Reviews for The Best of Horror Library: Volumes 1-5
Praise From Award-Winning Authors
“I started reading the Horror Library series when the first one came out years ago and haven’t missed one since. Each volume was a darkly wonderful blend of practiced pros and daringly original newcomers. When I heard they were going to try to put the best of the best together for this collection I was, frankly, a little skeptical. I didn’t think they could do it without putting out some 400,000 word monstrosity. But I’m happy to say they not only proved me wrong, they blew me away. Looking back over the last ten years, I challenge anyone to find a better collection of stories anywhere. The Horror Library series is as good as horror gets, and these truly are the best of the best.”
–Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Dead City and The Dead Won’t Die
“When I pick up any volume in the Horror Library series, I know I’m going to have a wonderful reading experience. I’ve loved every one, and highly anticipate each new release. Now this new book has compiled the best of the best, and no horror fan should miss it. Every story inside is an absolute winner!”
–John R. Little, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Miranda, The Memory Tree, and DarkNet
Review from HorrorUnderground.Org
“Cutting Block Books and Editor R. J. Cavender have assembled the best short stories from the three time Bram Stoker Award nominated Horror Library series. The book features 33 of the top stories from each volume spanning the last decade. This collection is one of the most perfect representations of how truly horrifying and intelligent horror fiction can be.
“With most anthology collections, I typically spend a long time reading them. I usually pick the book up here and there or bounce around to my favorite authors. It is pretty rare that I will actually just sit down and read a short story collection from cover to cover. That is exactly what I did with this because I knew what I was getting into; Horror Library is a who’s who of top genre writers. That makes this one pleasure of a read. To be honest, I haven’t completely loved a short story collection like this since I first discovered H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, and Clive Barker.
“From the very first story, The Puppet Show, by author Rick J. Brown, I knew I was going to be enthralled with this collection. The Puppet Show is a great blend of science fiction and horror with a post-apocalyptic backdrop. The story instantly reminded me of the first time I read The Pedestrian by Ray Bradbury. This is unique take on an alien invasion. Obviously this is a very different story than The Pedestrian, but the feelings and tone are one and the same. Also, who doesn’t love a story with a Grinding Machine that regurgitates flesh for puppets?
“Another truly outstanding story is The Garbage Collectors by Ron McGillvray. This marvelous short story is about a Dad who is trying to console his children. His son and daughter are upset because the other children at school told them that their parents were going to pick one of them to be given to the garbage collectors, shadowy creatures that come at night to take one child of a family with two. From there, the story moves to a maddening and tense drive sequence that leads into a violent and sad ending.
“I could go on and on, but I assure you that each story in this volume is outstanding and worthy of your time. There is a story in here for every genre fan and enough to play on every fear. Horror Library continues to deliver some of the best horror fiction collections and this Best Of volume is the shining star.” — May 31, 2015
Selected Reviews from NetGalley.com
“I was given a copy of this book in return for an honest review. This was one of the best compilations I have read in recent years. There is something for every type of horror fan, some new names and some old favourites. Everything from Bizarro to paranormal thrillers. This collection covers everything. It took me a while to get through this book as I was enjoying a story at a time but I was disappointed when I finally came to the end. However, I will be going back and reading each individual volume to see what I missed. I have also discovered a whole new realm of writers who I previously hadn’t heard of. A fantastic collection worthy of a place on any horror lover’s bookshelf.” — Cathy Hudson
“The best of the best, truly. A good reminder for me why I read horror in small spurts only! Great thrills and chills tho. There’s something in here that will get everyone.” — Jenn Waterman
Selected Reviews from GoodReads.com
“The Best of Horror Library is a fantastic collection of short horror stories. Two of my very favorite things put together in one book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book features 33 of the best horror from each volume, 165 stories in total. Most are extremely short and it’s a testament to the talent in this book that a scary story can be pulled off with so few words.
What I liked: While I enjoyed almost all of the stories in this book, there were a few that really stood out for me.
“Drawn by Daniel L. Naden was one of my favorites. The story of a little girl who is born with the ability to move anything she wants, to draw it to her. Her parents try desperately to keep her and themselves safe. As she grows into a toddler it becomes increasingly difficult as she is able to move furniture and even people if she wants them. They make the decision to take her to a doctor. Unfortunately she sees things outside that she wants and draws them with disastrous consequences. This story gave me a night of bad dreams!
“Reverend Wainwright by Geoffrey L. Mudge is fantastically written and creepy. It’s the story of a tent revival and the Reverend and his lackeys who work the crowd. Imagine that during faith healing the pain and afflictions have to go somewhere. The Revered has a dark secret and he and his band of workers are not what they seem. What are they keeping in the trailers that follow them? This story answers that question and more. Very well done.
“The Vulture’s Art by Benjamin Kane Etheridge is another standout story. A man loses his wife in childbirth and takes his infant daughter to a desert cabin he remembers from his own childhood to grieve. Because it’s the desert, there are creatures like snakes and vultures there. And the vulture is hungry, very hungry. What happens when a hungry vulture has only live food? It ages it of course!
“What I didn’t like: I don’t think my Kindle app liked this book. The stories ran together in the formatting, which is no fault of the content of the book.
“Each and every story in this book appeals to me on some level and I enjoyed all of them. This is a great representation of the horror genre and I think anyone will find something they like here.” — Janet, June 4, 2015
“From telekinetic babies to a morbid photographer that can see the future. From an optimistic zombie apocalypse survivor to a hyper sexual ghost, The Best of Horror Library covers a large spectrum of sub-genres in the realm of horror. That’s the best thing about the horror genre: it can come in any form. What people find horrific or scary differ from person to person. Unfortunately, though, that’s also where The Best of Horror Library stumbles a bit. Not all of the featured stories hit their mark. There were several overly sexual entries, where it seemed that the punch at the end of the story was the only real connection to horror. Others seemed to be too weird and abstract to find an semblance of horror other than its absurdity.
“Like any anthology of short-fiction, not every entry can be a winner. There will be forerunners and those that get lost in the fray. But where this collection of horror goes right is its placement of its stories. Each one, although written by different authors, flows into the next one with a similar theme or setting. A story about a woman lost in the desert is followed by a story of a single father fighting off time sucking buzzards in the desert. Often, anthologies can feel stilted and awkward with large jumps from story to story. The editing was done right this time, though.” — Jonny Magnum, June 8, 2015
“I inhaled this book it was so good. fast paced and entertaining till the very last macabre story. Its been a while since I’ve been able to dole out 5 stars on any book so this was a refreshing change.” — Natalie, June 6, 2015
“This is a sharp collection of horror stories that runs the gamut of all types of horror. As in all anthologies, there are some stories that are better than others, but other all, this was a pretty good collection. The stand-out story for me was probably Drawn by Daniel L. Naden.” — Brooke, June 14, 2015
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