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by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

October 31, 2023

Short on time? Then these horror stories are for you

by MK French

If you are reading this on the day it goes live then Happy Halloween! If it isn't Halloween, that's okay because every day is a great day for a little horror.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for an honest review.

To the Solemn Graves by Kim Idynne

book cover of short story horror collection To the Solemn Graves by Kim Idynne
October 2023; Indie; 978-1735079868
ebook, print (297 pages); horror anthology

To the Solemn Graves
 is a short story horror collection of thirteen tales with a hint of the supernatural, but the horrors are well within the realm of the natural. Stories are also highlighted with sketches.

We open with "Widow's Peak," where a Muslim couple and their children move into the neighborhood, and there are several families that had been part of a cult where husbands had died. There's an explanation, with real life horror involved that haunts the narrator even after the problem is solved. This sets the tone for the other stories in the collection, and sometimes you care about the characters and hope for the best, and for others you start to get the creeping sensation that they're about to get what's coming to them. The closest we get to the supernatural is in "Something Undone," a story I really enjoyed about a potential haunting in an apartment.

I was most struck by the story "Another Black Cat," where a woman stalked and harassed has no one to believe in her or help her. These stories feature death of some kind, but also intense emotions: grief, hatred, desperation, fear, terror. Flashes of kinder and softer emotions are threaded through the stories, but we see people at their worst in many of these stories, and they don't always rise above it. But sometimes they do, and find connections with others, as well as the drive to keep on going.

Buy To the Solemn Graves at Amazon

Whisper of the Woods by Ennun Ana Iurov

book cover of horror graphic novel Whisper of the Woods by Ennun Ana Iurov
October 2023; Mad Cave Studios; 978-1952303746
print (96 pages); horror graphic novel

Searching for his missing friend, Adam travels to Hoia Baciu, Romania's most supernatural forest. Locals warn of iele hunting men in the vicinity, and a witch gives warning of Adam's impending death. Even so, he remains determined to find his friend. With every passing night, it becomes more and more difficult to ignore the forest around him.

At first, the art style seems simple and full of pastels. Once Adam reaches the nearby village, however, the warnings that the elders give come with a startling panel that made me rear back. Well done, it really gets the creepy vibe across that Adam feels walking into the village and hearing about the iele. The way he's drawn when freaked out also reminds me of anime styles. The story progresses rapidly, and he's drawn further into the forest and the dreams he has, ignoring all warnings given. It's got the flavor of horror, even if he says he's not in a creepypasta. He kind of is, and we see what will happen even if he doesn't. It's a story that will definitely appeal to horror and creepy lovers.

Buy Whisper of the Woods 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 a golden retriever.

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