Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Grimm Mistresses - Five very dark tales from 5 amazing women of horror

5 of 5 Stars     Review Copy

What a wonderful way to celebrate Women In Horror month. or any month for that matter.

The promise..."Five female authors who will leave you shuddering deliciously.  Get ready to leave the lights on again with five pieces of short fiction bringing the Grimm Brother's tales into the present.  Be advised: these aren't your children's fairy tales!" Grimm Mistresses is an anthology that delivers on it's promise. And then some.

Little Dead Red - Mercedes M. Yardley

Although I've known of Mercedes and her work in the Horror/Fantasy genres for a while, this is the first time I've actually read her work.  Looks like I'll need to read more.  A gifted story-teller who has taken the Red Riding Hood story and turned it on it's end.   Here, Marie's daughter, Aleta, on her way to visit her grandmother in the hospital meets her fate at the hands of a creature much more terrifying than a wolf.  Her mother is obsessed with finding her killer and will do whatever it takes.  A dark trip into a brutal world with a terrific "Oh, Wow!" ending.

Nectar - Allison M. Dickson

I couldn't tell you which, if any of the original Grimm fairy tales was the inspiration behind this one, but it was a strange, yet oddly compelling story of two men who go on a blind double date and wind up captive under the strangest of circumstances.  Used by their captors and fed with an unusual nectar to fatten them up.   Hmm.  they're being fattened up, like a rather bizarre twist on Hansel and Gretel. Yeah, I think that might be the inspiration.

The Leopard's Pelt - S. R. Cambridge

I would guess the inspiration here came from the Snow Leopard, although there is certainly a bit of Beauty and the Beast in this wonderfully woven and completely satisfying tale.  Henry Lowery, is a Gunner's Mate, Second Class who is shipwrecked on a seemingly deserted island in the South Pacific. While there he meets an enchanted leopard who makes a deal to get him off the island, for a price. What happens next is a tale that is both fanciful and totally charming.

Hazing Cinderella - C. W. LaSart

Nasty.  Certainly not something that would come from the Disney studios.  As viscous as Katie's step-sister, Jamie and her friends could be, they are no match for Katie.  And her mom is something else, too.  Very dark and exceptionally violent.

The Night Air - Stacey Turner

Conversation that is natural, that actually sounds like the way people talk, is difficult, but Stacy Turner makes it look so easy.  Maybe it's just knowing what people would say in a given situation, both adults and children.  It may seem like a little thing, but when it doesn't feel right, it can be such a distraction.  Marla and her husband Nick move from Chicago to the small town of Hubble, IL with their three young children, Sarah, Tommy, and Nicole. "The Night Air" is a sneaky story. Everything seems so normal, so peaceful, and then...wham!  A parent's worse nightmare.  I'll leave this one for you to discover the inspiration.

An anthology that hits on all cylinders is a rarely seen thing of beauty.  Grimm Mistresses is just such an anthology.  Available now from Angelic Knight, the horror imprint of Ragnarok Publications. You can pick up a copy at the Ragnarok website or through Amazon.com.

This gets my highest recommendation.

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