A book review by Janine Pipe

Here is my review of each of the 16 wonderful stories in the amazing anthology for an extremely worthwhile cause.

HOLD STILL by Heather Herrman

I LOVED this story. It was intriguing, interesting, fun and different. I loved the characters, the build-up. The ending wasn’t too surprising but at the same time I enjoyed the ambiguity and that it wasn’t clear cut.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
CULLING THE PIGS by Chad Lutzke

This story was fab. LOVED it. In such few words, it packed a real punch. Felt real and you wanted her to survive. That end though …

Rating: 5 out of 5.
ABBY’S BEST ROLE by Brian Moorland

I have read several things by Brian and have always thoroughly enjoyed his storytelling and character development. This short did not let me down. Wonderfully violent which I enjoyed and held a poignant message too.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
FORREST BUTTER by John Everson

John has the uncanny ability to freak me out with his work and this did not fail. Just bleugh, certain parts gave me the real creeps, but such a good story. I’ll also never look at butter in a restaurant the same way again.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
SICK BURN by Somer Canon

This was always going to be a winner since the main character is called Janine! Ha. Total coincidence by the way but I still dug it. This also felt very real and possible which made it even scarier, especially as a momma to a girl.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
DAY 12 by Tim Waggoner

I’m not the biggest fan always of objects becoming sentient beings. I enjoyed this and it was certainly a different take on a sole survivor/fight against the machines type scenario. It made me glad I won’t be flying for a while …

Rating: 4 out of 5.
LANEY by Chris Sorenson

This was clever and I was routing for ‘Laney’ the entire time. This was the first thing I have read of Chris’ and it made me more excited to dive into THE MESSY MAN series. The end was perfect.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
MRS. CLEAVER by Kirstin Dearborn

I really enjoyed this even though it didn’t have the ending I wanted for Annabelle, it was actually very realistic which made it even more horrific.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING THE INDIGESTION OF LIVING INSECTS by Ronald Malfi

This was so good but damn, it made me feel so nauseous. Just full-on bleugh! Brilliant but especially being a staunch veggie … YUK!!!

Rating: 4 out of 5.
THE HAND OF VIOLENCE by Lucas Mangum

I liked this a lot actually. I was 100% routing for Isolde and wasn’t let down with the story. Great stuff. Some people think the whole Wrong Turn/Hillbilly in the woods trope is getting old but I still bloody love it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
A FLOCK OF CROWS by Nate Kenyon

This was well written and again a slightly different spin on the whole end of the world virus type thing but because there are so many of these, I tend to prefer the Zombieland Double Tap and Shaun of the Dead type as I have been Walking Deaded out. It was still good though and as with every single story, well written.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
STREET ACTION by J G Faherty

I can’t say too much about what I liked about this one without giving away the end which I thought was very well done. I also loathed one of the characters which isn’t an easy feat in a short story. Another more unique twist on a done-to-death sub-genre.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
INTO THE NIGHT by Hunter Shea

I was biased going into this as Hunter, alongside Glenn, is my personal fave author. However, this story was bonkers and I bloody loved it. LOVED it. Another story that evoked a physical reaction and cementing the fact I’ll read anything Hunter writes.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
CHRYSALIS by Rio Youers

This was my least fave of the collection. Not I hasten to add because of the level of writing skill it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I’m not really into the whole celestial type thing. Others will love it I’m sure and didn’t hate it, it was just my least fave of a great bunch.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
THE PRINCE SHE’SORGOTTEN by Gwendolyn Kiste

I really liked this. It was completely different from the others and felt a bit like one of the original Grimm tales which were full of despair. A dark fairy-tale challenging our perceptions of how good and evil look, and very well done.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
HANDLE WITH CARE by Brian Kirk

This was awesome. It was fun and clever lighter than some of Kirk’s previous work whilst still being a steady tale of horrific circumstances.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Author

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Glenn Rolfe is a huge fan of hair metal, Bruce Springsteen, and Taylor Swift (no shame in this game). A husband, a father of three, and a proud hospitality worker. He’s been watching horror movies since before he should, and will devour all King, Laymon, Keene, and Malfi books. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Reviewer

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Trading in a police badge and then classroom, Janine now writes full-time whilst also being a mum, wife and Disney addict. Influenced by the works of King from a young age, she likes to shock readers with violence and scare them with monsters – both mythical and man-made. When she’s not killing people off, she likes to chew the fat with other authors – reviewing books and conducting interviews for her podcast and YouTube channel. You can follow Janine Pipe on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, Podcast and Youtube.
More articles by Janine Pipe
Glenn Rolfe on Writing and Small Press Publishing
Twisted: Tainted Tales by Janine Pipe Cover Reveal
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August’s Eyes by Glenn Rolfe
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Kill River by Cameron Roubique
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Dog Soldiers (2002)
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The Descent (2005)
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