May 11, 2023 · 1:00 am
Title: Come in the Water
Author: K.C. Hastings
Publication Date: October 19, 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Contemporary
Length: 11 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 3 Stars
There’s something in the lake, and I don’t mean the giant catfish.
Content Warning: Murder, drowning, a small amount of blood.
Beware what the locals say. Sometimes they know more than anyone else.
One of the biggest strengths of this short story was how arrogant and yet still likeable the unnamed protagonist was. While I certainly wouldn’t want to live with her, I was intrigued by how certain she was that she had everything figured out. Her confidence was admirable even if it sometimes lead her into some pretty dangerous decisions. It can be easier to write a kind and sweet character than one who had such a major personality flaw, so I tip my cap to the author for pulling this off so nicely.
Given how unfamiliar the main character seemed to be with Oklahoma, I was surprised by how quickly she brushed off the scary legends the locals shared with her in the first scene. I would have understood if she didn’t believe every detail of them, but it struck me as odd for her not to be willing to listen to their warnings at all. If only the narrator had given more clues about why she behaved this way. Even if the string of recent deaths all had natural causes, shouldn’t she at least taken heed of how dangerous swimming could be in that area? I wish this had been explored as it would have gone a long way to provide some additional character and plot development.
The horror elements of the plot were deliciously scary and well done. Even the nicest lakes can feel a little eerie even on a clear sunny day when you stare into their murky depths, and that’s even more true for lakes that have disturbing legends attached to them.
Come in the Water is making me think twice about going swimming in a lake this summer!
December 9, 2021 · 1:00 am
The telling or reading of ghost stories during the Christmas season was once a tradition in Victorian England. This series of books seeks to revive this tradition. As I did last year, I will continue reviewing several of them each December until I’ve reached the end of this series.
Title: The Diary of Mr. Poynter – A Ghost Story for Christmas (Seth’s Christmas Ghost Stories)
Author: M.R. James
Publication Date: 1919 and 2016.
Genres: Paranormal, Historical
Length: 38 pages
Source: I borrowed it from the library.
Rating: 2 stars
While engrossed in an ancient account of the sinister death of a student obsessed with his own hair, a man leans down to absently pet his dog — oblivious of the true nature of the creature crouching beside him. Seth’s newly illustrated version of M.R. James’ classic Christmas ghost story is a spooky holiday delight.
It turns out there is such a thing as being too engrossed in a book.
Out of all of the things in the world one could get excited about, a fabric sample is honestly pretty far down on my list. The fact that something as ordinary as this could change the lives of the people who found it in ways they never would have imagined made for a creative read.
The pacing of this story was slow and included many rambling details and asides that didn’t seem that relevant to pushing the plot forward. As interested as I was in the premise, I struggled to remain interested in the storyline because of these issues.
I’m not normally a fan of tales that include morality lessons, but this one was nice and subtle which is something I appreciate in that genre. The reader is mostly left to their own devices when it comes to deciding what the mistakes of the characters might have been and how they could have made better choices.
If you don’t mind a little sermonizing in your ghost stories, this is an interesting read.
Filed under Science Fiction and Fantasy
Tagged as 1910s, 2010s, Biblioasis, Book Reviews, Christmas, Historical, Holidays, M.R. James, Monster, Morality Tales, Paranormal, Seth's Christmas Ghost Stories, Short Stories