Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bad Valentines

Bad Valentines is a collection of three short stories by Steve Vernon. This was an entertaining quick read, and offered something quite different from normal horror fair.
The first story, Change of Pace, features a well meaning bumbling man who just wants to please his wife. Enter his best friend and sidekick, who is full of not so good ideas. This was a very humorous story, and I really did find myself laughing at the characters as they unwittingly set things in motion that would have not so pleasant results.
Then there is Westside Story. This is the second story in this collection, and it is  very tongue in cheek and deals with homophobic FBI agents and love between squids. Yes, I said squids. There is also an assortment of other sentient sea creatures. Again this was another humorous story, although this one takes us in to the world of science fiction.
There is a big change when we get to the third story, Potboiler, Told in a Spanish Key. This one was much darker in tone and more in line with what you would expect from a horror collection. It is said that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, well the woman in this story brought down the wrath of an angry god upon her ex-lover.

As a whole, this was a very enjoyable collection. I will admit to being a bit startled when I got to the third story, as I was expecting another humorous one after reading the first two, but Potboiler was my favorite out of the three.  The three stories do go together in this collection, however, as they all deal with problems in relationships in some fashion. I think it also shows that Vernon has a wide range when it comes to storytelling, and I am looking forward to reading more of his work.

I give it three and a half cocktails.

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