Wednesday 3 July 2019


Three friends search for an infamous internet video of an urban legend with devastating consequences; a passionate drummer joins the band of his dreams, or perhaps his nightmares; a man tries to find fame in a world where the mundane call the shots; and a grieving father loses his grip on reality. 

 These ten stories delve into a world of darkness and suffering, where the terrors are more vivid than they may appear. Blood is spilt, minds are destroyed, as madness ultimately reigns victorious

Earlier this year I received a copy of An Army of Skin from this great author, and I loved it. So when he sent me an eARC of his short story collection, I couldn't wait to get stuck into it. 

I mean, as soon as I saw the old-school horror cover and read the title, I knew whatever awaited me within these pages would not be for the weak of stomach or heart. 

And I was totally ready!


Three friends get together during a rare day off from school hoping to have a bit of fun. Instead, they find a boring DVD stash and start drinking beer. When one of them suggests they try to find a creepy video online, another starts feeling weird... 

I really enjoyed this messed up little tale. I'm a sucker for urban legends, so one that deals with something this creepy was right up my alley. 


A weird man walks along the streets of the town he claims to have created using human bodies... 

Yikes. This was quite macabre and certainly not for anyone with a weak stomach. The descriptions of the corruptive bodily creations are so vivid the scenes featuring streets and buildings played inside my head like a horrendous movie. 


A celebrity stalker shadows every move of the actor David Brannigan, but can't seem to catch him anywhere... 


This story takes the stalker trope to a whole new level of fucked up. And by that I mean that it seems like a straightforward, maybe even familiar, situation about an obsessed fan. Until it isn't. Until the trippy narrative washes over you and makes you very aware of what's really going on. 

And then, everything you just read clicks into horrid place. 

It's SO very twisted and the writing in this is outstanding.


Steve is a drummer looking for a band to join. He can't believe his luck when he gets an instant audition... 

That's all I'm going to say about this story because I don't want to spoil anything. Seriously, the less you know the more you'll enjoy it. 

Because seriously, this story blew me away. Not just because I liked the main character. Not just because the plot is so disturbing it's brilliant, but because the writing was outstanding. So crisp in the description, that the words made music play in my ears. 

I seriously LOVED this one! 


All he wants is to have his own corner of fame in this very crowded online market. But he doesn't want it handed to him. He's going to earn it, with the flesh of the fake celebrity...

This was a clever story about the easy come, easy go nature of fame in the 21st century. Portrayed in the most brutal way possible, it examines how shallow and flimsy our celebrity society has become. 

Although this is definitely not for the squeamish, I enjoyed the very dark humorous undertones about the whole thing. It almost serves as a gory tale with a moral at the end, a PSA announcement for the sheep mentality we see WAY too often nowadays. The way people are 'devoted' to these online personalities not because they like or respect them, but in hopes of being noticed themselves. 

It's a silly endless cycle perfectly captured in this cunning allegory. 

Man, that narrator was really something! His reaction to the way his every grotesque action got the exact opposite response he wanted, totally cracked me up. I'm still chuckling. 


Ugh isn't having a good day. After all, he's now a zombie, can't remember his former life and hates the leader of his group... 

What a cool and interesting zombie tale with a gruesome and melancholy twist ending. This story was short and sweet, as well as gross and fun. Hit all the right zombie notes. 

I like me a nice slice of zombie pie every now and then.


Two guys hoping for an easy score inside the home of a disabled man get much more than they bargained for... 

Ha! This one was definitely a case of you get what you deserve if you break into someone's house hoping to take advantage of them. Of course, these situations aren't usually met with this kind of horror, but it was well worth reading! 


A grieving father's guilt after losing his daughter drives him to do the unthinkable. Except, what Gary actually ends up doing is worse than what he leads you to believe... 

Yikes. What starts out as a tormented father who simply can't let go of his daughter after she dies, slowly becomes so much worse. 

This guy's such an unreliable narrator, but mostly because of his delusions. And the twist doesn't come until The End. 

Well played.


When Peter wakes up next to his wife, he's got a headache and doesn't remember a damn thing about the night before. So he gets on with his day, and when he realises what really happened, he'll wish he was still asleep... 

Short and gross is probably the best way to describe this one. It's like a really bad headache personified and a man's worst nightmare all rolled into one uncomfortable situation. 😳

ROOM 405:

Philip's nightmare is full of demons chasing him, and he soon finds out that chanting isn't the only thing that follows him out once he wakes up... 

Oh, I really liked this one! After all, it features one of my fave ghost story tropes. The confusion and tension carries forth from beginning to end, adding some next-level creepiness to the experience. 

This one's a super spooky story.

Well, what can I say about these ten fantastic stories? I can tell you that although I had different levels of appreciation for each one, I enjoyed the hell out of ALL of them.

If you enjoy horror dripping with dark humour, characters with some pretty heavy baggage, real-life situations twisted into the grotesque until they barely resemble anything coherent and are as gross as they are brilliant, then you'll love these.

I sure did. I was totally in the mood for this book of weird and wondrous brutalities.

Asides from the actual characters and the variety of plots and twisty tropes, the writing is SO good. Strong and bloody imagery like the ones contained within these pages just wouldn't work if the words piecing all the fragments together wasn't vivid and awesome.

I've got nothing but good things to say about the horrors threatening to bleed out of this book. Can't wait to see what the author comes up with next.

This wicked short story collection will be available in August, and I reckon you should definitely check it out!

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