Calendark: The Infernal Almanac by David Shakes and Stephanie Ellis

December 31, 2017 - 2:30 pm No Comments

Calendark: The Infernal Almanac by David Shakes and Stephanie Ellis
Published by The Infernal Clock on 28th November 2017
214 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Having read last year’s anthology to do with time, this year’s book intrigued me as what could the authors do with the holidays we celebrate. Well I was surprised, whilst some were popular holidays, some of the stories were about holidays I had never heard off . With 16 stories each featuring a different holiday this book will take you through the year. Here is a pick of my favourite holidays.
Lord of Misrule by Christine Dalcher: We all have heard of Twelfth night the night of the 5th/6th January, but have you heard of the Twelfth Night supper. Professor Jeremy Stone had, and when an invitation arrived for him to join The Saturn Society a prestige group he didn’t know whether it was a prank or not. Through out this story there are hints to the things that Jeremy had done in his former life. He had an evil streak to him which he put down to as fun even though people got hurt. The build up to the supper kept you wondering what was going to happen.
Last Laugh by Marie McKay: April fools is always a day of laughter, but April takes it one step further. Bullied at school and always being laughed at, April had an unhealthy fixation with the sound of laughter. April was a strange girl, and the bullying didn’t help. When she bumped into the old crowd, I did wonder if it was planned or just by chance, but as the story continued you could imagine April’s mind ticking over and how to get revenge. Loved the strange weapon of choice and very apt to the story.
Revels with the Devil by Sal Page: This is one holiday I have not heard off. Held on the 30th April, Walpurgis Night is the night that witches gather on a hilltop to dance with the Devil. Toby, Sasha and Beth love to dress up and party, bored waiting for Halloween, Toby finds this apt holiday for them to party. What goes on that night effects them all. Whilst reading this story, you get to learn more about Walpurgis night. The way the author told this story you could sense the creepy atmosphere of the gathering. The escalation of violence as the party climaxed was graphic. A good story and an interesting holiday.
Neon Hearts by Chris Milam: Winter solstice or the shortest day of the year, the night when the Wild Hunt ride. The town of Lancaster get a visit from the hunt every year and on that night, they need to make a decision that affects everyone. The rules were simple: Pick a person who has done some type of bad deed, or screwed folks over or never contributed to the community. However, whilst reading this story, it is amazing how people can be so petty when it’s their choice. A good story that shows how humans can be a much of a monster as a demon coming to the town.
Before each story there is either a quote or an explanation of the holiday, which was an added touch and in some cases explained the holiday, if you had not heard of it. A good collection of stories that showcases new authors to me. The team has done time and holidays and I wonder where they will take this next year. Another good anthology which horror lovers will enjoy.

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