Can we first take a moment to acknowledge, appreciate, and worship this cover?! The cover is the first thing that drew me to wanting this book; I won’t lie. I had just finished a huge marathon of the Saw movies and then I come across this book where a woman has this pig head or mask… SOLD!
I have said it before and I will most likely say it again. In general, short stories are not my favorite. I like a little more meat on the bones. Short stories usually leave me wanting more. There have been a couple of great collections I have read this year (this being one of them), but the majority of them have been 3 stars and left me wanting more and more. Christa Carmen’s collection, however, engaged and shook me to the core! I absolutely loved these stories and never once felt cheated or left wanting.
So here’s a synopsis for you all:
“A young woman’s fears regarding the gruesome photos appearing on her cell phone prove justified in a ghastly and unexpected way. A chainsaw-wielding Evil Dead fan defends herself against a trio of undead intruders. A bride-to-be comes to wish that the door between the physical and spiritual worlds had stayed shut on All Hallows’ Eve. A lone passenger on a midnight train finds that the engineer has rerouted them toward a past she’d prefer to forget. A mother abandons a life she no longer recognizes as her own to walk up a mysterious staircase in the woods.
In her debut collection, Christa Carmen combines horror, charm, humor, and social critique to shape thirteen haunting, harrowing narratives of women struggling with both otherworldly and real-world problems. From grief, substance abuse, and mental health disorders, to a post-apocalyptic exodus, a seemingly sinister babysitter with unusual motivations, and a group of pesky ex-boyfriends who won’t stay dead, Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked is a compelling exploration of horrors both supernatural and psychological, and an undeniable affirmation of Carmen’s flair for short fiction.”
One of the best features of this book is how Carmen just writes. I want to have a conversation with her. I want to just hear her thoughts on so many different topics. The words and the sentences that come out of her mouth are just pure dark poetry. She uses a wide vocabulary of delicately chosen words and I loved it. I found myself getting lost in the prose and I really feel it helps this collection stand out from others I have read. The sheer fact that this is her debut collection astounds me because it comes across that she has been writing and publishing for years because her talent is that great! I can’t wait for her to be all over the horror scene for us booklovers!
My favorite stories include: Red Room, Something Borrowed Something Blood-Soaked, Liquid Handcuffs, and The Girl Who Loved Bruce Campbell. But all thirteen stories in the collection resonate with me on a horror-loving level and I truly recommend this collection! 5 stars for me on this excellent book!
Thank you so much to the author and publisher for sending this book in exchange for an honest review!