First off let me say this….there are anthologies and then there is this anthology! My saying this can only mean one thing. I am blown away. There are so many things to love about this book.
The cover is outstanding and beautifully done. Such care went into the planning of this that I can not say enough how much I love it! The subtle details and the color is just amazing. This cover artist certainly is worth his weight in gold. David Mikolas is truly an incredible designer. He knocked this one out of the park.
The next thing you notice is the list of authors. Bar none these 13 writers are some of the best of the best. From Lisa Morton’s The Enchanted Forest which is the first story to the last one written by Ronald Malfi called The Glad Street Angel this book is packed full of absolutely awesome stories. I must admit I have 3 favorites in this book. I tried to take it down to just one but could not. It was hard enough to choose just three.
The first one I will mention is A.P. Sessler’s The Minch Lake Tragedy. It starts with a school teacher that has an issue with one of the boys in her class. He kissed a girl and she made him apologize and embarrassed him. On the way home from school she almost hits something in the road. She stops and gets out of her car to see if she has hit something. She sees nothing so she gets back inside. As soon as she closes the door she sees a cat sitting in the seat next to her. She has no cat. She takes the cat home with her and things go from bad to strange to worse quickly. The next day she gets in trouble for how she treated the boy and is suspended. She goes home and now the cat talks to her. Is she insane or is there something much more sinister at work here? Read the story and find out.
The second story I’m going to mention is Richard Chizmar’s The Witch. This story gave me the chills. Read this one at night and you won’t sleep for a week. The story starts with two detectives in a car driving to a crime scene. There has been a murder and a note left telling who has committed the crime. This takes our two determined detectives on quite a ride. You will get lost in this story and will see it play out in your head. The way Richard writes will leave you wanting more when the story is over. He definitely grabbed my attention and held it there. The question is who really committed the crime and why will leave you spinning. Don’t miss this one.
The last story is Sean Patrick Traver’s Sugar Skulls. This is an author to watch in my opinion. He is relatively new but show amazing promise in his writing skills. I can say that this will not be the last thing I read by him. This story opens with a lady who is on her way to meet a man. He has a special gift. She is writing a book and wants to know all about his gift and how it works. He sends her on her way and she returns several more times before they end up falling for each other. Turns out she is an anthropologist and has a Doctorate. Now I won’t tell you much more about the story other than to say there is betrayal and consequences that are paid. You will be on the edge of your seat turning pages faster than you thought possible. This is an amazing story.
The last thing I will say about this book is that the illustrations before each story are brilliant. Each one matches the story perfectly. Luke Spooner did an outstanding job on these. I can’t imagine that the writers and publisher could be happier about how they turned out. I highly recommend him.
All of these things put together make one very nice package and one that you will want to own. In case you are wondering yes, there is a Dark Hallows I and it is just as breathtaking as this one. The publisher Scarlet Galleon Publications really put out a quality book. One I’m sure they are proud to have put together. Hard work pays off. This book is available on Amazon.com and on Cemeterydance.com. Don’t let this one pass you by folks.