‘The Dark Carnival’ is a collection of 41 short horror stories with a creepy carnival setting.
I picked this up because I’ve been really into short story collections recently and the theme really appealed to me. The collection gets off to a shaky start with a story that had real potential, but felt like a teaser for a longer story rather than a stand alone short. There were a few stories that seemed to end suddenly like this, and several of the worst culprits for this were right at the start of the anthology. That said, there are some really excellent stories also and the overall quality was very good.
I’m not going to rate each story as there were an awful lot of them, but after the first few stories I started to really get into the anthology and found myself captivated by the disturbing and creepy tales of carnival terror. The suspense was kept up pretty well throughout and when I got to the end I really wished there was more.
My favourite stories were: ‘Permanent Ink’ by Kat Daemon, which was nicely tense and creepy. ‘Nothing but Net’ by Brian W. Taylor, which was freaky, suspenseful, and had a twist I didn’t see coming. ‘House of Mirrors’ by Stevan Knapp, which was just brilliant and ended the collection on the perfect note.
Overall I’d say this collection is well worth taking a chance on. It keeps up the perfect atmosphere and it’s tense throughout. Recommended to horror fans!