Written by: Matthew V. Brockmeyer
Published by: Black Thunder Press
Pages: 266
Reviewed by: Naomi Downing

Twenty tales of darkness and transgression from Matthew V. Brockmeyer, award-winning author of Kind Nepenthe. Enter a disturbing dreamscape where your worst fears are illuminated, and taboos are mockingly shattered. These twenty stories traverse the outskirts of society to reveal the brutality of humanity in all its gory glory.

MINE is about a boy who decided he wanted to be a wolf pup. This child has some serious problems and really needs to seek professional help. This story will give you an uneasy feeling…

NIGHTINGALE is an interview style story, just when you think it’s just a story about the “red-light district” a twist is thrown in. Very descriptive, I was pulled right into the story.

DIRTY WINTER MOON is a heartbreaking story. Living off the land isn’t easy, more so when something keeps destroying stuff. Was not expecting it to end the way it did and it left me wanting more.

CARRIED STATUES this is a very short but powerful story. Reminds you of the strength of a mother’s love.

UNDERGROUND FIRE…A simple trip to Centralia, PA to make up with his wife, doesn’t turn out the way Greg had hoped. Nothing is worse than a pissed off wife. Interesting story with another ending I didn’t expect.

A NEW MAN…”Without the internet, he wouldn’t have known anything about transorbital lobotomies.” This seems to be a very fitting story for our times, need to learn something..look it up. This story grabbed me from the beginning, definitely my favorite in the collection.

BUBBLEGUM CIGARETTES is definitely a story about a parent’s worst dream. I used to love bubblegum and candy cigarettes as a kid, you did feel older while “smoking” them. This is a story that could turn into a great novel.

MALL SANTA is another story that fits perfectly in our times, people obsessed over likes on social media. What could go wrong rushing to get the perfect picture of your child with Santa? Read this story and find out.

UNDER ROTTING SKY is a story about love gone wrong, very wrong. When Garbage met Raven he fell head over heels for her and she did the same, at least that’s what Garbage though.

RUMPELSTILTSKIN is definitely not the story you remember from your childhood. This story is dark, gritty, and horrifying…to say the least.

This collection has some great stories. There are many more stories in this collection, for you to check out. The cover art on this book gives a small hint to what is inside, a creepy picture for a creepy set of stories. The description and details in each story pull you in and makes you think. Many of these stories stuck in my mind for a while after reading, I really liked how the author took stories from fairy tales and children’s stories and gave them a horror element. This is an author you must check out!


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