"Dark Screams Vol. 8" edited by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar
Dark Screams Vol. 8 was edited by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar. Published by Hydra an imprint of Random House.
This anthology had six stories total. The anthology opened up with " Typewriter." A fairly strong story. A good opener for this anthology. Followed were the stories "The Boy," "Tumor," "Twisted and Gnarled," and "The Palaver." Ending the anthology was "India Blue" which I found to be the weakest story of the set.
This was a horror themed anthology as if the title didn't give that away. Rest assured these were horror stories. I did find them to be on the softer side of the horror spectrum though. Nothing too hardcore or extreme.
In fact, I found a couple of the stories that didn't quite feel like horror to me at all. They had a little bit of the horror genre in them, but very subtlety. A couple I would have called thrillers more than horror. This was definitely a mixed bag of stories in this anthology.
Overall the writing of the stories was average, with the exception of one story that was poorly written in my opinion. Nothing really stood out to me with most of the stories and they were done to expectation. Sometimes that is a good thing. There was no roller coaster of writing skills in this anthology. They were all pretty solid in their delivery.
The exception to the writing be solid was "India Blue." I found this to be poorly written and very confusing. I didn't find anything about the story entertaining and spent most of my time wondering what the hell was going on. I was disappointed to see this as the closing story in the anthology. I think it could leave a bad taste in people's mouth after reading some decent stories before it. I wish they would have left this story out of the anthology and, or, replaced it with a different story. That's how it goes sometimes though.
For the price I found this to be an excellent buy. I was given a copy for a review, but the price of the e-book is a fair price for what you get. You get some good stories that are worth the price by themselves, the rest are just extra bonuses.
If you enjoy hardcore horror, this probably won't be the anthology for you. If you enjoy the slightly mysterious, the slightly thrilling, all of them with an undertone of the dark you will enjoy this anthology. I don't think you can go wrong for some quick entertainment with this anthology.
I give reviews of each of the stories for this anthology on my website: www.afantasymuse.com .