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The Spooky Isles Book of Horror: Vol. 1 (Spooky Isles Books of Horror) Paperback – 19 Jul 2018
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In honesty I’d say that with eighteen different authors, the standard inevitably displays some unevenness but is certainly high throughout - often sublime. My favourite aspect of the book’s organisation, speaking as the proverbial ‘general reader’, is that it works either as a series of stories with an explanation attached, or as short essays on aspects of the supernatural that are each illustrated by a short story. Whether this is what the editors had in mind when they commissioned a ‘background’ piece from each author or not I’ve no idea, but it worked for me. Finally, I’d point out that when they say ‘horror’, they mean it. Much of the writing is unflinching to the point of revelling in gore. Also, the unsettling psychological factors at play in a number of the stories are not skirted around. That’s all part of the fun, I think, but be aware in case you thought there might be anything cosy about this collection. There isn’t.