An anthology worth reading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 9, 2021
So round two of my anthology adventures lead me to Crystal Lakes Shallow Waters collection, I hear alot of good things about this series. After realising ‘Hey, I really like anthology collections’, and of course recognising an author I'm pretty fond of in the list; I decided to give Volume 6 a shot. So delving into the anthology, yes I did have another Dairy milk muffin. I'm sorry I cant help it, theyre addictive little suckers. I started reading the introduction by Joe Mynhard. Explaining how Crystal Lake does a contest for its Authors and Reader on Patron. Giving Authors from all walks of life the chance to enter if they're part of the community. This anthology show cases the winners of the contest, making them apart of the anthology series. As well as the runners ups which won by votes, honestly after reading this I was pretty interested in joining. I love when publishers offer behind the scenes perks for readers and writers alike, makes you more invested in the book series. Joe then goes on to explain the theme of the anthology, there's a nice mix of stories. The winners of the contest were listed off so I got to see the lucky few who won and those picked to still be printed. Ironically a fair few of these stories stuck out for me, in fact some of the runners up got my attention too. So let me go through the ones that really stood out for me and gave me the hibbie jibbies. We All Scream by AJ Frank was heartbreaking but brilliantly done, honestly my heart went out to the character. I don't know if knowing someone you love is going to die is a gift for at least being able to say goodbye or a curse. The story was short but had everything to catch me up in it, everything from the mother's reaction to her interaction with her little boy. Another favourite was Whittling by Micheal Harris Cohen, the vibe of the story and the detail Micheal went into with this one left me shocked and surprised at the ending. I mean seriously at first it's like oh this must be a captivity type story, then I was like is this Stockholm syndrome? But the detail given about Mr Nervous kept me guessing. Fall to Frost was a great take on the usual zombie apocalypse, I loved the twist added to this story and would love to see more of Jonathan Winn’s work. It was nice to see a fresh take and I did always wonder if the dead did rise, what would that mean for the afterlife? Then there was Jennifer Carstens, again an ending where I sat there and went ‘well, that was bloody unexpected’. Made me wonder what happened to the character, did she survive or seek revenge in the story The Mottled Path. Nothing in there by J.Brian Reed, was not your traditional haunted house story, although I read this one to my partner. Had him in stitches when I mispronounced Mr Dreyfuss and said Mr Dreyfuff, I know, I know I'm so immature. Anything for the cause by Mark Allan Gunnells, was brilliantly executed. Instantly you get a dislike for the other character, because everyone has met or knows of power hungry a-hole who loves money more than people. Definitely felt a sense of justice being served at the end of that one. Father definitely had a clear message which was don't be a dead beat dad and for the love of god don't hack off your kids. Did make me want more story about the father character and even how Zeus knew what happened. Rattled made me now scared to go near a discarded baby set, so cheers for that Madeline. I think if I read that one again I'm gonna have nightmares, which bravo my heads a nest of weird and wonderful; takes a bit to ‘rattle’ me. Hehe see what I did there, the odd dad jokes and puns may slip into the odd review, you've been warned. Jonathan Fortin made my skin crawl with Molarthroat, I am not a fan of teeth. Trust me the dentist makes money out of my love of chocolate and this story had me literally crawling out of my skin. Stupid Girl was another good one, but seriously who goes on a road trip without a mobile phone. Even I was calling her a silly cow throughout the story, then realising I'd probably make some of the same mistakes. How lovely are thy branches by my personal favourite author Theresa Derwin made me fan-girl a little. I do love her work and this one is no exception, I'll never see Christmas in the same light again. Two for tea by Amanda Hard made me fear the main character but also feel sorry for her. Been stuck in the middle of parent's marriage issues can never be easy, Amanda really bought it to light in this one. Carmen's a bitch had me in stitches at the end, when you read it you will get to the end and maybe think ‘Jesus Nat whats wrong with you’. The other stories, because there are many more, but I don't want to spoil the fun for you guys. I always think if you give it all away in a review, you end up feeling like you've already read it. Well that's just me anyway, along with the entrys Ive mentioned is also Neibourhood watch by L.F Falconer, The Man Who Fell from the Sky by Esteban Vargas,Gandaberunda by Richard Thomas, Judgment Call by Erica Ruppert, Hot Broth on a Cold Winter’s Night by R.B. Wood, The Offering by Denver Grenell and Meadow for the Birdman by Guy Medley. All great reads, there is a great collection of different aspects of horror so something in there for everyone. Whether your a fan of monster stories, people falling from the sky and aparantly moving into your mom’s bedroom. Trust me that one will become clear when you read The Man Who Fell From The Sky, that story was creepy. Or if you fancy a frightening view of the afterlife with Meadow Of The Birdman. I enjoyed the book so much I literally finished it in a day, it's a short book but its packed with some good plots and interesting characters. So I will be looking into get my Crystal Lake on, knowing there's more juicy volumes to get my head stuck in. So if you're interested in Crystal Lakes Shallow Waters vol 6 I've popped the link below, you can find many more volumes on amazon. So happy hunting critters and remember to avoid the woods at night, because if this anthology has taught me anything. It's if I see something moving in the dark, to go nope and walk away.