The Corona Book of Horror Stories
Edited by Lewis Williams
Corona Books UK
October 1, 2017
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis
Greetings fellow Horror readers! I am excited to be sharing an excellent collection of speculative fiction with you! The Corona Book of Horror Stories is a serious winner! We’re talking 16 stories by an awesome bunch of writers who will really feed your jones for satisfyingly scary fiction. From Nizzy’s Egg by S.J Powell, which I would not recommend reading before breakfast-To Death By Appointment by A.H. Sargeant. I love Miss Angela D’Ath! These stories kick some serious butt! Lewis Williams has done a great job editing these stories for quality and effect. The pacing is perfect, not to mention the ability to enjoy one story at a time! If you have the willpower to stop turning the pages, that is.
Readers will probably remember the name T.R. Hitchman from our review of her disturbing Corona Books debut, Child of Winter earlier this year. She nails us to the wall once again with her story Framed, in which a would-be crook becomes part of a unique picture gallery. John visits an elderly woman in a strange old house full of photographs under the guise of being a salesman. He hopes to make some easy money by stealing a few valuable items. But things do not turn out quite as planned. The woman seems to be fragile and hard of hearing. That is, until she whips out a funky old camera and takes his picture so that he can join her collection. Smile!
One of my definite favorites in this collection has to be It’ll Rot Your Teeth by Wondra Vanian. I mean…WOW! Many of us might either be familiar with actual dentists’ children who weren’t allowed to eat candy or drink soda. Or perhaps you’ve seen a movie about a certain Mr. Wonka? Well, this evil mom, who also happens to be a dentist, makes those folks pale in comparison. Dr. Jenkins made her children’s lives miserable by not allowing them even the tiniest of sweets. So when her daughters Ella and Millie sneak out on Halloween to do some forbidden Trick or Treating, there is hell to pay. After catching her daughters red-handed Dr. Jenkins does something unexpected; she invites them into the kitchen to eat some of the sugarless sweets that she makes for the neighborhood kids. The results are horrible beyond belief and destroy a total of twenty-seven children.
In keeping with unique, yet alarming stories, Lewis Williams gives us Ticks. Sure, you might know that ticks are nasty little buggers that can carry Lyme disease and like to hide in your dogs’ hair. But the ticks in this story are no ordinary ticks. These little guys have been carefully selected and bred by a man named Dennis Stevens. He keeps insects like the average person might keep a menagerie of cats and nurtures them on his own blood until they are ready to do his bidding. He’s real good at his unusual hobby until one day he releases some of his super ticks for the purpose of attacking the woman and her dog who turned down his advances years ago. He shows them! But soon he feels horrible about what he’s done when his ideal woman dies and he has nothing to live for. The justice-filled conclusion will knock you out!
So far I have only touched on a very few of the excellent stories in The Corona Book of Horror Stories because I don’t want to be a spoiler. But believe me when I say that this is a great book crafted for many sleepless nights of reading. Besides the stories, the editor has been kind enough to provide short bios for all the authors. That way, you’ll know who to look for next time you go book shopping! He also lists their Twitter accounts and websites which is a cool touch! Corona Books is a great example of a small indie press that more of us should be following. The best way to keep them going is to purchase one of their books from them. Two thumbs UP! Grab a copy of this book today. You won’t be disappointed!