• Horror Manga Reviews

    Fragments of Horror

    Fragments of Horror is currently the last of Ito’s works to be published and I have to say that it is one of his most unusual collections. It is very different from his typical body of work in both good and bad ways. Many of the stories were more absurd and uncanny rather than being straight up horror. It was also interesting to me that there was a single connecting theme between many of the stories, and that was sex, infidelity, and fetishes. It brings to mind the ero guro movement of 1930’s Japan. Literally translating to “erotic grotesque nonsense,” the description really sums up the movement pretty well. Ito…

  • YA Fantasy Book Reviews

    The Witch of Duva

    I had been meaning to get around to reading something by Leigh Bardugo due to her popularity in the YA community. Though I had already picked up the original Grishaverse trilogy, I found this companion story on the Tor website and decided to give it a try. I am so happy that I stumbled across this short because I was honestly blown away. “There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls.” The Witch of Duva is a dark fantasy about a harsh winter and the mysterious disappearances of young girls in a small village. The tone of the story is overwhelmingly atmospheric as Duva was brought to…

  • Horror Book Reviews

    In the House in the Dark of the Woods

    Overwhelmingly atmospheric, In the House in the Dark of the Woods is a modern masterpiece that swept me up and stole my heart. The story is told with luscious prose and has a fairy tale like feel, but instead of centering on the hero’s journey, the story feels like the origins of a great hero. The story follows Goody, a good wife that finds herself lost in the woods after picking berries. The narrative feels like a fever dream, a fantasy tinged with poison that steadily becomes more alarming as Goody finds herself tangled up in the mystery and the magic of the woods. Even when everything seems dandy there…

  • Horror Book Reviews

    The Sign of the Beast

    What I admire most about Oates’ brand of suspenseful horror is that she truly understands the predatory nature of people. Mrs. S—— is definitely the predator in this case, taunting and teasing Howard mercilessly, making inappropriate comments about his physical development. The story seems very straightforward, that this Sunday school teacher is dressing provocatively to entice young Howard, but by the halfway point my assumptions were challenged. Similar to Miao Dao, The Sign of the Beast deals with the confusion and shame that comes with puberty and the sexual awakening of an adolescent. Howard feels embarrassed about the way he’s treated by Mrs. S—— yet finds himself desiring her sexually.…

  • Horror Book Reviews

    Miao Dao

    Of the Dark Corners stories I’ve read so far I can tell already that Miao Dao will probably be my favorite and is by far one of the strongest entries in the series. I thought I knew what I was getting into when I picked this novella up – thinking it’d be a story about a supernatural killer cat, but what I got was so much more. To me there are two distinct schools of horror – those that are pure fantasy, usually monsters or some other form of paranormal activity; and then there is the kind of horror that is grounded in the real world, the type of every…

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