Category: Reviews

Epeolatry Book Review: When Things Get Dark, ed. Ellen Datlow

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Title: When Things Get Dark, Stories Inspired by Shirley Jackson
Author: Various, ed. Ellen Datlow
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: 28th September, 2021

Synopsis: A collection of new and exclusive short stories inspired by, and in tribute to, Shirley Jackson.
 
Shirley Jackson is a seminal writer of horror and mystery fiction, whose legacy resonates globally today. Chilling, human, poignant and strange, her stories have inspired a generation of writers and readers. This anthology, edited by legendary horror editor Ellen Datlow, will bring together today’s leading horror writers to offer their own personal tribute to the work of Shirley Jackson.

 
Featuring Joyce Carol Oates, Josh Malerman, Carmen Maria Machado, Paul Tremblay, Richard Kadrey, Stephen Graham Jones, Elizabeth Hand, Kelly Link, Cassandra Khaw, Karen Heuler, Benjamin Percy, John Langan, Laird Barron, Jeffrey Ford, M. Rickert, Seanan McGuire, Gemma Files, and Genevieve Valentine.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Cats of the Pacific Northwest by Joe Donley

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Title: Cats of the Pacific Northwest
Author: Joe Donley
Illustrator: Leo Corbett
Genre: Horror/Supernatural Thriller
Publisher: Dark Forest Press
Release Date: 20th July, 2021

Synopsis: David, an unsure young man, is trying to figure out how to be a “man” in the modern age. Well, at least what his girlfriend, Emma, expects of him. When she suggests a backpacking trip out on the Olympic Peninsula, he jumps at the opportunity to demonstrate his worth. But, once they get out into the wilderness, they are quickly lost. Now they are out of food and beginning to starve, when a strange couple of cats cross their path.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Field Guide to Invasive Species of Minnesota by Amelia Gorman

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Title: Field Guide to Invasive Species of Minnesota
Author: Amelia Gorman
Genre: Nature Poetry
Publisher: Interstellar Flight Press
Release Date: 6th September, 2021

Synopsis: Gorman’s Field Guide to Invasive Species of Minnesota is a poetic journey into the strange and wonderful world known previously only to the wild. Take a walk through the woods of Minnesota, past the Salton Sea, into the high grass of the prairie, beyond the rivers and creekbeds, into a world of the near-future where nature rules all. After all, the biggest ecological danger of invasive species is the monoculture they create.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Man-Beast by Deborah Sheldon

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Title: Man-Beast
Author: Deborah Sheldon
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Severed Press
Release Date: 6th September, 2021

Synopsis: Taylor’s Travelling Troupe of boxers has set up its tent at an isolated sheep station: bored farmers always bet to excess. Headlining the bare-knuckle fighters is Bluey, marketed as ‘The Man-Beast’, a Sasquatch-like monster, chained and kept drunk enough to fight punters without killing them. But the troupe has returned to where Bluey was first captured. Recognising the mountains, he calls again and again. And when his call is answered, all hell breaks loose.

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Epeolatry Book Review: In Somnio, ed. Alex Woodroe

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Title: In Somnio
Author: Various, ed. Alex Woodroe
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Tenebrous Press
Release Date: 1st November, 2021

Synopsis: Twenty-five women and non-binary writers from the worlds of Horror Fiction and Illustration form an unholy union and drag the blackened heart of Classic Gothic Horror into modern daylight! In the process, they have sculpted an altogether sleeker, more feral beast.

In the hands of Mary Shelley, Daphne Du Maurier and Shirley Jackson, Gothic Horror explored the bleak shadows of our homes; the darkest corners of the human mind; madness, personal transformation, the occult. IN SOMNIO recasts the legacy of the original Gothmothers in a chilling contemporary light.

Within the walls of an arcane modern art gallery; upon the shores of a hostile but compelling sea; into the blackest burrows of the animal kingdom; tableside at the world’s last restaurant on the eve of the apocalypse; from the deep deep South to a Lovecraftian Steampunk theatre, a cornucopia of disturbing vignettes await you.

Fans of twisted takes on the classics such as Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters; Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House/Bly Manor; moody, secretive novels like Night Film and A House at the Bottom of the Lake; and traditional Gothic Horror and ghost stories will all find something to chill their bones in IN SOMNIO.

This collection features eighteen vibrant, unique stories ranging from deeply intimate one-room settings to sprawling fantasy worlds; from the depths of darkness to comedy and adventure. Each story brings a new perspective to our inherent love of Gothic Horror and what those vital elements of terror still have to say today.

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Epeolatry Book Review: The Jewish Book of Horror, ed. Josh Schlossberg

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Title: The Jewish Book of Horror
Author: Various, ed. Josh Schlossberg
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Denver Horror Collective
Release Date: October 2nd, 2021

Synopsis: Horror is part of the human condition, but few peoples across the ages know it quite like the Jews.

From slavery to pogroms to the Holocaust to antisemitism, the “Chosen People” have not only endured hell on Earth, they’ve risen above it to share their stories with the world.

Whether it’s pirate rabbis or demon-slaying Bible queens, concentration camp vampires or beloved, fearless bubbies, THE JEWISH BOOK OF HORROR offers you twenty-two dark tales about the culture, history, and folklore of the Jewish people.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Lady in White, ed. LCW Allingham

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Title: Lady in White
Author: Various, ed. LCW Allingham
Genre: Ghost Fiction
Publisher: Freeze Time Media
Release Date: 29th September, 2021

Synopsis: A woman walks on the side of the road. She wears a white dress and is known by many names: the Ghostly Hitchhiker. The Phantom Prom Date. The Woman in White. She may accept a ride, but she disappears before she ever reaches her destination.
Is she an apparition? A memory? Or something beyond our understanding? Five authors offer their speculations on her story – of love, loss, and redemption.
Rumors of a ghostly hitchhiker draws a woman back to her hometown twenty years after the death of her sister, revealing bonds and betrayals buried under years of grief.
A fresh start for a mourning widower turns into a hunt for the truth about an old tragedy, and a match made beyond the grave.
Confusion clouds the awakening of a young bride, frightened by memories she doesn’t understand in a world she doesn’t recognize, and a duty she has tried to forget.
A heartbroken musician struggles to stay afloat during COVID-19 lockdown, and discovers a love song that unites two souls.
Two women, separated by ages, connect across the veil of time, allowing hope to grow from despair, and a desperate but bright will to tether itself into a better world.
Watch the roads and be prepared, for though these stories are utter speculations, the lady in white still looks for a ride, somewhere on the other side.

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Epeolatry Book Review: The Burning Boy And Other Stories by Denver Grenell

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Title: The Burning Boy And Other Stories
Author: Denver Grenell
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Beware The Moon Publishing
Release Date: August 2021

Synopsis:

“A funnel of thick, black smoke rose from his body, billowing through the trees, another chimney expelling its fumes into the bitter night. The heat of the fire melted a perfect circle in the snow around him. His eyes radiated white-hot light, and they were looking straight at me.”

After a tragic accident on Guy Fawkes Night, three teens are haunted by a spectral figure burning for revenge. Can they make amends before the burning boy comes calling?

The Burning Boy & Other Stories, the debut collection from Denver Grenell, delivers twists, turns, and a myriad of dark delights. Among the fifteen original tales that are sure to terrify and thrill: a young girl inherits a deadly legacy; a medical experiment goes cosmically wrong; a cruel boss finally pushes the wrong employee too far; and a watery end is just the beginning.

Whether you are a seasoned horror fiend or are venturing into dark fiction for the first time, these stories will scare you, surprise you, keep you on the edge of your seat, and won’t let you go until they’re done.

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