Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Review: Phantom: Going Beyond The Scare

This anthology is a lot smaller than the ones I've reviewed lately - only containing fourteen stories.

The editor calls it literary horror, and that's a fair assessment. These stories are quietly chilling, subtle, and focus more on use of language to create atmosphere. Personally, I don't find modern literary fiction does anything for me - but I can't deny that the stories in this volume are well-written and well chosen.

My favorite of the stories was "A Stain On The Stone" by Nick Mamatas and my least favorite was "Kinder"  by Steve Berman - a surprise as I normally like Berman's stories. I think it messed with my suspension of disbelief a little. (Sorry, Mr. Berman, I do still like you). However, none of the stories stood out as bad.

If you like your horror subtle and your language flowery, then you'll appreciate this little sampler of literary horror. If you prefer simple language...or like gore...then don't bother. I think this one is going to have niche appeal, but it IS very well done for what it is.

Three and a half stars.

(Book picked up for free at Balticon).