Title: The Hobbsburg Horror | Author: Thomas S. Flowers | Publisher: Shadow Work Publishing | Pages: 221 | ASIN: B06WWDCY3D | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Suicide | Rating: 2 out of 5 | Source: Received free from the author for an honest review |
Why are you afraid? They’re just stories…right?
From the author of THE SUBDUE SERIES and REINHEIT comes a new collection of dark fiction.
THE HOBBSBURG HORROR
They Came to Gordium, an elderly man is haunted by the crimes of his past. Immolate, a widower detective struggles to solve the connection between a series of eerily similar suicides. Sunnydale Wolves, a romantic stop at a popular overlook turns deadly. The Hobbsburg Horror is a Lovecraftian tale of a weary reporter pulled into an otherworldly story of murder and a lodge with reports of strange colors at night. Hobo, a well-to-do housewife’s picture-perfect life is shattered by a home invasion. Are you hungry, dear? down on his luck divorcee Jacob Miller, after consuming a free pizza is possessed by an internal parasite. From the Sea, is a tale of an amateur sailor and his wife who are besieged by creatures that come from the sea during a storm. Neon Fortune Teller…Madam Drabardi reads the future of paranoid businessman Ronald Murray who believes his wife is cheating on him, but infidelity is not all Drabardi sees. Nostos, Katherine Adonis journeyed light years to escape the nightmares of her past, but some ghosts can never be escaped.
PRAY THEY AREN’T REAL.
The Hobbsburg Horror
Collections of short stories can be hard to review. Some of these seemed a bit long to be properly called short stories and were novella length. As usual I will rate the stories individually, then sum up the rating for the whole book.
They Came to Gordium:
A bit of an overdone story about revenge from the grave. Not too bad but I’ve seen it done better before.
I honestly have no idea what the author was going for in this story. Three different things happen which are connected…somehow. If you can connect ISIS, possible alien abduction and suicides you’re one step ahead of me. This story is also where the typos begin.
I can’t help but wonder whether the name Sunnydale is either a reference (or jab) at the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. It starts out with a sexy scene which takes a swift turn to Urban Legend territory. A little crude, a little meh, and a little boring. Also, because of an awkwardly worded sentence, I’m honestly not sure what the end sentence is supposed to mean.
The Hobbsburg Horror:
This is one of the novella-length stories. It is a bit overly long with far too many “If only I had knowns”and “If I knew then what I know nows” at the chapter ends. The typos and grammar issues get worse from here on out. For instance: We’re told a man is wearing jogging pants and a tank top. A page or two later he’s wiping his face with the cuff of his shirt. That’s just one example. Also, just as the explanation is about to be told what in the world is going on, the story slams the door in our faces. Quite literally. Then it skips ahead to an abbreviated non-answer. Since the story is told in first-person PoV (and is not an unreliable narrator) we should be privy to everything he knows.
This story was a bit better (typo-wise) although it started off a little weird. At first the main character is presented as being one of the ‘evil’ rich, then gets a quick turn-around to a fairly normal (if affluent) woman. It feels like the author was trying to go for some sort of message but it’s lost a bit under the story. If you like a bit of torture porn then you’ll most likely enjoy this story.
Are You Hungry, Dear?:
Awkwardly written with no explanation for what happens or what, exactly, the parasite is. It also had an ending that was as stale as three day old pizza. I didn’t mind the ick factor of the ending half as much as the triteness.
From the Sea:
A bit better than some of the others. It had a nice air of mystery to it, in this case the vagueness worked in it’s favor. It had a very Lovecraftian feel to it.
Neon Fortune Teller:
Certainly the best of the lot. I liked the story. It was well-written and interesting.
Nostos started out strong. It also had the tone of the weird tale to it. Again, though, not much is explained and it ends a bit abruptly. This is one story that could have profited from being lengthened.
All in all the stories are a little on the weak side and the typos and odd word choices really bring it down quite a lot. I did like the cover art and the introduction is very good.
2 Skulls out of 5