Thanks to Netgalley and Prime Books for giving me this book to review.
This book is an 18 story anthology of weird and macabre tales revolving around the foremost night of the dead and the paranormal, All Hallows Eve, Halloween.
The Halloween Men by Maria V Snyder
Ever since the Halloween Men arrived, nobody is allowed to leave personal homes without wearing a mask, all except on one day a year, Halloween. Nella works in her father’s mask shop, and is experimenting with making her own designs, however, the Halloween Men do not approve of her designs, and so she has to make them in secret. I really enjoyed this book, especially seeing Nella grow and evolve, which is a considerable feat in less than 30 pages. Maria V Snyder has shown that she can write a short story as well as she can write a novel, as this story drags you in, and I like it if she decided to write any more books set in this universe
We, the Fortunate Bereaved by Brian Hodge
Once a year in the village of Dunhaven, on Halloween, one spirit is allowed back from the underworld, one spirit who has died in the last year since Halloween. Drew, Bailey’s late husband, and Cody’s father, died from a congenital heart condition 8 months ago, and Bailey is hoping, for Cody’s sake, that Drew is the one brought back this year. This short story examines the relationship which both adults and children have with death, and how both look at it. I enjoyed this story and you can tell that the author of this short story is a crime novelist as there is a twist in the tale which will surprise most.
For the Removal of Unwanted Guests by A. C. Wise
Michael has just moved into his new house, when a witch arrives and invites herself to live in his loft, because apparently the house needs a witch in it. This story is quite good, and makes you think about the relationships which we have with other people. My favourite character has to be Spencer, the witch’s cat, because even though she doesn’t say a word, she speaks volumes.
Long Way Home: A Pine Deep Story by Jonathan Maberry
After serving a term in Afghanistan, and being heavily injured, Donny is returning home to the town of Pine Deep, which a few years ago was involved in a large paranormal disturbance. On his way back, near town, he meets Jim, who Donny thought had died. I liked this story even though I have not read the series, and I am considering reading the Pine Deep series.
Trick or Treat by Nancy Kilpatrick
Malina was raised by her mother, a dark witch, and is trying to be an earth witch, and cast off the traditions and superstitions. However, on Mischief Night the town’s children smash her car windows, will she return to what she knows, or will she stay on the path of good? This story reads like a continuation of a series, and that left me feeling a bit confused.
I also enjoyed the other stories in this anthology, however some were very confusing as they were obviously part of an existing series. I enjoyed this anthology of Halloween stories, and would recommend Halloween to anyone who enjoys books written by any of the authors of any of the short stories in this book.