Edited by JM Reinbold & Weldon Burge
Release Date: November 24, 2013
Publisher: Smart Rhino Publications
Reviewed by Matthew Scott Baker
I never get tired of seeing unique anthology ideas, especially when the completed product is chocked full of talented authors. Such is the case with Smart Rhino Publications’ somewhat recent release, SOMEONE WICKED. I have to openly apologize to Weldon Burge at Smart Rhino for taking so long to review this; he sent it to me back in December, but it somehow ducked out of sight after I moved at the end of that same month. But the wait was well worth it; this anthology is a real treat, and every horror/thriller fiction reader will want to add this to their library.
If you are not familiar with SOMEONE WICKED, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Smart Rhino Publications:
“There is poison in the fang of the serpent, in the mouth of the fly, and in the sting of a scorpion; but the wicked man is saturated with it.” — Chanakya
Avaricious, cruel, depraved, envious, mean-spirited, vengeful—the wicked have been with us since the beginnings of humankind. You might recognize them and you might not. But make no mistake. When the wicked cross your path, your life will never be the same. Do you know someone wicked? You will. The 21 stories in the Someone Wicked anthology were written by the members of the Written Remains Writers Guild and its friends, and was edited by JM Reinbold and Weldon Burge.
Gail Husch – Reckonings
Billie Sue Mosiman – The Flenser
Mike Dunne – The Fire of Iblis
Christine Morgan – Sven Bloodhair
Ramona DeFelice Long – The Chances
Russell Reece – Abracadabra
Carson Buckingham – The Plotnik Curse
Chantal Noordeloos – Mirror Mirror
Patrick Derrickson – The Next King
Barbara Ross – Home Improvements
JM Reinbold – Missing
Shaun Meeks – Despair
Liz DeJesus – Sisters: A Fairy Tale
Doug Blakeslee – The Flowering Princess of Dreams
Justynn Tyme – The Semi-Aquatic Blue Baker of Borneo
Ernestus Jiminy Chald – The Tail of Fate
Weldon Burge – Right-Hand Man
Joseph Badal – Ultimate Betrayal
Maria Masington – Impresario
L.L. Soares – Sometimes the Good Witch Sings to Me
Shannon Connor Winward – The Devil Inside
First, I have to compliment all of the contributing authors on thinking up a wide range of ideas to fit this concept. Like the film I reviewed earlier today, I wasn’t too sure what to expect with this collection; the cover art was vague and made me instantly think of Snow White. But, wow…my expectations were exceeded and then blown out of the water. There are some nice, juicy, original tidbits in this short-story buffet!
Each story in SOMEONE WICKED is written well and carefully crafted. The authors take great care with building the suspense in their stories, and the result is a collection of immersing and thoughtful (albeit horrifying) tales. There are a couple of stories here that will certainly make you think twice about crossing certain people.
I particularly enjoy the diversity of writing styles that are showcased in this anthology. Some of the stories are written in first person while others in the third. But each author lends a distinct voice to their stories, an almost trademark for their individual talent.
I enjoyed all of the stories in SOMEONE WICKED, which is a true feat because in most anthologies I usually find a couple of tales that I didn’t care for. But if I were forced to find a favorite, I would have to say “Sisters: A Fairy Tale” by Liz DeJesus would stand out the most. I love her writing style, and the subject matter of the story enthralls me.
SOMEONE WICKED is a huge win for me, and I recommend giving it a look. This book is definitely worth what you pay for it, so snatch it up regardless of what format you prefer.