I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Dark Screams: Volume Nine by Brian James Freeman, Richard Chizmar, Kelley Armstrong, Taylor Grant, Jonathan Moore, Stewart O'Nan, Peter Straub, Lee Thomas, Elderlemon Design
Published by Hydra on January 9, 2018
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Also by this author: Omens, Wild Justice, Sea of Shadows, Visions, The Masked Truth, City of the Lost, Forest of Ruin, Betrayals, A Darkness Absolute, Indigo, Rituals, The Unquiet Past, This Fallen Prey, Stolen, Rough Justice, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, Haunted, Broken, No Humans Involved,, Waking the Witch, Portents, Missing, Alone in the Wild, Watcher in the Woods, Otherworld Secrets, Wherever She Goes, "The Case of the Half-Demon Spy", "Truth & Consequences", "Territorial", "Escape", "Adventurer", Otherworld Chills, A Stranger in Town, "Bargain", Hex on the Beach, "Recruit"
Kelley Armstrong, Stewart O’Nan, Taylor Grant, Jonathan Moore, Peter Straub, and Lee Thomas weave six hair-raising yarns proving that appearances can be deceiving—and deadly—in this horror anthology assembled by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar. INVITATION TO THE GAME by Kelley Armstrong Vivienne dreams of moving up in the company, and now she’s got her chance. All the company asks in return is that she prove her absolute devotion by playing a simple, silly little game. SUMMER OF ’77 by Stewart O’Nan Suntanned and bleached blond, the boys and girls of summer never expect anything to interrupt their carefree days. They never see me coming until it’s too late. THE DEAD YEARS by Taylor Grant Emma was the great love of his life, even after she vanished. So when she reappears at a cocktail party fifteen years later, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her from slipping away again. THE BLACKOUT by Jonathan Moore When a body goes missing from the morgue, Detective Nakahara is called in to investigate. Despite the storm, it should be a simple case. After all, a dead body can’t just walk out on its own . . . right? VARIATIONS ON A THEME FROM SEINFELD by Peter Straub At six years old, Clyde noticed that his reflection decided not to show up in the mirror. Whenever it happens, he just needs to go through the mirror and fetch him. The trick is making it back. TORN by Lee Thomas Luther’s Bend is the kind of place where bad things just aren’t supposed to happen, but even the sleepiest towns have secrets . . . and the full moon can bring retribution for all manners of sins.
Here is what I thought
This is a short story collection and I don’t normally read short story collections but it was a challenge in one of the readathons I took part of on booktube, so I gave it a go.
Invitation to the Game by Kelley Armstrong
A woman working at a business is slipped an invitation to “the game” and her husband wants her to not accept. He isn’t sure what they are up to when they do this but he doesn’t think they need to her to take the higher paying job for it.
It was interesting and had one of those endings where you are like oh no, cause you know something the character doesn’t. 🙂
Summer of 1977 by Stewart O’Nan
This was rather confusing and really short about a guy who uses the fact his arm is in a sling to grab a couple girls. The writing was really choppy and the who story just made no sense not even the ending.
The Dead Years by Taylor Grant
A man thinks he sees a woman that looks like the girl who disappeared on her eighteenth birthday never to be seen again. Things are not as they seem.
Well, that was just weird and not at all creepy or scary. Not impressed.
The Blackout by Jonathan Moore
A dead body vanishes from the morgue during a storm and detectives try and find out what happened. Did she have help or just walk out on her own?
This one was okay up until the end and then I thought it fell a bit flat. I am not a fan of open endings or not having an explanation for what is going on.
VARIATIONS ON A THEME FROM SEINFELD by Peter Straub
Not a clue what it was about cause it was so boring I DNFed it! 🙁
Torn by Lee Thomas
A Sheriff gets in over his head when a child goes missing and they find her but they also find a man like creature ripping into a man and eating him. He was kind of grey and muscular but his face had features of a wolf like creature, but he was slick haired. When they capture another guy they think had something to do with the kidnapping the Sheriff finds out something interesting about him but it’s also not good for his town.
So this was the longest story as it took up more than half the book collection and so it’s a good thing I found it interesting! I thought it was a different take on a werewolf type story with creatures that look somewhat like the jackal like creature from myths, not sure which, kind of want to say Egyptian but not sure.
Anyway it was enjoyable.
Overall, I would say the collection as a whole was kind of a dud.