Darkest Hours by Mike Thorn #BookReview

Title: Darkest Hours | Author: Mike Thorn | Publisher: Unnerving Magazine | Pub. Date: 2017-11-21 | Pages: 252 | ISBN13: 9780995975354 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Er… read at your own risk. | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: I received a copy from the publisher for review consideration


Darkest Hours

In the bleak landscape of Darkest Hours, people make decisions that lead them into extreme scenarios – sometimes bizarre, often horrific, always unexpected. Between this book’s covers you will find academics in distress; monsters abused by people; people terrorized by demons; ghostly reminiscences; resurrected trauma; and occult filmmaking. Ranging from satirical to dreadful, these stories share a distinct voice: urgent, sardonic, brutal, but always empathetic.

Book cover for Darkest Hours

Darkest Hours Review

I rarely do short story collections, but Unnerving approached me about one they were getting ready to publish soon, and it looked just interesting enough that I decided to give it a try. (To be honest, I was also counting on the fact that I could foist it off on my short-story loving co-host if it failed to thrill me. ) Happily, the stories in Darkest Hours kept me engaged the majority of the time.

The writing style is consistent, actually overly consistent at times as certain phrases were used a little too regularly across the stories. The ‘type’ of horror is not, however. The author appears to enjoy turning his attention to different ways to disgust or disturb. There is everything from the mundane fetish (Hair) to the supernatural night visitor (Long Man), and from the ridiculous satirical (Satanic Panic) to the not easily classifiable (Party Time) in Darkest Hours.

There are 15 stories in the collection. My favorites were Sabbatical, Long Man, and Hair. (Hair makes the list just because it utterly disgusted me. I admire any story that can make me have to resist the urge to gag when reading OR talking about it.) Most of the stories received a three or four star rating.  There was only one story that I outright didn’t like, which was Fear and Grace.  One, Economy These Days, was interesting because although I could see how it could be labeled as a certain type of horror short, I found it to be simply thought-provoking.

Although the stories vary dramatically in chosen subject, by the end of the collection, certain things make themselves known time and again. Specifically, smoking, heavy metal, and – oddly enough – academics.  I’m sure people who are more into the literary dissection side of things will have fun picking apart the stories contained in Darkest Hours. I’m not one for doing that, though.

Mike Thorn’s Darkest Hours is contains the most diverse selection of stories that I’ve ever read from a single author.  The story order was well chosen, providing a whirlwind of an experience. You could never really be sure what you were going to read next.  Overall, if you’re a fan of horror short stories, you need to give Darkest Hours a try. You might very well just be missing out if you don’t.

Buy Link: Amazon

This is Horror, Issue 24: Darkest Hours, Into the Drowning Deep, and Black Friday

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This is Horror, Issue 24 is a sampling of Horror News, including book and movie releases, and more. A little bit of everything to make the horror hound in you feel all fuzzy and warm. Or tingle with anticipation. Whatever works for you.

This is Horror’s Weekly Quote

“imagination, of course, can open any door – turn the key and let terror walk right in”

                                                         – Truman Capote


Horror Movies

Featured New Release for December 1st, 2017

A sleep doctor tries to protect a family from a demon that feeds on people in their nightmares

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Horrorific Trivia

Horror has reached almost all media outlets but one area that’s far too often overlooked is…board games. Yes, there are board games that do their best to scare the bejeebers out of you. Down below are a couple I’ve tried and a few more that I’d just love to get my hands on. It is hard to get the creeps from a board game. You can’t dim the lights too much if you actually want to see the dang board at all. But enjoy trying to be because at the very least they’re not dull!

1. Nightmare: The first game in the AtmosFear series, it’s a little plainer than AtmosFear: Harbingers but still fun with some neat effects.

2. AtmosFear: This is an awesome game and so much fun to play. Although if you get it I would make sure to get the older AtmosFear: The Harbingers with the VHS tape (if you still have a VCR, that is) because the DVD one just isn’t that fun. I’m not really sure why they changed it since Harbingers was their top-seller.

3. HorrorClix: Based on the HeroClix system of play using an assembled ‘team’ of horror figures, both monsters and monster hunters. Focus of play is on the figures and using ‘scenario’ and ‘plot twist’ cards to emphasize the storytelling aspect of it.

4. Call of Cthulhu RPG: Created by Chaosium, the gameplay is similar to that of Dungeons and Dragons but instead of the emphasis being on fighting a lot and leveling up your character it’s more story-based. My family is actually playing this while we speak. It’s our first game and at the moment I’m a very inept Keeper but if I get better, hopefully, I’ll let you guys in on an audio stream. It’s a very…disparate lot. We’ve got a Keeper/Speakeasy Owner, Sea Captain, Keeper/World War I Lieutenant (we take turns, his story is next), a Graverobber, a Thief and an Ex-Cultist.

5. Which Witch: I did get this from a yard sale but it’s incomplete so it’s unplayable at the moment. It looks a bit silly, geared more toward younger children.

*Bonus*

Titanic: Although not quite in the horror genre it does make you wonder what on earth made someone think: “We need a new game…something light-hearted and whimsical. I know! The Titanic!!” The object of the game is to collect various things from the ship (passport, health clearance, valuables, etc.) before trying to make your way to the upper deck. First one to the lifeboats wins. Fun, huh? And if you’re asking yourself how on earth I know this? I have it. I’ve played it. I have no shame.

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Horror Books

Featured New Horror Release

Book cover for Darkest Hours

Darkest Hours – Mike Thorn – November 21st, 2017

In the bleak landscape of Darkest Hours, people make decisions that lead them into extreme scenarios – sometimes bizarre, often horrific, always unexpected. Between this book’s covers you will find academics in distress; monsters abused by people; people terrorized by demons; ghostly reminiscences; resurrected trauma; and occult filmmaking. Ranging from satirical to dreadful, these stories share a distinct voice: urgent, sardonic, brutal, but always empathetic.

Also newly released:

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant (review)

Patient Zero by Terry Tyler (review)

Goodreads Horror Giveaways

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This is Horror’s Weekly Poll

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What is the Best Christmas Horror Movie in Recent Years? (First Round)

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Horror on the Web

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