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5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with chills, humour and clever twists, 29 July 2011
By 
A. Luke "Ali Luke" (Oxford) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From Dark Places (Paperback)
I was lucky enough to hear E.J. Newman read several of these wonderful stories at the Oxford launch of "From Dark Places". I promptly devoured several more on my way home on the bus (and was so engrossed that I almost missed my stop ...)

"From Dark Places" is a collection of twenty-five short stories with a breathtaking range of moods and styles. The common factor is that they all touch on something dark, something mystical and magical. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes chilling, each one is a different nugget of story gold to savour.

I don't normally read short stories, but these drew me in and stayed with me. This is a fantastic debut anthology, and I highly recommend it. Just don't read it after dark...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Delicious, 21 Jun 2012
By 
D. Harris (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From Dark Places (Paperback)
These short stories by Emma Newman are variously dark, horrific, startling and tender. A young woman creeps through the house at midnight with a hammer to silence the voices in her head. A home burns. A brother, a sister and a mother meet for Sunday lunch. The supernatural features - angels, devils and zombies interfere with people's lives and have their own moments of clarity, their own betrayals and mistakes. A husband goes off to his shed to pursue a mysterious hobby. Misunderstandings abound, sometimes tragically, but there are also moments of acceptance and love.

If I had one criticism it would be that many of these stories are very short - three pages or even less, so they don't develop characters or have a narrative, they are simply dramatised moments, showing off a single glittering idea, nibbles that you might snack on while waiting for the main course. It would have been nice to see some of these ideas developed into that main course, perhaps.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Places and More!, 15 Jun 2012
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This review is from: From Dark Places (Kindle Edition)
Quirky, funny, brooding and dark, this delightful collection of stories has all this and more. I like collections like this, short sharp stories that you can rattle through in a few days, but that leave an impression on your mind. Look forward to reading more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A New Voice From a Dark Place, 19 Jun 2011
By 
Mr. C. Horner "hierath" (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From Dark Places (Paperback)
"From Dark Places" is a collection of short speculative fiction from emerging Somerset writer E J Newman, and, as the title suggests, the collection focuses very much on the dark, the twisted and the macabre.

There are flashes of humour here, particularly in "The Tenth Lord", an unusual take on an imprisoned princess, and "Getting Fixed", the story that closes the collection, where Jarvis is faced with a problem on his wedding day. But the darkness is never far from the surface, and a few of these stories ("In the Bag", "The Art of Desire") might have you double-checking the locks and sleeping with the light on...

An impressive debut collection from a writer who I'm sure will go on to make a name for herself in dark fantasy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars From Dark Places by E J Newman, 18 May 2011
This review is from: From Dark Places (Paperback)
It's very difficult to know what to say about this book, not for any negative reason, but because saying anything at all about the stories to be found here risks spoiling the sting that's hidden in the tail of each of them.

Suffice to say that these are the sort of stories that could once be found in the Pan Book of Horror Stories. Some are tragic, some comic, but all of them are disturbing to a greater or lesser degree. One of them will be lurking at the back of my mind for a very long time, but you'll have to read the book yourself to find out why.

For some time, I've been worried that the short story is an endangered species, but its future seems safe in the hands of authors like E J Newman and I'm sure that we shall be hearing a lot more of her in the years to come.
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4.0 out of 5 stars From Dark Places by E J Newman, 19 April 2011
This review is from: From Dark Places (Paperback)
From Dark Places is a collection of short fiction from E J Newman. The title is well placed, as the stories are all dark in a variety of ways. They explore subjects from the existential to the personal, from infidelity to murder, from the supernatural to the super normal and they're all bloody good.

A lot of these stories are really short, flash fiction pieces capturing a vibe or an event and searing a single scene onto the reader's brain with uncomfortable clarity. Some of the tales are longer, exploring all manner of things from Creation to madness.

Newman writes with a tight turn of phrase, many a well placed word and an eye for place and setting that makes all these tales of urban unease extremely convincing. She inhabits her characters, their distinctive personalities entrancing. Newman explores the speculative with ease; gods, demons and angels inhabit these pages as much at home as the cheating spouses, spurned lovers and ugly, foul-mouthed orphans.

Some of the stories have a bit of fun to them, some a touch of the absurd or the surreal, all an edge of darkness that plays nicely with our boundaries of comfort.

Emma Newman is a powerful emerging voice in dark fiction and From Dark Places is an excellent selection of her work. I'll be watching out for more of her stuff. You should too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Short Story Collection, 16 Nov 2010
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This review is from: From Dark Places (Kindle Edition)
I like short stories. I especially like short stories with an edge and if that's your cup of tea too, you'll love this collection from Emma Newman. My favourite was the titular 'From dark Places'. Emma's stories engage and have twists that I personally didn't see coming. I'm looking forward to reading more from this young writer. (@nettiewriter)
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From Dark Places by Emma Newman
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