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September 10, 2017

A Collection of Macabre Stories: Come As You Are by Steven Ramirez

by MK French

"Come As You Are" is the title novella in this collection of macabre stories. Ivan Stein and his best friend Ollie are bullied in school and often run off the skate park by older kids. When Ivan finds a notebook in an abandoned locker that seems to be the key to power, he takes it despite his misgivings. Unfortunately, the power is demonic in nature and doesn't discriminate who falls in its path. It's understandable that Ivan would grab hold of any hope to get past the bullies and survive seventh grade, even if it's otherworldly. Knowing others' secrets at first seems rather innocent, but completing the list in the notebook takes on a more dangerous turn, and Ivan's soul hangs in the balance. The end of the story was a bit of a stretch, and not one I would have predicted when starting the novella, but definitely was vividly done.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Come As You Are
September 2017; Glass Highway; 978-0999079119
ebook, print (208 pages); horror
The other stories in this collection are shorter but no less creepy.

"Nailed It" takes OCD to a fairly grisly extreme, and "Brown the Recluse" is even more disconcerting for anyone terrified of spiders.

I find it a little hard to feel sorry for Regino by the end of "Regino Sings," even though he starts off the story with one bad event after another. I suppose it's the feeling that he took advantage of the ability given to him, and didn't stop to think of any consequences. Perhaps that's the worst part of some of these stories: some of the horrific consequences could have been avoided if the characters could only stop and think. Some of them can't escape their fate, no matter what comes to them, and it is chilling to read about.

This book might be released in September, but it's definitely fitting for Halloween and the upcoming chill of winter.

Buy Come As You Are at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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  1. This could be a good fit for me and would be a good one for my October Thrills and Chills feature.