Top critical review
Some great, some not so much
Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2020
Are you a Dark Dreamer?" So begins the foreword to Dead Awake, 12 tales of darkness from the new generation of horror.
Anthologies are like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get. Some of these tales, most notably The House on Dandy Lane by Christy Aldridge, Matriphagy by Sadie Hartmann (Bookstagram's own Mother Horror) and To Burn the Black Church by The Sisters of Slaughter, were just the right size, with enough suspense to keep you intrigued and with a satisfying ending.
Some of the other stories, unfortunately, did not live up to the standards set by those three. Some were lackluster at best, with a bit of a drag to the storyline and no firm grasp of the tale they wanted to tell. Others were overly verbose, as if the author tried making a tight short story into a novella. The excessive unnecessary wording added nothing to the story, and merely caused the reader to lose interest in the original plot.
With some great short stories, some decent attempts and a few that could really use some tightening up, I would average this collection as a whole as a 3.25/5 star read.