Title: Wicked Witches | Author: edited by Scott T. Goudsward, David Price and Daniel G. Keohane | Publisher: NEHW Press | Pub. Date: 10/11/2016 | Pages: 328 | ISBN13: 9780998185408 | Genre: Horror Anthology | Language: English | Triggers: Child abuse, miscarriage, witch-burning | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Source: Received from Netgalley for an honest review
New England has a rich, dark history with the supernatural. From this region many writers of dark fiction have fueled their stories. One chapter in history has been the stuff of legends and nightmares: the Witch. Look to ancient mythology or your next door neighbor and you will find them, practicing arts both Dark and Light. The New England Horror Writers proudly present a new anthology which pays tribute to those whose ancestors were accused, hung, pressed, drowned, or burned at the stake. Enter these pages, wander the hard roads of Colonial America or modern corporate boardrooms, to face the Witch. Wicked Witches, fiction from New England’s most talented writers: G.D. Dearborn, Barry Lee Dejasu, Peter N. Dudar, Jeremy Flagg, Joshua Goudreau, Catherine Grant, Jan Kozlowski, Patrick Lacey, Izzy Lee, Nick Manzolillo, John McIlveen, Paul McMahon, James A. Moore, Errick A. Nunnally, Ogmios, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, Doug Rinaldi, Rob Smales, Morgan Sylvia, K.H. Vaughan, Morven Westfield and Trisha J. Wooldridge Introduction by Penny Dreadful; Cover art by Mikio Murakami – Goodreads
I love witch stories. Especially witches that are bad to the bone. Of course, not all of the witches in this book are evil but it’s one damn fine book. It’s quite honestly very hard to choose just one or even a best of the batch. They are all very good. There were only two I didn’t care for but for me it’s just a style thing because I’m not all that thrilled with poetry but I realize that a lot of people do. And they were well-written so it’s probably just me.
These are a few of the ones that really stood out for me in Wicked Witches:
Going Home by James A. Moore: A witch returns to her hometown along with an aunt. But the aunt isn’t exactly your tea and cookies kind of aunt. More of a steal your soul to form a coven kind of aunt.
White Witch by Catherine Grant: A great, gut-wrenching story with a bittersweet ending.
Run in the Widow’s Hell by K.H. Vaughn: A tale of a moonshine runner and a witch.
To Dance the Witches Circle Again by Morgan Sylvia: A witches tale of injustice and justice with a little revenge thrown in for flavor
Access Violation by Jeremy Flagg: This one was interesting and a bit different, mixing magic, dystopia and a bit of high tech makes a very interesting witches brew.
Blessed Be and Kick Ass by Jan Kozlowski: An excellent tale of white witchery used to protect the innocence.
This is not to say the other stories are low grade. Wicked Witches was an excellently put together and well-written anthology. Most definitely recommended. I have rarely come across an anthology that I can recommend whole-heartedly but Wicked Witches is one of them.
5 out of 5 Skulls