Why hello! I am back from my little vacation and I’m here with an anthology review.
Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this anthology for review but everything I’ve written is my honest opinion!
Scott J. Moses is an American horror writer whose debut novel, Non-Practicing Cultist, came out in July, 2021. He has also published a collection of short fiction, Hunger Pangs, and has had his short fiction featured in Paranormal Contact, STORGY, Coffin Bell, among others. Besides being a writer, he is obviously also an editor, as evidenced here. What One Wouldn’t Do is his first and also contains his story, “The Witch of Flora Pass”.
What One Wouldn’t Do for…what? Power? Safety? Love? Revenge? Here’s to the lengths one might go to for everything.What One Wouldn’t Do Amazon landing page
Coming out on October 5th, What One Wouldn’t Do is a dark fiction anthology about what people are capable of when it comes to getting what they want — tales and poems of witchcraft, necromancy, revenge, and sorrow populate this anthology. Let’s check out the table of contents!
- With Animals – J.A.W. McCarthy
- The Grievous Art of Compulsion – Avra Margariti
- Moira and Ellie – Marisca Pichette
- Cry Me a River – Stephanie Ellis
- The Opening of the Mouth – Christina Wilder
- Traditional Women – Donna Lynch
- Conversion – Katie Young
- The Witch of Flora Pass – Scott J. Moses
- Blood is Thicker – Angela Sylvaine
- To See An Angel – tom reed
- Monsters Calling Home – Cheri Kamei
- Seven Snapshots of a Broken Heart – Shane Douglas Keene
- Baby Girl – J.V. Gachs
- Red Rotary Phone – Tim McGregor
- Take Control – Emma E. Murray
- Ella Minnow – Nick Younker
- Maze-Minded – Jennifer Crow
- I Married a Dead Man – Joanna Koch
- I have Become a Graveyard – Lex Vranick
- The Last Word – Laurel Hightower
- Silver Dollar Eyes – Eric Raglin
- All The Misery That Waits For Us At The End Of The Day – Eric LaRocca
- The Wishing Well – Daniel Barnett
- Closing the Figure Eight – Bob Johnston
- Holding – Simon le Roux
- The Thread That Dreams Are Made Of – Hailey Piper
- Mos Teutonicus – Bryson Richard
- They Don’t Eat Teeth – Jena Brown
- The Old Switcheroo – Christi Nogle
I’ll just get this out of the way, dear reader. You know I don’t really read poetry. I did just skip over the poetry selections in this collection, my apologies to those writers, and this review does not reflect the poems at all — because I didn’t read them.
Onto my review! I think a part of me was expecting more horror in this collection. Don’t get me wrong, every story in this collection is dark for sure, but sometimes they have more of a sorrowful tinge to it rather than a horrific one. Despite that, I found each tale gripping and enjoyed them all. I do have a few standout favourites though, which include:
“With Animals” – the anthology started off strong with J.A.W. McCarthy’s tale of friendship and sacrifice. The descriptions, characters, and unfolding of such an eerie tale was a haunting experience. I really loved the author’s take on what the aftermath might be like.
“Cry Me A River” – a dark heart-wrenching tale of a mother’s love that has heavy Black Mirror vibes. I can totally see this as an episode! I really liked the futuristic/dystopian setting, as well as the world-building.
“Blood is Thicker” – what would happen to those lovely, witchy sisters from Practical Magic if their ambition had gotten the best of them, and they resort to the blackest of rituals? This story is equal parts heartbreaking and thrilling. The ending also rather took me by surprise, so overall – chef’s kiss!
“Monsters Calling Home” – this story was magnificent! A strange, dystopian planet ruled by a horrifying, mysterious kaiju and two sisters off on an ocean journey to save their island. Heart-wrenching, eerie, and beautifully written. This tale really hit all the right notes for me. Well done!
“Mos Teutonicus” – not for the faint of heart, this tale is dark, morbid, gag-reflex inducing, and reads like a messed up graveyard fairy tale. Actually, the story reminded me of something you might find in an issue of Heavy Metal, I could very clearly picture every gruesome detail.
So my final verdict? I think this anthology has a lot of amazing stories (and maybe even poetry for those into that kind of stuff) and is definitely worth picking up. Which you can do by clicking here!