I have enormous respect for authors who step out of their comfort zone to try new things in their writing style. Joe Hill has always done that and this collection is no different. Most of the stories work but unfortunately some fell flat to me. When one takes chances, that is invariably a result, but as a reader I respect the effort and it makes me want to read more of that author going forward.
There are two stories Joe wrote with his Dad, Stephen King, and one of them, Throttle, is one of the missteps for me in this collection. The story felt disjointed to me and it felt much more as his Dad was writing it, rather than him. Curiously, I did not have the same reaction to the second collaboration, In the Tall Grass, as I felt that was seamless and an excellent tale (while also being much better and darker than the Netflix version)
Twittering from the Circus of the Dead plays with the current obsession with social media to document a horror a family comes across using tweet like postings. It is highly effective and I could easily see this being made into an episode of Twilight Zone or something similar.
You Are Released is the last story in this collection and my favorite. It tells the tale of the passengers and crew of an airplane as a war erupts below them. What I really appreciated is the use of multiple perspectives of the same scene and a realistic representation of why people reacted as they did. Even though I am an avowed liberal, Hill presents one MAGA like character in a manner that is, if not sympathetic, at least understandable. And, believe me, it takes a skilled author to get me to have any remotely positive feelings towards a MAGAt.
I still think 20th Century Ghosts is his finest collection, but I greatly enjoyed reading this latest work from Joe Hill. Definitely recommend this book.