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"Dark Stars: New Tales of Darkest Horror" Book Review

Written by Jennifer Turner

Published by Tor Nightfire

dark stars john f d taff poster large

Edited by John F.D. Taff
2022, 368 pages, Fiction
Released on May 10th, 2022

Review:

Dark Stars: New Tales of Dark Horror is appropriately named; it must be one of the darkest and sometimes confusing collection of macabre tales I have ever encountered.

“The Attenionist” by Caroline Kepnes is by far one of my favorite short stories ever. The plot involves a rather twisted relationship between sisters Maeve and Regina. As Regina suffers from the agony of unrequited love, Maeve finds herself delving deeper and deeper into a dark, symbiotic involvement with a stalker who taunts her via scary phone conversations. Maeve’s almost pathetic passiveness with her tormentor is understandable. It’s an often-sad truth women, especially teenagers, would settle for something bad for themselves as opposed to being alone. The twist ending is a pleasant surprise and leaves the door open for hopefully a future exploration of this macabre family dynamic.

“Volcano” by Livia Llewellyn is another gem. After our protagonist, Calliope, is unceremoniously rejected from her job, she is left clamoring for employment in a seemingly empty job desert. Calliope’s life is depressing, and bleakness seems to bleed from every page. She is her own worst enemy living a life of regret and self-sabotage. She receives a job offer to reupholster a room for a mysterious benefactor alongside Asher, another student in the school of hard knocks. I absolutely have no idea what dangerous situation awaits our heroine, but I still love this tale all the same.

Familiarity often breeds contempt, none more so than in “All The Things He Called Memories” by Stephen Graham Jones. We meet Bo and Marcy, a married couple who are stuck with one another when the ‘Rona hits the fan.
Marcy begins to get experimental and not in the kinky fun whipped-cream-and-sacrificing-a-chicken kind of way. There is a fun twist when Bo realizes he and Marcy have more in common than they thought. This story really speaks to me. Because as much as I love my fiancé, it took months to not view his eating food as a personal attack post-lockdown.

Dark Stars: New Tales of Dark Horror has stories that shouldn’t be missed. Unlike someone’s chewing, it has all the elements for a good read.

Grades:

Overall: 4 Star Rating Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
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Buy from Amazon UK.
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Buy from Bookshop.

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About The Author
Jennifer Turner
Staff Reviewer - USA
Jennifer's love of horror began when she was five and her father let her watch A Nightmare on Elm Street. She is an avid bookworm and part time misanthrope who sometimes wonders if an apocalypse wouldn't be all that bad.
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