Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.
Wow. What a gangbuster list of horror stories. I don’t think I disliked a one of them except for that poem that was like a half a page and just made me go huh. But you all know that most poems I read that are horror (usually written by Stephen King or Neil Gaiman) are like my least favorite things.
The first story is shockingly a poem (leave me alone), but not the one I was talking about above, “Other Fears” by Christina Sng starts off with a woman who is being abused by a man and how he chips away parts of her through the years and how he wore a mask for others. And how it ends…yeah, that was a great ending.
From there we have great stories that I didn’t want to end.
“Idiot Girls” by Jennifer McMahon shows us that even though you are in love with someone, how well can you know them?
“Waste Not” by Alma Katsu shows us how a family can come together and hide a monstrous thing. Got to love that ending though.
“Night Shopper” by Michael H. Hanson shows us how different things are in a world where monsters roam and still need their groceries. Seriously was delighted by this one and thought it was cleverly done.
“Scrape” by Denise Dumars shows us a world where something different is always feared (in America) but is seen as almost sacred in Mexico. The main character, Mitsuko left the U.S. with her wife Judy after Asian hate crimes took off post-COVID. I did feel this one ended a little weaker than the others so far in the anthology though.
“Mud Flappers” by Usman T. Malik. I am still confused by this one and what happened. I still enjoyed it though.
“Churn the Unturning Tide” by Annie Neugebauer. Reading about a woman who is pregnant and seems to be going through some changes, and some women that she meets while doing a swim class who seem to go a bit feral was kind of…actually it was on the mark.
“There’s Always Something in the Woods” by Gabino Iglesias. 5 damn stars. I want a movie. Also, yes, it’s not fair.
“The Turning” by Hailey Piper. A young girl is going through something that is changing teens all over the world. What her family does next though…is it really unexpected?
“Help, I’m a Cop” by Nathan Carson. Well what do you know…I felt a little pity. Just a smidge. Excellent story. I did love how Carson shows us our main character that gave up so many parts of himself for an indifferent father.
“Miss Infection USA” by Shanna Heath. What to do when young girls rise as zombies? You throw a pageant. Honestly this was great and the darkness of the story bleeds in after a while. You realize what big sister in this story has gone through to make sure her sister Martha stays safe.
“All Not Ready” by Tracy Cross. A bunch of kids play a game.
“Illusions of the De-Evolved” by Linda D. Addison. No.
“Black Screams, Yellow Stars” by Maxwell I. Gold. What happens when the red hats (guess who) come for everyone. Echoes of the Middle Passage are brought back to the present.
There are so many more stories but honestly just read this thing. It was so so freaking good.