Book Review: Dark Fantasy Stories

Dark Fantasy Stories (Illustrated) by S.S. WolffA huge thanks to Hidden Gems for providing me with the opportunity to read this anthology!

I haven’t read a huge amount of anthologies but am becoming increasingly fond of them. I like having a collection of similar but unique stories all in one place. I was under the impression that these would be quite creepy/scary stories, but they were only slightly ‘dark’ in my opinion. They all had fantasy elements, as the title would suggest, and were all rather good.

Of course, as it’s an anthology, I’m not really reviewing the individual authors’ writing. Instead, I’m going to focus on the editing and the selection of the stories included. The chouces are definitely quite unique, all fantasy tales with supernatural elements. There were some that I especially enjoyed, and some I was not quite so fond of. Overall, I think there was a pretty good range of stories.

As for the editing, I did notice some strange mistakes. There was misplaced punctuation, for example, and I saw a few letters replaced by ‘lookalikes’ – such as replaced by rn. As the copy I own is a review copy, it is possible that the mistakes I noticed were edited out in the final publication, though.

It was a rather short book, which can be seen as both a good and bad thing. 3.5 stars.

Book Review: Kellie’s Diary #1


Kellie’s Diary #1 by Thomas Jenner and Angeline Perkins – eBook, 50 pages – Published March 1st 2013 by Survive Entertainment

This was free in the Kindle store and despite not really knowing much about it, I decided I’d download it. It’s the graphic novel version of the first part of this collection, which is also available as an ordinary novel. It’s a short story, as I believe each individual story is.

As this is only a really short part of the collection, and I don’t want to spoil the story, I can’t really tell you much. But it is written fantastically, really capturing the voice of a young child. It’s based in the early nineties, when several children – and then teachers – start to fall ill and disappear. Kellie is later forced to fight for her life against the “monsters” – most commonly known as zombies. Yep, this is an apocalypse diary written by a small child, alone.

Of course, being “written by a child” means that description – even spelling – is not great. But that is obviously intentional and adds to the overall effect of the book. This particular edition happens to be designed to look like a notebook too, as opposed to the ordinary text of a novel.

I am really tempted to look into buying the whole collection. It really ends quite suddenly and unexpectedly, and I do want to know what happens to Kellie. Does she find her family? Does she even survive in the end? I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed this in the end. 3.5 stars!


Book Review: Frozen Charlotte

Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell - Paperback Cover

Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell – Paperback, 368 pages – Published January 5th 2015 by Stripes Publishing

Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell is an exciting, creepy book in the Red Eye series. The story begins almost immediately, and thickens unexpectedly throughout the entire book.

Sophie, who recently lost a close friend in what she suspects was more than just an accident, travels to Skye to stay with her uncle and cousins. The last time she was there, Rebecca… well, she was alive.

Desperate to uncover the truth, Sophie is faced with unbelievable tales and countless lies from her cousins. This book is perfect for plot-twist-lovers, as there are strange bends and discoveries in every chapter.

Personally, I loved how the story began immediately, rather than with some long winded introduction that isn’t really all that relevant to the plot. It really drew me in straight from the start, and I must admit that I enjoyed it more than I initially thought I would.

The writing style is somewhat simplistic in my opinion, and rather matter-of-fact. Despite this, there are still some wonderful descriptions and although sometimes I did find it a bit too simple, some people very much admire this kind of writing.

Frozen Charlotte is a wonderfully creepy book, full of endless surprises and anticipation to read on. It captures the creepy atmosphere wonderfully, and is not for those who are not admirers of death, murder, horror or perhaps even gore. Captivating from the first page, it really is a great read. However, I was not all that keen on the simplicity of the writing and so am giving it 3.5 stars out of the full 5.