Something in the Dark
by Vincent Asaro
Something in the Dark is a horror anthology novel, which is turning into an unintentional theme for my reviews at the moment. ( Horror anthology comic book review for Last Caress, and upcoming reviews for ABCs of Death, A Penny Down the Well). Something in the Dark specifically, has 21 tales of horror spanning from gruesome, to playful, to sci-fi.
Normally at this point I would give you a mirco-synopsis for each story, but since there are so many tales I have placed that list at the end of this review instead. The over-view of this anthology’s content is that it bounces from darker horror, to dystopian sci-fi, to theological jaunts through the afterlife, with a little sprinkling of eerie but light-hearted tales.
There is a lot of variety in the style of the story telling as you go from tale to tale, and it jumps around a little too much for my tastes between it’s variety of genres. Which causes the tone to change quite a bit between stories, so it reads as if it is work done by several different authors rather than one. Some tales are delightfully dark like “Ink,” and “In the Dark.” Other stories explore wonderfully dystopian worlds, like in “Sundays” and “A Better Place.” These worlds were so interesting that I really wanted to read even more about them. Perhaps Asaro will revisit some worlds in later work? What I found a little off-putting were the tales that had to do with more religious content and the after life. However, my discomfort probably has more to do with my personal issues with religion in general than it does with the stories themselves, but I wouldn’t be giving you an honest response if I didn’t mention my reaction.
Some stories are stronger than others, but most of the tales not only got me thinking after I read them, but lingered in my brain long after setting my kindle aside. I feel like if I had found this book in high-school it would have become one of my favorites. What my critical adult self sees as inconsistency in writing-style, my high-school self would have seen as an exciting example of range. And in that mindset I would have been very inspired by the thoughts the stories cultivated in me.
I’m giving this book a rating of 4 out of 5 blood spattered stars. I’d recommend “Something in the Dark” to the younger reader looking for quick nibbles of tales with a wider variety in content than your average anthology.
If you would like to purchase a copy of this book you can find it over on Amazon .
If you’d like to Author-stalk Vincent Asaro you can do so on:
And, for your perusing purposes, here are all of the tales along with little one-liner descriptions of what each one is about:
- In the Dark
- Greer wakes up in a void of darkness. After stumbling through his new existence he discovers a group of men in his same predicament. But these men aren’t the only ones hiding in the dark.
- Nice Guy
- Norman, world’s biggest push-over, goes on a blind date- which goes horribly wrong.
- Our Father
- Irving Spencer is a fanatic of the occult, and is performing the ritual he promises himself to be that last. His efforts finally pay off, but not in the way he was expecting.
- Frank Gabriel stakes out his own house waiting for his opportunity to to circumvent the thing that has been sucking the life out of him for years.
- The timeless tale of Jack and the Huntsmen vs the Wolf takes a new spin.
- Johnny loves his Sundays with his Grandpa, but it turns out his carefree days are numbered.
- The Last Warrior
- The war that destroyed the world has ended, and left one warrior left to fill the void of his existence. But what can he do now that all of the enemy has been eradicated?
- Personnel Demons
- A writer is desperate to get his mojo back, and it turns out one of his old classmates knows of a place that can assist him with this endeavor.
- Stranger in the Snow
- Tom Sweet has abandoned his life in the outside world to find solace in his snowbound cabin. He is not happy there, but at least he rarely has to deal with other people. But then a barefoot old man arrives at his door asking to be let in for the night
- The Satan Suicides
- a mysterious rash of suicides is occurring all over the world and the spree is showing no signs of stopping.
- New Paradigm
- Frank and his fight club have a new target for practice. One they think will never be able to fight back.
- The Thing Without a Name
- A creature lives, lonely on it’s mountain top, until an unexpected visitor catches it’s attention.
- A Friend of the Devil
- The Traveler finds himself in the after-life with too many questions to leave unanswered and begins his exploration of his new existence in order to find them.
- An alcoholic, a mysterious tattoo, and a lot of the town’s local ladies showing up dead.
- Charlie Whittaker is Dead… (If You Believe That Sort of Thing)
- In a world where death no longer exists, Charlie discovers he’s become the exception to the rule.
- Demon in the Wire
- There’s a little something more at play during history’s first execution by electrocution.
- Angels have been spotted on a return course through space to Earth. And they are not coming back to play harps for humanity.
- A Better Place
- A genetically engineered great Dane sets out to find a better place for his pack to live.
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