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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’ 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.

This book is available at: BetterWorldBooks | Kobo | Amazon | B&N

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