BOOK REVIEWS: Two Tales of Terror

Some Kind of Monster by Tim Waggoner

Fast-paced and relentless, this novella by Tim Waggoner had me hooked from page one. It’s the story of Angie whose life has been riddled with tragedy that begins with the untimely death of her mother when she was six. As a result, she finds herself compelled to seek out death, trying to discover its ultimate meaning. She does this by investigating what are known as “urban legends – monsters that lurk in ordinary places.

I thoroughly enjoyed this brief story and found it hard to put down. The ending was satisfying yet left the door open for the possibility of more of Angie’s adventures into the unknown in the future. Highly recommended for horror fans and fans of short horror stories. 5-Stars!

The Attic Tragedy by J. Ashley-Smith

This novella started out great. It’s narrator, George, begins the story by describing Sylvie, daughter of an antique dealer, who has the uncanny ability of detecting the history of found objects through touch. “The woman who wore this lost her husband to madness,” she says as she fingers an ornate ring. 

This was a great premise, but, unfortunately for me, the novella went downhill thereafter. As it progresses, we discover that George is actually Georgiana, an unhappy, lonely girl with gender issues. Her love for Sylvie becomes intense and all-consuming and when Sylvie moves on with her life, depressing.

At this point, the novella began to drag. Gone was the premise I found so intriguing and, instead, I was slogged down in George’s unrequited love for Sylvie. On the plus side, the story is well-written – the prose lyrical – but the plot just didn’t do it for me. 2-Stars.

I received free copies of both of these novellas as a member of the Horror Writers Association in consideration for a Bram Stoker Award.