During Women in Horror Month, I finally got around to reading something I’ve had in my Amazon Kindle library forever, but hadn’t found the time to devour yet.
Let me tell you, that was certainly my mistake. If for some reason, you’re sleeping on this book, stop. Go get it, open your phone, download it, take it off the bookshelf if it’s a physical copy, and get reading.
Each story in this collection was uniquely horrifying, whether it’s chilling, haunting, or straight up giving me the heebie-jeebies. Seriously, I hate that fucking “Scuttlebug” story, it was gross. Stop writing about spiders. I hate them. Thanks.
Anyway, getting back on topic, even that story had such a rich story, world, universe, and such lively characters that I was able to forgive enormous rabid fucking spiders because I was invested in what happened to the narrator. It’s hard for a short story to grab me so intensely and hold on. And it wasn’t just the one story. It was every story. Every story had a character that I maybe didn’t necessarily like, but that I related to and ended up caring about the well-being of.
Honestly, this was great. The horror was horrifying, the chills were real, the squicks were top-notch, and Gemma has such an ability to tell dark stories using ordinary objects and animals.
I thought about going through story by story, but if I do I know I’ll end up saying something spoiler-y and I’d like to avoid that. Honestly, it was a great read, and if you’re unsure about it, give it a shot. It’s a rarity that I can read or watch something and not liken it to something else, but each one of these stories is incomparable. At least not easily, anyway. Some have familiar notes, but the way some of the normal horror tropes are taken and turned on their head is just…amazing.
I know this has been a rusty, short review, but without gushing, I don’t know what else to say about this. The writing was clean, the voice was unique and strong. Overall, it was everything I want from a good horror collection.