ELEMENTS OF HORROR: AN ANTHOLOGY BOOK THREE – FIRE
Book Three of the Elements Of Horror anthology continues its gruesome collection of horror tales organized by the elements in its fire-themed edition. Naturally, fire is both an alluring and dangerous element that can both illuminate and burn. In this collection of stories, fire is used as a weapon, as a tool of disfigurement, and as a gateway to the paranormal.
Ghosts and demons are prevalent characters in these nine tales. And all include a twist ending in the tradition of classic campfire tales. Its strongest contributions include Scott Donnelly’s “Scorched,” about a man who inherits his estranged father’s cabin with a sinister past, “The Face in the Fire” by Dan Gray, about a man who is haunted by the childhood image of seeing a face in a fire as a boy while his father sung blues around the campfire, and “The Flames of Hell are Coming” by P.J. Blakey-Novis, about a young girl who becomes possessed after finding a box of photo albums in the attic of their new home, which I found to be the most chilling story in the anthology to date.
Male characters are the protagonist of nearly every story. Some are helpless victims. Others are flawed, sometimes even violent man who are getting their payback from past evils. All have something to lose, whether its their precious family or the freedom of their soul. Overall, the stories are well-crafted, eerie, and original, incorporating their theme seamlessly and telling tight but complete tales of horror that linger in your brain long after reading.
Review by Laura Smith