The Second Corona Book of HORROR STORIES
Edited by: Lewis Williams
Corona Books UK
October 1, 2018
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis

Welcome readers! Today I will be spreading the good word about The Second Corona Book of Horror Stories. This is an absolutely stunning collection of short horror stories by writers who you may not be familiar with yet. But after reading this collection, you’ll be actively seeking them out! The First Corona Book of Horror Stories was a delight to read and book two follows perfectly in its footsteps. Wait, scratch that, book two is even better than the first book! High-quality stories that crackle with energy are waiting behind the creepy cover to ambush you with the unexpected and scare the hell out of you! Make sure to use the loo before reading. Ready to carry on? Then let’s get to it!

The Second Corona Book of Horror Stories contains seventeen great stories that are aptly kicked off by Phillip Drake’s “Mr. Cruel.” This chilling tale opens up with a nice scene of a babysitter taking care of young Billy and his baby sister while their folks are away. Billy is quietly drawing at the dining room table and sis is taking a nap. What babysitter wouldn’t want this gig? Seems nice and cozy, right? What could possibly mar this lovely little scene? The babysitter does, by asking young Billy what he’s so busy drawing. His disturbing answers and her meddling unleash a terror that won’t stop until it’s good and ready.

How many times have you heard older people say “In My Day”…fill in the blank here? Wondra Vanian uses this title very cleverly for her contribution to The Second Corona Book of Horror Stories. An elderly woman is getting on the bus after a long day at the craft market. She’s feeling fussy and tired, but who wouldn’t be after all that? Stuck walking to the back of the bus on aching feet, she finally gets settled and starts knitting to pass the time until her stop. But the boring bus ride turns frightening when a gang of creeps force their way on and start causing trouble. The old woman watches from her seat as until she is forced to do something. But what could an old woman do against burly, gun-toting criminals? To find out the answer, you’ll need to get a copy of The Second Corona Book of Horror!

When you’re a kid, moving can be a real drag. You’re forced to leave your friends behind and the neighborhood where you know all the cool spots to hide out. But what if there were a magical toy store hidden at the rear of your new home in the country? Would that make things better? In “The Toy Shop” by Sue Eaton, a boy finds himself in this very situation. Trouble is, no one else can see the hidden store and only he can gain entry. Plus the shop keeper seems fixated on the boy and the toys in his store are strange. Is this toy shop a place for fun, or is it all just an elaborate trap? Excellent!

Do you ever wonder if all the smart technology we have is truly safe? I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of a retro guy and to be honest, I don’t really trust all the technological advances we have at our fingertips. I like turning my TV on and off with my own hand. I also prefer adjusting my home’s thermostat manually instead of letting it “learn” what I prefer. I don’t own a smart phone and I don’t use a GPS when I drive. I’ve never asked Alexa or Siri a damn thing and after reading “Kisses, Suzi” by Joanie Chevalier, I’m not going to start anytime soon. This upsetting tale is about a guy named Jimmie and his girlfriend Brenda taking the road trip from hell. At first, things are pretty light and even funny. Then Brenda notices that her boyfriend’s car is talking to him personally through the GPS unit. Jimmie explains that he just updated the GPS software and this must be a perk. But soon Suzi gets WAY too personal with her words and Brenda is NOT amused. Suzi doesn’t like being yelled at one bit, so she starts flexing her electronic muscles. The results go from bizarre to downright terrifying and…DO NOT REVEAL ANY MORE OF THIS STORY, OR ELSE-SUZI. Okay then! Well that’s all for this story. Be sure to check it out! ZZZAAAPPP! Ow!

Without a doubt, The Second Corona Book of Horror Stories is a FIVE-STAR collection of great stories that will keep you turning pages until well after midnight! An instant “Wall of Famer” that grabbed my attention right away and didn’t let go until I’d finished the whole book. You need this collection! Big thanks to editor Lewis Williams and contributing author Wondra Vanian for all the help. Before I go, I’d like to mention how much time and effort Corona Books puts into helping their contributing authors. There are both biography pages and a list of the authors’ Twitter handles and websites in the rear of the book. Follow your favorites and stay informed of what’s next. All words of encouragement are greatly appreciated! Want to know more? Then check out www.coronabooks.com and [email protected] . Thanks again for reading! Be on the lookout for The Third Corona Book of Horror Stories COMING SOON!

About Brian James Lewis

Brian James Lewis is a published poet and writer who enjoys reviewing speculative fiction and dark poetry. With all the great emerging writers, magazines, and presses, it is exciting to be part of this growing community! Word of mouth and keyboard is more important than it’s ever been, because readers want to know about books before they buy. It makes Brian feel great to see writers he’s reviewed become successful and their work go on to win awards! Whatever happens, he’s always glad to offer encouragement and increase visibility of writers who trust him with their work. You can catch up with Brian on Twitter @skullsnflames76 or on his WordPress blog damagedskullwriterandreviewer.com

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