What Da Cover Says: This is the tale of a town on the fringes of fear, of ordinary people and everyday objects transformed by terror and madness, a microcosm of the world where nothing is ever quite what it seems. This is a world where the unreal is real, where the familiar and friendly lure and deceive. On the outskirts of civilisation sits this solitary town. Home to the unhinged. Oblivion to outsiders.
Shallow Creek contains twenty-one original horror stories by a chilling cast of contemporary writers, including stories by Sarah Lotz, Richard Thomas, Adrian J Walker, and Aliya Whitely. Told through a series of interconnected narratives, Shallow Creek is an epic anthology that exposes the raw human emotion and heart-pounding thrills at the genre’s core.
Welcome to Shallow Creek!
What I Says: This book is very good, very good indeed…in fact it is a little too good, before I explain my conspiracy theory here is a bit of info about the origins of this book. The publishers, Storgy, ran a competition where each participant was assigned a resident to base the story on, they were given a location in the town and each story was given an item that had to be included in their story. Now this should have been absolute chaos, the characters would probably cause events to happen that would never get mentioned again and those characters would never appear again in the book….but that did not happen. What we get here is a seamless transition between stories, many characters appear in different stories and there are lots of little mentions of events that happened in previous stories. There were 21 writers involved in this book so how were Storgy able to pull off this stunning achievement? I had my breakthrough conspiracy theory when I realised that it was as though all the writers were sharing one voice and that meant one thing….STORGY ARE BORG! They have taken all of these writers into their collective to create this book. You know it makes sense. The Borg connection was confirmed once I went and checked out their HQ:
This collection of 21 short stories contains proper horror stories, none of this blood and guts stuff, these stories play on your fears and leaves your imagination to freak you out. It covers all the traditional fears, clowns, forests, seaweed, witches and cereal. It has the same feel as Stephen King’s early work when he could make anything scare you, the similarity was uncanny and it transported me back to being a teen and falling in love with books. There are no weak stories here but here are a couple of my favourites.
PENTAMETER by David Hartley went from being “I don’t like this” to being my favourite. Written in pentameter like that Shakespeare chap it quickly draws you in (unlike that Shakespeare chap) and before you know it you reach the end craving more. Some very clever writing there.
The last story was the wonderfully titled THE CAGED BIRD SINGS IN A DARKNESS OF ITS OWN CREATION by Richard Thomas, there is a lot of pressure on the last story, is it gonna bring some sort of conclusion to the book? It does a brilliant job and once I realised who the character was that Richard was writing about I had a little mind blown moment.
This book is not just about the story, so much care has been put into all aspects of the book. The cover is a piece of art, seems to have come straight from an 80’s horror poster, included is a Map of Shallow Creek (which you can see on Storgy’s website), a fantastic addition that you can use to follow the characters around town. There is an introduction that could have been written in the voice of Vincent Price. And once the stories have ended the fun doesn’t stop there, keep on reading to the dedications where you’ll find the creepiest part of the book.
If this review hasn’t sold you on this book then head on over to Storgy’s WEBSITE and check out the collection of creepy videos created for this book. I have loved every minute spent reading this book, it is not often that a new book manages to break into my top 10 but this has done the job, well done to everybody involved. 100% recommend this book to everybody.