11:12:2012 – more reviews

And so, on this misty and crisply frosty Tuesday morning (looks like winter is here at last), we are thrilled to bring you two more reviews of recent Spectral publications:

The Way of the Leaves cover image

First, Mark West takes a look at David Tallerman’s chapbook story The Way of the Leaves and reports his findings on Goodreads. As it’s a short review, I reproduce it here in full:

“Two children – the narrator and his friend Charlotte – love reading and, ostracised by the other kids in the village, begin to escape on walks, to find somewhere quiet where they can read in peace. On one such adventure they discover the barrow, a hill upon a hill, a wondrous and mysterious place that piques their curiosity. That night, they go back to explore it but even though they have torches and supplies, Charlotte disappears and can’t be found. This is volume 8 of the Spectral Press chapbook line – for which I have a real fondness – and it’s great to see the marque not only maintaining but improving on its level of quality (both the story and its presentation). The winner of the This Is Horror/Spectral Press short story competition, this is very good indeed, creepy and atmospheric, claustrophobic and quite terrifying at times, with believable child characters and a nice sense of history repeating itself. Combine that with some excellent turns of phrase “my legs were soft as rotten peaches”, great characterisation and a good pace and this is a real winner. Highly recommended.”

The 13 Ghosts of Christmas cover image

Next up is Serendipity Reviews assessment of The 13 Ghosts of Christmas, the first in what is hoped to be a revival of an old tradition – a yearly volume of midwinter spooky ghost tales,to be read aloud to a group of celebrants on Christmas Eve (preferably in front of a roaring log fire, with a glass of port in hand and the faithful hound sleeping on a cosy rug by the grate). Anyway, if you want to know whether the thirteen stories in this collection achieved what they set out to do, then go here to read the write-up.

More reviews coming soon – onwards and upwards!

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