Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Review: Horror Anthology, "Final Masquerade."

Review: Final Masquerade (Anthology)
Collected by Stacey Turner
Published by Lycan Valley Press © 2016

   The book as a whole is a great horror read.  Some of the stories do contain some explicit adult content, which is not my thing. However, the writing throughout the collection was well done, and all of these stories delivered on the promise in the editor’s note: they were all unsettling. Some merely unnerving but a few were downright chilling. There are some great examples of masterful suspense and plot twist writing here. The ones I liked the best had powerful ending lines that made me shiver.
   There are twenty stories in all:

We Care by Daniel I. Russell was an interesting story, a disturbing narrative with violence and a slowly unfolding mystery.

F**ck Knot by Ken MacGregor was a bizarre story, the main culprit of the explicit adult content which I personally found distasteful, but nevertheless, very creepy.

Monica’s Dream Date by J.C. Delisle had a nice twist ending.

Mummer’s Parade by Joshua Chaplinsky is a wonderfully atmospheric tale. Strange, unnerving, violent, and evocative, this is one of the best stories in this anthology.

Lifetime Guarantee by Lori Safranek is a suspenseful tale with a surprise ending.

Delivery by D.S. Ullery is creepy, with well imagined details and a good ending.

The Artist by Samantha Leinhard is a bizarre story with plenty of action and some gore, with a creepy ending.

First Impressions by Thomas Kleaton was creepy, mainly due to theme, but still well written.

Funeral Candy by Josh Strnad is not so much a horror story as a bizarre little supernatural mystery. Lush in detail.

Hero by Natching T. Kassa is an interesting story with a very fresh approach to a very tired subject. Good action and characterization and a very chilling last line.

Bitter Meat by Roy C. Booth and Axel Kohagen is not really scary, but it’s another fresh approach to a tired subject.

The God of Flesh by Sheldon Woodbury is a disturbing tale with perverse horror and a bit of gore.

Hotline Bling by Craig Steven starts out mildly uncomfortable but quickly spirals into horror and ends on a chilling note. One of the best stories in this anthology.

End of Nights by Gregory L. Norris is suspenseful, the ending let me down a little, but polished off with a good final line.

Made Me Do It by Jay Eales is a cleverly constructed piece, using vibrant detail as it builds up to its violent climax.

Another Night in Paradise by Dale W. Glaser contains some mature material. Great dialogue and characterization. Not very creepy but a good read.

The Other House by R.K. Kombrinck is a creepy tale with a good ending and lots of suspense along the way.

70 Steps of Paranoia by Jonathan Cromack has great setting and detail with a good ending.

Make Believe by Brian C. Bauer is a great story with very little suspense but lots of wonderful detail and a delicious ending. One of the best stories in this anthology and one of the best endings ever.

Urban Renewal by Adrian Chamberlin is a great story, with an intriguing setting, lots of wonderful details and description. Again, not a lot of traditional suspense, but the perfect amount of tension. Another fantastic ending. One of the best stories in this anthology.

Buy the book on amazon

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