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Friday, 22 August 2014

Evil Eight: Eight Tales of Horror by Chris Dougherty

Title: Evil Eight: Eight Tales of Horror
Author: Chris Dougherty
Read Type: Indie Author
Stars: StarStarStar

You can purchase a copy of this book from Amazon UK and Amazon US
You can find out more about the author on Goodreads
 photo EvilEightCoverOnly_zpsde7e3dc5.jpg
Christine Daugherty's newest collection of short stories will have you up late into the night and then chase you down in the nightmares which are sure to follow. Zombies, Vampires, Ghosts and Human monsters alike crowd the pages of Evil Eight. Contains the best selling short story 'Stephen King'!

SECURE, Safe behind the wall.
SOUL MATES, Til death do us part. Or not.
STEPHEN KING, You don't mess with the King.
JUNKER, A father's love goes too far.
HIT, Based on actual events.
THE MUST HAVE, Christmas is gonna be a bitch.
KIDS TODAY, George Hart really likes kids.
ONE NIGHT ONLY IN THE HAUNTED WOODS, Halloween never felt so bad.

Strong language: Yes
Drugs: No
Violence: Yes
Sexual content: Vague mentions

I collected a copy of this anthology of short stories in a free promotion day on Amazon UK. It has lived on my Kindle for a few months, something to pop open when I don't have the location I'm at in my current novel, but as these are towards the longer end of the short story category they have not been read regularly, despite overall enjoyment of the selection.

The stories in the collection have varied in quality, I think some relied on you having knowledge of certain places or experiences to really get on board in time to get the most out of them, but others were real gems. To review just a couple:

Secure: 3.5
A good start to the collection, at first seeming normal for an upper class family, giving the reader a chance to see the author in a situation without horror and danger to deal with.

Things soon ramped up, on a small scale at first, taking their time to alert the main characters to the problems. Creepy, in a more abstract and off-camera kind of way.

Stephen King: 2.5
The title gives away rather a lot about the subject matter, but makes a comparison, if only subconsciously, to the famous author of other horror books. Like most horror readers I am a King fan, although mainly of the short stories, I am not yet well versed in his novels.

The comparison had two effects, firstly, I considered how he as a writer would have written the story, where the mean of it happen in instant messages. With no disrespect to the author of this compilation, I think he would have handled the reveals better. Secondly, to get the full impact I feel you needed to have read several of his works to get the references.

A well read fan of Kings would probably disagree with me, but for me it wasn't  engaging.

Junker: 4.5
This story I felt was the cream of the crop. It covered the life at a junkyard, especially the suffering of the owner after his troubled son disappeared. I thought this was very well written, and as well as the creepy and hair raising, it also had its moments that touched my heart.

One Night only in the Haunted woods: 3
This was a fairly straight forward story of a group of kids going to a haunted house exhibit in the woods. At first they are bored with second rate exhibits, until it becomes all too real. Some of the characters shows good emotions, but this was intermittent with whining. The story rides on its bloody scenes.

Not the strongest way to end the anthology, but a reasonable story nonetheless.

Overall this collection was a mix of the good, the bad and the mediocre. However, I think there is something here for all sub groups of horror fans, whether you are interested in psychological horror, blood and guts or something in between.

I give this anthology 3 stars

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