Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2019
I was very excited to receive a copy of In Darkness Delight: Creatures of the Night because I very much liked the first one, Masters of Midnight. And while there were many good stories within the Creatures of the Night collection, overall, I didn’t find this collection as powerful as I expected it would be.
I did have a few favorite stories that stuck with me well after reading them.
The collection opens with “The People in the Toilet” by Mason Morgan. A young boy is convinced that there are bad people living in the toilet. The boy is more afraid of the toilet than he is of his abusive father that makes the lives of the boy and his mother a living hell. A strong way to open the collection, this story might have you think about toilets a little differently.
I also really liked “Scales” by Christopher Motz. This one made me cringe with the gruesome accounts of a horrible flesh-eating infection that starts in his foot. And plenty of maggots. I’m not one who easily cringes, but when I put myself in the main character’s position, I felt a little green. But then other lines had me laughing so hard, I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. I love to laugh, so if someone can mix humor with horror in a way I like, then I’m a fan.
“A Survivor” by Ray Garton totally blew me away. One night, Robby’s father was bitten by a weird animal. He said it’d had more than four legs and moved so quickly it was like a blur. Then his father started changing, acting distant and sinister. This story was expertly packed with a dark, foreboding feeling throughout the whole thing, and an unexpected ending that was hard to shake off.
“Hinkles” by Kristopher Rufty was another one I loved. I was hooked right away because the “creature” was an animate stuffed animal named Hinkles. I watched Chucky at a really young age, so any sort of toy or doll that can move on its own really freaks me out. We also always had sock monkeys growing up, so I just imagined one of our own stuffed animals coming to life, like in this short story. There was a great mix of creepiness, violence and humor in this one.
Other stories I liked were “Gertrude” by Evans Light and “The Worms Turn” by Frank Oreto.
All of the pieces included in the anthology were well-written, so the quality of writing/editing was there. They just didn’t resonate with me, personally. It could very well be that the theme of the collection might not have been for me, but I’d hoped for more frights and scares than I got from the book. It’s still worth checking out if you’re a fan of short story collections.