Epeolatry Book Review: Hush, Don’t Wake the Monster edited by Azzurra Nox
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Title: Hush, Don’t Wake the Monster; Women in Horror Anthology
Editor: Azzurra Nox
Publisher: Twisted Wing Productions
Release Date: 3rd March, 2022
Synopsis: A collection of new and exclusive short stories inspired by and in tribute to, Stephen King.
Stephen King is a seminal writer of horror, whose influence transcends the literary sphere, having also taken the cinematic world by storm – and ultimately delivering nightmares to generations for almost five decades.
This fourth anthology of the Women in Horror series edited by Azzurra Nox brings together a diverse group of female writers who contribute their personal twist to the works of Stephen King.
Featured authors include: Andrea Teare, Rachel Bolton, Marnie Azzarelli, Lauri Christopher, Kay Hanifen, Hannah Brown, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, L. E. Daniels, Sealey Andrews, Christabel Simpson, Alisha Galvan, Rebecca Rowland, Cheryl Zaidan, Amy Grech, Jane Nightshade, Trish McKee, and Azzurra Nox.
Yet another anthology assembling seventeen new horror stories which, as stated in the synopsis, are inspired by Stephen King. Fortunately this doesn’t mean that the included tales are an attempt to re-write or develop some of King’s stories or novels (although some of the contributing authors expressly mention by which particular title they were inspired).
Let’s simply say that the book is a homage to the master of horror, which is always a nice starting point.
On the one hand, despite the authors’ good intentions, a fair number of the featured pieces are just ordinary, run of the mill stories, light years away from the model they try to emulate.
On the other hand, the anthology also offers some excellent tales which are worth the price of the book, and I’m happy to mention them here.
Rebecca Rowland sets the tone with her opening story “The Clawset”, a terrifying, unforgettable piece starting in a therapist’s office and ending in an elevator. Enough said…
Editor Azzurra Nox contributes “The Unconventional Tea Party” a very disturbing, complex story revolving around a nasty young girl and her disreputable activities.
The unsettling “Finding Toni” by Trisha Ridinger McKee addresses a family tragedy seen through the eyes of an unhappy little girl, while the engrossing “The Hunting Lodge” by Kay Hanifen features a violent couple staying and fighting in a secluded cabin in the woods. An extremely enjoyable tale provided you’re able to totally suspend your disbelief.
Another very good story is “Fair Erasures” by Lauri Christopher portraying a young woman who gets rid of an unwanted pregnancy in a rather unusual but effective way.
Available from Amazon.
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Mario Guslandi was born in Milan, Italy, where he currently lives. A long time fan of dark fiction (especially short stories)he’s probably the only Italian who reviews horror and supernatural tales in English. Over the years his reviews have appeared in many genre sites such as Horrorworld, The British Fantasy Society, Hellnotes, Emerald City, SF Revu, Thirteen O’ Clock, etc.