Epeolatry Book Review: The Dead Spot by Angela Sylvaine


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Title: The Dead Spot
Author: Angela Sylvaine
Genre:  horror, short story collections
Publisher: Dark Matter Ink
Release Date: 21st May, 2024

Synopsis: The dead spot: a corner drenched in shadow; an earthquake’s epicenter; the part of a roller coaster ride where the car rounds the final curve and all force dissipates, leaving those trapped beneath the safety bar feeling sick and hollow.
From the beloved author of Frost Bite and Chopping Spree comes this heartbreaking horror collection about girls and women trapped by circumstance, manipulation, and obsession. The book includes a moving introduction by J. A. W. McCarthy (Shirley Jackson Award finalist for Sometimes We’re Cruel) and seventeen stories by Sylvaine.
The stories include: Astronaut Dreams, The Bride, New Hue, Playing Tricks, Sorry, We’re Open, Antifreeze and Sweet Peas, If Heard, Please Call, Starved, Return of The Wilderness Girls, Night Maere, The Dead Spot, Burnt Embers and Bluebirds, Mr. Chew, Crimson Clover, Unrestful Dogs, Clutching Air, Edge of Decay.

Angela Sylvaine’s new collection, The Dead Spot, delivers on the cover’s promise of dread with a touch of lace. Every story is centered on a lost girl in one form or another, and readers will feel every page of it like needles to the heart. This “cheerful” horror writer, with this collection, has given the world a new horror kaleidoscope.

The Dead Spot deals heavily with loss, love, and belonging. All of the story leads are extremely strong characters, be they ultimately in the black or the red on the moral spectrum.

Everything kicks off with ‘Astronaut Dreams’, an account of a very real near future but with a heart-rending twist. Then everything ends on ‘Edge of Decay’ which gives readers an up close and personal look at a pair of horrendous parents. Two of my favorites—‘Antifreeze and Sweet Peas’ tells the story of a baker with an interesting secret, and ‘Mr. Chew’ shows what can happen when children inflict real nightmares on their younger siblings.

The tale that sticks with me the most is ‘Crimson Clover’. I can’t give away any details about it without spoilers, but it will live in my head for a long time.

Angela Sylvaine is an author on the rise, and this collection is further proof that she has arrived on the horror scene. Grab a copy as soon as you can and see these horrifying wonders for yourself.


Available from Amazon and Bookshop.

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