death-anxietyDeath Anxiety
James Ward Kirk
Radiation Sickness Books
October 2, 2014
Reviewed by Mary Genevieve Fortier

“Death Anxiety”: Fear of the end of life as we know it. Something many of us at one time or another, if not already, will suffer.

This collection of horror-filled tales will have you questioning your personal thoughts on the subject, while you squirm with fear and unease; preparing to turn the page, leading you upon a journey into the unknown.

James Ward Kirk, the author and publisher/editor of many amazing writers, has shown us the ability to make you shudder is yet another of his incredible talents!

Among the 13 stories housed within this brilliant book are interesting sketches, some roughly drawn, but nevertheless both beautiful and disturbing. The artist with the gifted hand is Gidion Van de Swaluw. Gidion’s art, definitely adds that touch of elusive madness, secretly residing in a mind on the brink.

Madness, murder, gore, ghostly visitations, all which create unease blended with just enough spine-tingling horror to create the perfect tome for those cold winter nights.

I must mention a few pieces that stood out among the rest, leaving the indelible mark of horror just as the author intended.

A favorite of this reviewer, is “Synesthete,” which reads like poetic literature. Kirk truly did his research on this one. Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon where one sensory pathway leads to involuntary experiences via another. Kirk delves you into the mind of a synesthete, where senses collide in an eerie fashion. Each word lingers but for a moment before gliding into beautiful imagery. This combination in a story meant to chill you shows great command of the written word.

“The Rose Garden” extracts both fear and sorrow from the reader as a police officer mourns the death of his wife; discovering there is more than beautiful roses dwelling within her immaculate garden. What is it that exists beyond the thorns? Is it his salvation or his destruction?

Another which deserves mentioning is a tale of a writer whose family is brutally butchered. “Ghosts in the Mirror” guides us through the desperation and torment of the author as he takes the law into his own hands. What he discovers may threaten his sanity.

Death Anxiety is not meant for the squeamish nor those below the age of consent. For those seeking a well-written twist on horror, this compilation is a must! No two stories are alike and none, I assure you, is like anything you have ever read. This reviewer looks forward to more from this gifted author. Once you’ve turned the first page, I’m certain you will agree.

About Jess Landry

Jess Landry is an eccentric billionaire, the inventor of the hacky-sack and a compulsive liar. She spends her time mentally preparing for the zombie apocalypse and playing with her cats. You can find some of her work online at SpeckLit.com and EGM Shorts.

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