Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous

Fading Light is an anthology about fear; fear of the unknown monster. Monsters can take all shapes and forms; from what has become the  almost mundane zombie, to the overdone vampire that isn't really scary anymore. Nothing so common will be found between these pages. No, here the monsters run the gamut from animals from other dimensions to intelligent life forms that have been slowly plotting against us. I found myself sucked in to each of these nightmare worlds but some kept me up at night more than others.

Wrath, by Lee Mather was the story that had the greatest impact on me. I think that was in part due to the subject matter but also a testament to Mather's excellent skill as a writer. I don't want to go into too many details and possibly give away the ending, but this is a story of religious horror that packs quite an emotional wallop and had me questioning what I would do in a similar situation. 

Darktide by Mark Lawrence is a story that deals with the consequences of exploring too deep, of awakening something that has been dormant for a very long time. This one really scared me. Most stories I read don't, but this one explores the idea of an unknown coming for not only you, but your whole family and what you have to do to protect them. And how do you protect yourself and loved ones from something that you not only don't understand, but can't do anything about? 

Degenerates by D.L. Seymour is one I really enjoyed. It is set some years after H.P. Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror, which is a story I would recommend reading first if you are not familiar with it. Seymour manages to pull off a suitably Lovecraftian tale with a twist ending that I didn't quite see coming.

Light Save Us by Ryan Lawler was one of my favorites due to the gore and action that kept this story moving at a fast clip. It had that horror movie feel that gets your heart pounding and makes you want to scream at the characters to look out for the monster that is sure to come at them, or yell at them to not go out alone where you know the danger lurks.  

There was one story in this anthology that stood out from the rest because it was actually quite humorous rather than dark and scary. Gef Fox just plain had fun with Where Coyotes Fear to Tread, and I think the reader has fun right along with him. There are two unwitting heroes stuck in Tennessee when the monsters come and then find themselves on a mission to save the world. 

This is a large anthology and I found that I liked almost every story in here. For anyone looking for something a bit different that will touch more on the reader's fear of the unknown, they have a winner with this one. I wouldn't read it right before bed or you may find yourself sleeping with the lights on. 

I give it five cocktails.

You can purchase this book by clicking the following links: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and Noble

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