Posts Tagged ‘David Shakes’

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.

The Infernal clock curated by David Shakes and Stephanie Ellis

April 15, 2017 - 2:16 pm No Comments

The Infernal clock curated by David Shakes and Stephanie Ellis

Published on 31st March 2017

306 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

I borrowed this book on Kindle Unlimited, as the blurb got my interest. 24 stories each a different hour, counting down time till the clock strikes no more.  Not having prior knowledge of any of the participating authors, I did not know what to expect, but as a lover of horror and from page one I knew I had made a good choice. There were so many stories I enjoyed some just for the true horror whilst others made you think on the situation of the story. Here are a few of my favourites:

Highland Game by Karen Gray: Set in the Scottish Highland a visitor to a scout camp tells the story of a Kelpie an old folklore creature, around the camp fire, but by midnight it all end in tragedy for one scout leader.  If you know old folklore you know that Kelpies are Scottish creature living in lochs and as this story was based on the original beliefs. A well-paced quick read.

The Graveyard Shift by Stephanie Ellis: Set in a sleep clinic, we follow Joseph the night security guard on his final hour of his shift between 3am-4am. It was a pleasant change to read a story not sent in a mental asylum, and whilst there were patients there that would be a home in one, this was centred around the guard and not what crimes they did. With the help of a Danish Nurse, Joseph was made to confront what he had done to previous patients. Yet another story using folklore, although I had not heard of this one. I enjoyed reading about this creature and how the author tied it together with night terrors and missing people made it a good read.

Tartarus by Tim Kimber: At 5am Jaclyn and Oscar were leaving a rave, high on drugs they decide to go to an after rave party. With the grief of their brother still raw, they use this time to get closer together, but when the guests at the party are not what they seem, Jaclyn knows that she has to be the big sister and save Oscar.  From the moment, they walked into the party, you have the sense that something was going to happen. For a short story this book is full if suspense and one story that you do not want to put down. Although this a horror story this a story about grief and 2 siblings coming to terms with their brother’s death.

Always Protect the Ones you love: Bart Van Goetham: It’s 7pm and Belinda is home from work and listening to the news. With terrorism, serial killers, Belinda worries for her new daughter, but the length that’s she goes to, to protect her is extreme.  As a parent, you do worry about world the that your children are going up in, but I couldn’t believe what Belinda did to her family. A chilling story about a mother’s love.

Whispers by Stephanie Ellis: A family living in a house with a gruesome reputation. That little voice you hear telling you to do things. The family that live in the house have a lot of secrets, and the malignant spirit knows, a few quiet words whispered in their ears and he gets what he wants. This story was about human nature, the spirit knew exactly how to play people. The spirit came out to play at 8pm.

Watershed by Stella Turner: Harriet was a collector. Like her mom before her, but unlike most people who collected the likes of dolls, teddy bears, thimbles etc. Harriet had quite a macabre taste. At 9pm the watershed, when British TV can show scenes not for children’s eyes, Harriet decided to share her collection with her boyfriend Leon. This story builds up to 9pm and you can feel the apprehension in Harriot why she is waiting to share her collection, and whilst you are wandering what Leon’s reaction will be the author adds a twist that you never seen coming and the graphic ending puts Harriot’s collection to a whole new level.

Although the stories count down from Midnight you can read them in any order. This book had a good collection of stories that kept me entertained. What showcased the authors talents was that they only had an hour for the timeline of their story, and with some I could not get over how much action, suspense and horror they managed to fit in. A good anthology