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Double Barrel Horror vol. 3 edited by Matthew Weber #BookReview

Brace yourself for another two-barrel blast of unrelenting horror and suspense. Volume 3 of the ‘Double Barrel Horror’ anthology series delivers two chilling tales from each of six talented authors for a 12-story onslaught that will blow you out of your sneakers. This time around, your fate lies in the hands of Christine Morgan, Mark Matthews, Theresa Braun, Calvin Demmer, Glenn Rolfe, and Robert Essig.

Title: Double Barrel Horror, Volume 3 | Edited By: Matthew Weber | Publisher: Pint Bottle Press | Pub. Date: March 22nd, 2020 | Cover Artist: Brian Burks | Pages: 184 | ASIN: B0868ZF5DB | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Source: Received from the publisher for review consideration | Starred Review

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Double Barrel Horror – Volume 3 Review

I love a good anthology. Movie or book, really. I tend toward themed anthologies but sometimes if the theme is too narrow a lot of the stories can start to sound really same-y. So it’s nice to pick up a book sometimes where it’s just good stories with no set definition or theme. except for some damn good stories. Double Barrel Horror anthologies are six authors, twelve stories.

Each story set is set up with a double-billed movie pulp-comics art style telling you what the stories will be and whom the author is. I really like the art for each story. I’m not certain enough in art to be able to say whether it’s the same illustrator or not but in general I do really like the illustrations. They went with the stories very well.

And the stories? Well, let’s take a look.

Christine Morgan

Eye See You

I really liked Eye See You. It captured the child’s tone and fear very, very well.

Sharp Obsidian

Sharp Obsdian was good but it geared towards fantasy horror more than I typically like. That’s more of a personal opinion, though so others might like it more. It was a very well-written story.


Robert Essig

From Unclean Spells

I didn’t really like Unclean Spells very much. It wasn’t the writing, really (although Gareth’s motivations are a bit unclear) but I’m just not a huge fan of stories in general that feature vomit. Lots of vomit.

Fuel for the King of Death

I really liked Fuel for the King of Death. I liked the image of the eyes and the theme of the story.


Mark Mattthews

Wicked Smart Carnie

I wasn’t crazy about the story at first but the turn it took and the last couple of sentences were a great finisher!

Goodwin

I’m still undecided about Goodwin. There were parts that made me uncomfortable (if you read it, probably not the one you’re thinking of) but let me know what you guys thought of it!


Theresa Braun

Stillborn

I did like the story but I feel that it would have been better served as a longer story than it was. There’s just too much left in the air so it kind of comes off as using the newborn angle for shock value. I’d really like to know what was going on…robots? Aliens? Nanobites?
I would warn readers that if they have issues with fertility or pregnancy problems then this might be a story they’d want to skip. It is in the title but, all the same, I wouldn’t feel comfortable not letting someone know.

Homecoming

An awesome twist on the usual mermaidish story. A+


Calvin Demmer

Highway Hunger

I loved, loved, loved this story and the end was a bit of a surprise.

Motel Madness

I also really loved this story. A good, creepy trip through a special Motel. I did feel like Tallulah’s tip was a little less brutal than deserved, however, the story does acknowledge this.


Glenn Rolfe

The Guide

I love a good ghost story and after all of the dark stories this one was a bit more heartwarming. Still, dark as hell, though in a good way.

The House on Mayflower Street

I don’t want to say too much about this story because I don’t want to spoil it. Suffice it to say that I did really like it.


All in all double Barrel Horror v. 3 comes out to a Starred rating for me. I’d definitely be interested in reading the previous volumes and any later ones. The mix of authors and styles was really good and kept the variety at a nice level.

My only real issue isn’t with the stories themselves but I did have a bit of an issue with the ‘content warning’ at the beginning of the book.

“Double-Barrel Horror is a collection of fictional horror stories. The tales presented here are intended to disturb. They are likely to include death, graphic violence, profanity, and other themes and images that commonly disturb. If you can’t deal with these themes in your fiction, then you should avoid this book.”

Double Barrel Horror, Volume 3 – Page 3

It’s very generalized and feels like something they were forced to put in and were none too happy about having to do. I shouldn’t be thinking about the content warnings statement (or lack thereof) after I’ve finished the book. I should be thinking about the stories.


You can find Double Horror volume 3 via its Goodreads links or, if you’d like to help support literacy programs, at Better World Books.

Published inAnthologies & CollectionsHorror Book Reviews
┬ęSci-Fi & Scary 2019
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