The Dark Screams series of books is more like a magazine/novella crossbreed. It is a short anthology of fiction (in this series it has been five short stories in each volume) each with a dark fantasy or horror theme. Volume Four is a nice step up from the previous volume and more along the lines of the first two, in regards to quality.
The collection kicks off with “The Departed” by Clive Barker. Barker is a powerful wordsmith and he makes the story incredibly readable, though the story itself fails to deliver a powerful punch. In the story a woman who has recently died longs to reach out to her child, still alive.
“The New War” by Lisa Morton takes a horrific look at soldiers and PTSD as an old WWII soldier in a hospital is visited by something dark and frightening. Morton really draws the reader in with her prose. this is a powerful story.
Ray Garton’s “Sammy Comes Home” is a classic monster story for the modern reader. A lost pet returns home … a little different. This was a lot of fun, even though it was pretty obvious from the start how it would end.
“The Brasher Girl” by Ed Gorman is probably the longest story in the collection. It’s a lot of setup, which moves a little slowly at times, for a powerful ending.
Heather Graham is the author of the final piece, “Creature Feature.” I was a little surprised to see her name here. I didn’t think she was a horror writer. This had a classic horror story set-up and resolution. A horror convention has a curse over it and the mannequins on display seem just a little too real for one person.
Looking for a good book? If you like the horror genre, Dark Screams Volume Four is a fun, light collection of stories that should entertain.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Dark Screams, Volume Four
editors: Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar
ebook, 102 pages