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Beneath A Pale Sky by Philip Fracassi #BookReview

Beneath A Pale Sky collects eight stories of horror, including two original novellettes, that will take you from the high-security ward of a mental hospital to the top of a Ferris Wheel on an ocean pier. 

These stories will bury you in the rubble of an earthquake, pull back the veil on a soul’s journey into the afterlife, and turn a small midwestern town into the secret domain of cross-dimensional gods. Combining old-school horror with the modern weird, Philip Fracassi will take you places you’ve never been before, and show you sights you won’t soon forget.

The supernatural intrudes upon a wedding; a pier becomes the site of tragedy; a collapsed building is only the start of the nightmare for those trapped in the ruins; a scientist who makes the discovery of a lifetime, only to find out that what he’s unearthed has dire consequences not only for himself, but for all of mankind.

A pastel ocean is framed by a light grey sky.A broken Ferris wheel sinks into the sea. The title is centered at the top of the cover and the author's name is centered at the bottom.

Title: Beneath a Pale Sky Author: Philip Fracassi | Publisher: Lethe Press  | Pub. Date: 18 June 2021 | Pages: 260 | ISBN: 9781590217191 | Genre: Horror | Language: English |  Source: Publisher | Starred Review

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Beneath A Pale Sky Review

“The sky was a lie, after all, a shiny trapdoor that hid the whole universe behind its fragile, curved shell.”

Philip Fracassi, “Soda Jerk”, p.85

Beneath A Pale Sky contains eight stories that traverse different sub-genres of horror. It is a true showing of an author who is versatile and talented; Fracassi explores quite a variety of themes and styles within this collection. What follows is a quick highlight of some of the best stories.

“Harvest”: It includes hints of the supernatural, of strong love, and of unusual abilities. It is a bit slow to get going, but, as so many of these stories do, once he gets to the characters and the action, Fracassi hods nothing back.

“It takes three men and a furious fate to destroy Mary’s life.”

Philip Fracassi, “The Wheel”

“The Wheel”: “It takes three men and a furious fate to destroy Mary’s life.” Quite possibly the star of this collection, although a couple others give it a run for its money. Lives collide in a brutal manor and readers should prepare for a whirlwind of emotions.

“Ateuchus” – A foray into sci fi horror/thriller territory. A few hints of Kafka and some excellent body horror combine for an entertaining and gory read.

“Fragile Dreams”: An interesting view on situational horror. We follow the path of a mind that is trapped, a mind that is desperately trying to extend its tenuous grasp on reality. This is a bit of a mind-bender and it really provides a unique perspective on an impossible situation.

“Death, My Old Friend”: A stellar story to round out the collection; it bookends nicely with “Harvest”. Fracassi personifies Death in a such a way that it causes the reader to reconsider their own relationship with death. A true heartbreaker, this one ties for my favorite of the collection; one of the best short stories I’ve read.

Be sure to check out Beneath A Pale Sky. A little over half are highlighted in this review; these are the ones that resonated, that caused this reader to take pause, to sit back and let the story take over. Fracassi has several other books available, so be sure to check them out after reading this one.

  You can purchase a copy of this book via your normal retailer. Please consider purchasing it from a local indie bookshop instead. It may be found here at Indiebound or at BookShop.  Please note the Bookshop link is an affiliate link. Each purchase you make through it helps to support Sci-Fi & Scary and keep the site running.

Published inBook ReviewsHorror Book ReviewsStarred Reviews

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