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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Demonic Treat,
This review is from: Day of Demons: A Dark Fantasy Collection (Kindle Edition)Last year Anachron Press launched with the rather marvellous anthology, City of Hell. This week sees the launch of the second collection from this fledgling publisher.
The Deal by Karen Davies - A fantastical tale that follows a young adventurer who learns the hard way that coming to an agreement with even the lowliest of demons can cause you no end of grief. A nice balance of action, humour and re-interpretation of classic genre tropes gets things off to a great start. The ending is left wide open and I'd love to see this idea developed further. There definitely feels like there is a larger story here just waiting to be uncovered.
Inheritance by Phil Hickes - An old abandoned house containing hidden secrets and a grandson with a letter from beyond the grave, form the basis of a simple yet very effective tale. This story falls squarely into the short, sharp shock category and has an ending that will leave you open mouthed. The author gives you just enough detail for you to realise exactly how events are going to play out and it's not going to be pretty.
The Serpent's Kiss by Krista Walsh - An unexpected invite triggers a series of events that unleash Becca's inner demon. Over the course of a few hours Becca goes from shy, awkward young woman to literal man-eater.
Sam & The Spear by Gary Bonn - Two children, one a bully the other a cowardly hero, face off against the toughest demons all the ones inside themselves.
Numen by V.D. Griesdoorn - Another tale of inheritance and one woman's struggle to understand something that is completely alien to her. If I remember correctly this author delivered one of the most iconoclastic tales in the City of Hell anthology and she has done the same again here.
City of Light and Stone by Laura Diamond - Devils and demons are all about making deals. On the streets of Paris a man called Hector must complete a seemingly impossible task or face never-ending damnation.
The Cost of Glory by Edward Drake - Back firmly into the realms of fantasy and the last journey of Marek Stormheart. Marek is a warrior of unsurpassed skill who is very nearly a living legend, famed for good deeds, shunned for bad. After a decade of hard fought questing, he is finally drawn homeward to face his demons. The highlight of this is the character of Marek himself. He's not the nicest man you're ever going to meet but I still found myself willing him on. Another story that I think screams out for further expansion.
A Mother's Love by James M. Mazzaro - The love of a mother pitted against the animal cunning of a demon, I know who I'd put my money on. I was worried for a moment that we'd get all the way through the anthology and there would be any stories that featured a deal made at a crossroads on a dark and stormy night. You can imagine me relief when that is exactly how this entry into the collection started. This was one of my favourite stories. The back and forth between the demon and the mother was pitched perfectly - one moment darkly funny, the next deliciously creepy.
The Devil and Mrs Milton by Anne Langton - The final story tells the tale of an old woman sitting waiting for her demon to arrive and collect on a bargain that was struck long before she was born. The question to be answered - is one lifetime time enough to discover a loophole in the rules?
Colin Barnes certainly has a knack for picking contributors that work well together. This anthology marks another solid outing from Anachron Press. The mixture of horror, fantasy and suspense mean there is something for everyone to enjoy. It's always a pleasure to read the work of authors you have never come across before and, more importantly, to enjoy it.
Day of Demons is published by Anachron Press and is available on Friday 13th April.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Day of Demons - read it!,
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This review is from: Day of Demons: A Dark Fantasy Collection (Kindle Edition)A fantastic varied collection of short stories all with demons, deals and the consequences over a day (kinda obvious with the title but you never can tell!) Never been one to take the gender/ethnicity of an author as a reason to read a book, but as woman who loves fantasy/science fic it is great to see so many female authors writing a whole range of styles. Please publisher's woman like variety it's not all crying and moping about because your vampire boy friend has run off and you don't love the skin shifter as much! I try not to pick favourites but i have one in this collection Karen Davies `The Deal' has a sassy, smart down to earth lead character (who in my head was female but on re reading this is never stated) and sneaky demon antagonist. The story is a classic fantasy tale but with modern pragmatic views artfully inserted to give a great twist. It's wide open at the end for a novel, yes please! An anthology is a collection of stories and the rest are excellent buy this book and get a great swath of new authors to try out.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary bananas,
This review is from: Day of Demons: A Dark Fantasy Collection (Kindle Edition)My cyber stalking of Colin Barnes (allegedly) paid off when I opened my email to find an advance copy of Day of Demons.
Releasing a horror anthology on Friday 13th is a stroke of genius. The good stuff does not end there though. The main theme for this anthology is obviously Demons, but more specifically events that happen on a single day. OK, so back story cuts happen in the past, but you get the gist. I'd originally intended to steal, er copy, er pay homage to The Eloquent Page way of reviewing anthologies and writing nice and precise sections on each of the stories. Unfortunately I got so swept up that I totally forgot to do that. Bad me.
I want to start by saying that this is a mixed bag. Not in terms of quality, but in terms of the types of stories. They are all horror stories related to Demons, but they are very different. There was one story that I didn't really enjoy, but I think that was due more to my prejudice against Christianity than the actual story. I know it is wrong, but I do struggle to enjoy anything that is too steeped in Christianity. Technically the story works and the characters work. You'll probably disagree with me on this, but that's one of the great things about art. We all enjoy different things.
Choosing my favourite story in this anthology was not easy, but when I finished reading The Deal by Karen Davies I instantly had to know whether it was going to be made in to a full length novel as I want to read it. So that would have to be it. The variety of writing styles was very interesting, from the sensual and erotic writing of Krista Walsh to the clinical and scientific leaning of Victoria Griesdoorn (which I absolutely love by the way). Each story provided a fresh perspective and writing style whilst still knitting together as a single entity.
Colin Barnes is a strong advocate of gender balance in genre. This is another of his publications that shows why women should be considered for publication and reading more often than they appear to be at the moment. Don't buy this anthology because there are female authors included, buy it because it is full of great yarns that happen to be by female authors.
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect rainy day reading,
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This review is from: Day of Demons: A Dark Fantasy Collection (Kindle Edition)I bought a kindle last week and immediately started looking up dark fantasy and horror stories - a favourite genre of mine. I noticed Day of Demons: A Dark Fantasy Collection and the names of one or two authors whose stuff I had read before. I read the entire book in one night, gripped by the way each story unfolded. The heavens opened as I clicked on the first page and this really is perfect rainy day reading. All the stories were impressive from beginning to end but Inheritance by Phil Hickes stood out for me. I've read his stories before so I had high expectations. The story delivered and the author did not disappoint. Intrigue, steady build up of suspense and wonderful description of what was going on. I felt I was actually in the house with the protagonist as he found his way to the letter. Great value.
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark & funny leaving you wanting more,
This review is from: Day of Demons: A Dark Fantasy Collection (Kindle Edition)Never read any stories featuring demons, I suppose most authors follow the current trends meaning vampires, werewolves and zombies are the monster of choice. Still demons deserve a look in as I feel out of all the choices an author could go for, they are the most versatile. With a demon possession they could be anyone, they can change host, bedevil hunters and literally raise hell unhindered.
This collection of nine short stories highlights a wide range of possibilities with demons as the central theme. The settings are as diverse and the stories, ranging from epic fantasy, to gothic horror to steampunk. Each author has an individual voice, there is no repetition of style, and each author presents a different view as to what a demon is and can do. But one thing each story has is a tale about the deviousness of demons and the culpability of humans.
This a great read with some interesting ideas and promising authors who I'd like to hear more from. If I was pushed to pick a favorite it would be The Deal by Karen Davies, chosen purely for my love of all things fantasy. The other eight stories are equally as good.
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Day of Demons: A Dark Fantasy Collection by Sarah Anne Langton