Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Embers: A Collection of Dark Fiction - by Kenneth W. Cain

4 of 5 Stars     Review copy

Embers: A Collection of Dark Fiction features twenty-five stories. In any collection of this size, there are bound to be some hits and some misses along the way.  Fortunately, there are more of the former leading me to suggest this work be added to your personal TBR list.

The book begins with The Chamber - A visit to a place of unspeakable horror brings back nightmares, but not of what the reader might imagine.  A most interesting and somewhat Lovecraftian beginning to the collection.

If you enjoy your horror with a touch of Lovecraft, I believe you'll appreciate this body of work from Kenneth W. Cain more than you would otherwise.

Not all of the stories in Embers have creatures with tentacles.  For example. Valerie's Window is a zombie tale where the heroine is dealing with something much worse than the mere undead.

If you miss the tentacles, you don't have to wait long.  They're back in A Window To Dream By, a short story with a killer opening line...

Despite her tentacles and lack of human arms and legs, Seth had an inexplicable attraction to the woman.

Rather than doing a synopsis of every story, here are a few of the highlights.  I really enjoyed To Save One Life in which a spider named Boris plays a rather important role.  Of Both Worlds - If you're perceived as a monster, you might as well be one. And then there's Water Snake - huge snakes capable of swallowing a fully grown human.  Well-told and frightening.

I might not have loved every story in this collection, but I would certainly return for a second helping of tales from Kenneth W. Cain.

Embers: A Collection of Dark Fiction is available in both paperback and e-book formats from Crystal Lake Publishing.  If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can read it at no additional charge.  Also, if you are an Amazon Prime member you can read it for FREE using the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

From the author's bio - Kenneth W. Cain first got the itch for storytelling during his formative years in the suburbs of Chicago, where he got to listen to his grandfather spin tales by the glow of a barrel fire. But it was a reading of Baba Yaga that grew his desire for dark fiction. Shows like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and One Step Beyond furthered that sense of wonder for the unknown, and he’s been writing ever since.   Writing, reading, fine art, graphic design, and Cardinals baseball are but a few of his passions. Cain now resides in Chester County, Pennsylvania with his wife and two children.

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