked Reflection” by Joanna Michal Hoyt

I gotta be honest, this was my least favorite story of the bunch. There was a ton of description and the setting was evident, but I couldn’t get into it. The story takes place between 1916 and 1919. As the editor notes in the introduction, it was “a time when madness was thought by some to be an illness of the mind, and by others to be a religious affliction. Who is mad her? Who is sane?” I might be the mad one for not enjoying it like I hoped.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

 

2nd Story: “The Decent Thing” by Dex Fernandez

This is a slightly disturbing future tale. At first I thought the story was about animals (I know, sometimes I can be slow to catch on!) but as I read, I was caught up in the dark tale. Such a sad state of affairs and hopefully not a future we will see.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

3rd Story: “The Eryxian Talisman” by Cameron Smith

I loved this one! And it does feature an animal for reelz! Cameron Smith weaves an excellent tale of shape shifting with a twist. I can’t but help feeling sorry for poor Maggie as she seeks a new life. Cool story!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

Twilight4th Story: “Achievement Unlocked” by yours truly

I’m not gonna give an opinion, just a brief synopsis. It’s a story about a gamer who gets bored with video games and decides to try something more. It’s one of the shorter pieces in the bunch.

Rating: NA (I gotta be fair)

 

5th Story: “Pick Your Poison” by Colin Douglas

Such terrible choices we have to make at times. This tale explores the choice a mother must make and the consequences of the decision. Not an easy one to read because of the content, but a well written and entertaining story.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

6th Story: “POE 103” by Ken Goldman

An awesome ode to Edgar Allan Poe written with style and attention to detail. I loved the feeling of this story. It evoked Poe through the language and frequent quotes. It explores what happens when someone spends their life studying a great figure of literature. Awesome story I cannot recommend enough!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

7th Story: “Death to the Diddlers” by Karin Fuller

Wow. Talk about making someone squirm! This was a quick tale, maybe just a bit longer than “Achievement Unlocked” but it was powerful and slightly disturbing. Nice twist in the story too.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

8th Story: “Spectrum” by D.R. Perry

I genuinely felt sorry for the girl in this story. She had it bad. It made me think about how many people really have situations like hers. I wanted to help her so much.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

9th Story: “The Other Side of Night” by Max Shepherd

Umm…so, yeah. This story. Really, really well written. It features two siblings; a sister and brother, and explores a difficult circumstance. I thought it was an excellent examination of loss and the havoc it wreaks on the mind.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

10th Story: “The Werewolf, the Vampire, the Demon, and the Girl” by L.J. McLeod

Rounding out the anthology is this story featuring a werewolf, vampire, demon, and a girl on Halloween night. It’s an entertaining read as the three monsters stalk the same prey. Fun way to end the collection.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Overall, I was impressed by the varied collection of stories presented here. Obviously I knew my story and had a special connection to it, but read within the whole as part of this overall compilation I saw the theme of madness running from story to story. I was exposed to other authors I hadn’t yet read but look forward to more from them.

Look for more from Schreyer Ink Publishing as they look to release at least two more volumes in the “Twilight Madness” series. You can get this anthology here.

Advertisements

One thought on “Review: “Twilight Madhouse Vol. 1”

  1. Pingback: (Almost) Average August Recap | (Almost) Average

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s