This is a forceful collection of haiku, poetry, and short stories converging around not only chilling Halloween themes, but that special brand of horror made famous by H.P. Lovecraft. Pairing short, efficient haiku with horror is very effective. Even if you're not familiar with poetry or haiku, you can appreciate the perfectly packaged, bite-sized pieces of fearful fiction. It only takes a moment to read one of the haiku, but I enjoy how much those short phrases haunt my thoughts. It's amazing how something small and apparently simple can make you shudder and get so deep under your skin.
Coming from a small, independent publisher, this collection draws the attention of poetry fans, horror lovers, and those infatuated with Lovecraftian lore. I don't consider myself a poetry fanatic and I have to admit that I've read next nothing from Lovecraft. Despite my personal lack of expertise, I still enjoyed reading through the collection. The haiku were naturally a favorite for me, but I was also really impressed by some of the longer, sonnet-like poems. There were the occasional pieces that lost me a bit. I had the feeling at times that I could have had a deeper appreciation for individual pieces and the collection as a whole if I had more knowledge of Lovecraft's mythology. (I got the feeling that if the collection were a movie, I would have been that annoying person asking the background on several of the characters throughout the film). The good news is that much of Lovecraft's material is available free online (check out gutenberg.org). An introduction to the collection with a little background information or a guide that clues the reader in on a handful of key stories would definitely enrich the reading experience. Even without these helpful additions, the collection is well put together and very enjoyable to read.