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Friday, December 14, 2018

#allthebookreviews: Hark! The Herald Angels Scream @vintageanchor

Hark! The Herald Angels Scream
Christopher Golden (editor) and contributors:
Kelly Armstrong
Scott Smith
Seanan McGuire
Thomas E. Sniegoski
Sarah Lotz
Josh Malerman
Jeff Strand
James A. Moore
Sarah Langan
Joe R. Lansdale
Elizabeth Hand
Jonathan Maberry
John M. McIlveen
Angela Slatter
Tim Lebbon
Michael Koryta
Sarah Pinborough

Getting down to the last of 2018's #allthebookreviews! See what Jess and I thought of this short story collection from some amazing writers.

Publisher:  Anchor
Publish Date: October 23, 2018
384 Pages
Genre: Short Stories, Horror

Eighteen stories of Christmas horror from bestselling, acclaimed authors including Scott Smith, Seanan McGuire, Josh Malerman, Michael Koryta, Sarah Pinborough, and many more.

That there is darkness at the heart of the Yuletide season should not surprise. Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is filled with scenes that are unsettling. Marley untying the bandage that holds his jaws together. The hideous children--Want and Ignorance--beneath the robe of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. The heavy ledgers Marley drags by his chains. In the finest versions of this story, the best parts are the terrifying parts. 
Bestselling author and editor Christopher Golden shares his love for Christmas horror stories with this anthology of all-new short fiction from some of the most talented and original writers of horror today.

My Review:

Every year I say that Halloween doesn't get what it deserves... Thanksgiving is shortly behind and Christmas is frantically trying to cut the line.  So when I received a horror anthology catering to a Christmas theme, well color me ecstatic!

Now, I'm not usually big on short stories - sometimes they stick, but usually I just have this hankering for more... this one hit a few buttons for me.  Equal parts thrilling, filling and just ok - I got what I expected... but THEN SOME.  I recognized most of the names of those who contributed but found some new cats I can't wait to skin.

While some stories dealt with actual Christmas type events, others just were set during Christmas time and didn't quite bring in a Christmas theme - personally, I was A-OK with that!  The best part of the Halloween to Christmas time is that we get to take this time of ghoulishness to jolly celebration and make them all into something sinister if we want.  Bring it on! As far as I'm concerned, it's Halloween October 1 - December 31st... oh who am I kidding, bring on the creepy ALL YEAR LONG!

Stand outs for me are: Christmas in Barcelona by Scott Smith, Honor Thy Mother by Angela Slatter and Yankee Swap by John M. McIlvee.  The reason why they're stand outs is that I haven't read these authors before.  Other stories were also well done by authors I do like to read such as Sarah Pinborough and Josh Malerman.  Ultimately I will say that this was one of my favorite short story collections to read. With the mix of good and not so good that comes with any anthology, this one was an easy one to fly through.


Jessica's Review:

Who doesn't love horror spilling into the holiday season? When I saw the cover for HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SCREAM, I was immediately in love! How can horror fans NOT be attracted to this book?

We have a collection of 16 short stories from different authors, and all of these stories in this anthology are all surrounding Christmas. Whether it's actual Christmas themes or simply during the season, they all have a unique flare to them. I love short stories and I think anthologies are a great way to find new authors. There are a few names that I've read before and recognize, while there were a good chunk that I was introduced to. Three that really stood out to me were Christmas in Barcelona by Scott Smith, It's a Wonderful Knife by Christopher Golden, and The Hangman's Bride by Sarah Pinborough.

If you want some holiday themed horror to get you in the spirit, then I highly recommend picking up this anthology! These stories have plenty creepy moments, ghoulish feels, and sinister tones to a, normally, jolly time of year.

4/5 stars

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