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February 2014

Evil: Taking The Easy Way Out

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” ‘I will sweep away everything in all your land,’ says the Lord. ‘I will sweep away both people and animals alike, even the birds of the air and the fish in the sea will die. I will reduce the wicked to heaps of rubble, along with the rest of humanity,’ says the Lord.”

This book covers a wide array of the many different sub genres found within the grand scope of horror. There are a good collection of writers bringing you these crazy stories that cover past, present, and future as time periods within the real and fictional settings of the stories. Being a real hodgepodge of horror there will likely be something for everyone and for some people,like me, there was not enough of that “thing” that left me with that unsatisfactory feeling.

The collection starts with a bang, Debt Collectors is an amazing story of how, I am presuming many of the debt ridden public would like to have answered the call from these types of agencies, but didn’t want to risk a lifetime in jail for the sake of a little bloodshed. I always believed, from past experiences mind you, that when you do something wrong and get caught God has his eyes on you. If you continue do that same thing wrong the Devil is watching and waiting for his next move. Debt Collectors gave me this same feeling. Beware of mild-mannered Louis Furr, he knows more than he initially let’s on. Awesome start to the book, psychological thrillers are my favorite and this story only reinforced that belief.

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Gregory K. Shipman described his writing style as “noir-esque”, being a fan of the seedy side of the writing world it was clearly evident that he followed the important principles. Although Dawg Days wasn’t a favourite of mine, his style was intriguing and made me enjoy reading it all the way to the end. There is also an awesome conclusion to the story.

“People are the worst of the mammals at adapting to their environment. God gave us more brain power than the other mammals but left out the gift of adaptation. We got no natural physical endowments to protect us from this heat. That’s why we used our brain power to invent air conditioning.”

This collection of short stories has received some great reviews, but after reading I unfortunately didn’t feel the same way. The majority of these stories focus on the elements that I shy away from when I am contemplating entering the realms of the horror genre. Paranormal, netherworlds, dragons, necromancers, fantasy, orbs, winged things and zombies. The positive aspect about my negativity towards this anthology is that I know the majority of the public will enjoy these stories and will flush my opinion out. Mental disorders are intriguing factors in exploring the hidden manifestations of the human psyche, but there was also an odd fascination with obsessive compulsive disorder early in the book. As a reader and armchair psychologist I would prefer not to have a characters mental disorders revealed to me if it is going to be a harbinger of things to come. I thought it was extremely funny how a person’s OCD got in the way of saving a friend from a zombie apocalypse, but knowing the problem sort of spoils the end result.  Personally I need to reflect on my own horror preferences because I hate the thought of wasting an author’s time all the while knowing what I appreciate in the horror genre. I suppose I am hoping to have my mind blown like I anticipate when I crack the binding of any book I read. At any rate my favourites in Midnight Abyss were:

1)Debt Collectors as I have previously mentioned in a prior paragraph,

2)Double Vision took the whole not liking what you see in the mirror to the next level,

3)Deal With a Devil showed that there are some men that wear many hats/faces and that evil takes many forms.

4)A Love, Darkly highlighted the lovesick redemption on the always wanting selfish love,

5)Within These Walls was very interesting and brought me back to my childhood R.L. Stein  days with the crazy experimental father, and the sleuthing youngsters, and

6)Comes A Slayer although not a favourite of mine reminded me of Ash Williams in Army of Darkness which is always good for a laugh.

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When I finish reading a story I like having an evil smile affixed to my face complete with a subtle chuckle, not because I’m evil, but because the story was that damn good. Some achieved that and for that I’m appreciative.

“The other boys ran as soon as the first shot was fired. Survival of the swiftest replaces the fittest. They aren’t paid killers, they’re slingers of dope. Recognizing one’s limitations is a sound survival tactic.”

Now here’s a song from my childhood in French class that popped up around Halloween that I loved to sing then, and still find myself singing now many years later. Enjoy!!!!

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