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The Best of Horror Library: Volumes 1-5

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The +Horror Library+ anthologies are internationally praised as a groundbreaking source of contemporary horror short fiction stories—relevant to the moment and stunning in impact—from leading authors of the macabre and darkly imaginative. Filled with Fears and Fantasy. Death and Dark Dreams. Monsters and Mayhem. Literary Vision and Wonder. Each volume of the +Horror Library The +Horror Library+ anthologies are internationally praised as a groundbreaking source of contemporary horror short fiction stories—relevant to the moment and stunning in impact—from leading authors of the macabre and darkly imaginative. Filled with Fears and Fantasy. Death and Dark Dreams. Monsters and Mayhem. Literary Vision and Wonder. Each volume of the +Horror Library+ series is packed with heart-pounding thrills and creepy contemplations as to what truly lurks among the shadows of the world(s) we live in. Containing 33 stories, read “The Best of Volumes 1–5” in this ongoing anthology series, and then continue with the other volumes. Shamble no longer through the banal humdrum of normalcy, but ENTER THE HORROR LIBRARY! Included within “The Best of Volumes 1–5”: • In “The Station,” a married couple discover an abandoned gas station where corpses tell the future. • In “Trapped Light Medium,” a tabloid photographer is able to foresee the future and be present at the perfect moment to capture on film horrifying events. • In “Footprints Fading in the Desert,” a woman stranded in the desert finds a barefoot savior who promises help. • . . . and more!


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The +Horror Library+ anthologies are internationally praised as a groundbreaking source of contemporary horror short fiction stories—relevant to the moment and stunning in impact—from leading authors of the macabre and darkly imaginative. Filled with Fears and Fantasy. Death and Dark Dreams. Monsters and Mayhem. Literary Vision and Wonder. Each volume of the +Horror Library The +Horror Library+ anthologies are internationally praised as a groundbreaking source of contemporary horror short fiction stories—relevant to the moment and stunning in impact—from leading authors of the macabre and darkly imaginative. Filled with Fears and Fantasy. Death and Dark Dreams. Monsters and Mayhem. Literary Vision and Wonder. Each volume of the +Horror Library+ series is packed with heart-pounding thrills and creepy contemplations as to what truly lurks among the shadows of the world(s) we live in. Containing 33 stories, read “The Best of Volumes 1–5” in this ongoing anthology series, and then continue with the other volumes. Shamble no longer through the banal humdrum of normalcy, but ENTER THE HORROR LIBRARY! Included within “The Best of Volumes 1–5”: • In “The Station,” a married couple discover an abandoned gas station where corpses tell the future. • In “Trapped Light Medium,” a tabloid photographer is able to foresee the future and be present at the perfect moment to capture on film horrifying events. • In “Footprints Fading in the Desert,” a woman stranded in the desert finds a barefoot savior who promises help. • . . . and more!

30 review for The Best of Horror Library: Volumes 1-5

  1. 4 out of 5

    Leah Polcar

    Meh. 2.5ish Glancing through the reviews, a lot of people seemed to love this collection, but I found it to be middling at best. I find the Best Horror of the Year or The Year's Best Horror and Dark Fantasy anthologies to have better bests. Even there I usually find the selection of stories rather hit or miss, but that is probably par for the course with most anthologies. Yet The Best of Horror Library: Volumes 1 - 5 is mostly miss. Few of the stories were truly memorable and even with most Meh. 2.5ish Glancing through the reviews, a lot of people seemed to love this collection, but I found it to be middling at best. I find the Best Horror of the Year or The Year's Best Horror and Dark Fantasy anthologies to have better bests. Even there I usually find the selection of stories rather hit or miss, but that is probably par for the course with most anthologies. Yet The Best of Horror Library: Volumes 1 - 5 is mostly miss. Few of the stories were truly memorable and even with most of those, they were still so-so -- nothing you haven't heard before. Most of the time you saw the ending coming from the first page or left you shaking your head while muttering "[insert author's name here] did it better". Nothing was horribly written, though some stories were just ridiculous. I know, I should be more woman-power about the magical dildo, but really, it isn't horror and it wasn't magical. However, one or two stories did stick out. My personal favorite was The Apocalypse Ain't So Bad by Jeff Strand -- a dude who keeps coming up and who I may have to check out. You know, looking at the image I have to remark that the cover is pretty bad-ass, but since I read it on a Kindle Paperwhite, it really couldn't sway my ranking. Still feeling meh. You can also read this exact same review, more or less, on my blog Read or Die

  2. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 5.0 of 5 Wow. This collection of short horror/dark fantasy fiction is truly a standout among the horror fiction that I've read lately. Typically, when you read an anthology such as this,you go in with the high hopes that you'll like about two-thirds of the stories within, but typically any story that is worth remembering can make a book worth reading. But never ... NEVER ... have I read an anthology in which I've been impressed with This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 5.0 of 5 Wow. This collection of short horror/dark fantasy fiction is truly a standout among the horror fiction that I've read lately. Typically, when you read an anthology such as this,you go in with the high hopes that you'll like about two-thirds of the stories within, but typically any story that is worth remembering can make a book worth reading. But never ... NEVER ... have I read an anthology in which I've been impressed with every single story. Statistically this would just seem so unlikely. A collection, by a single author ... perhaps. But a collection of different authors, by an editor whose name I was hitherto unfamiliar with, gathered from a source that I also hadn't heard of before? No...it just wouldn't happen. But it did. Wow. Normally I would start by picking a couple of my favorites and mention them and perhaps why they stood out, and then I would mention a couple that did not appeal to me. But I truly can't do that here. Even having just written that I was thinking to myself "surely I can pick one or two that really stand out" but then as I look through the titles and think about how much I liked one, I'd see another title and reflect on how much I liked that one, etc etc. From the opening story, "The Puppet Show" by Rick J. Brown, to the closing lines of "Follower" by Danny Rhodes, I was hooked and transfixed. If my arm were to be twist, I would pick as my favorites: "Ghosts Under Glass" by Tracie McBride for its incredible imagery and totally unique ideas, and "The Happiness Toy" by Ray Garton because it seemed so tongue in cheek and creepy at the same time. Who would think of a horror story about a dildo? The style of horror is different in each story, and the pacing of the stories is unique. Some are sci-fi weird, some are rooted in psychological terror. But all have a bite or an edge to them making them that little bit creepy. The fact that I liked all the stories is an indication that editor R. J. Cavender and I have very similar tastes and reminds me how important it is for the reader to know who the editor is for any anthology. This anthology contains the following: Foreword by Lisa Morton "The Puppet Show" - Rick J. Brown "The Exterminators" - Sara Joan Berniker "A Chainsaw Execution" - Stephen R. George "I am Meat, I am in Daycare" - Cameron Pierce "Trapped Light Medium" - Sunil Sadanand "Apple" - Marc Paoletti "Next Stop, Babylon" - John Mantooth "The Garbage Collectors" - Ron McGillvray "Bound" - Alan Smale "Drawn" - Daniel L. Naden "The Station" - Bentley Little "After" Kealan Patrick Burke "Consumed" - Michael A. Arnzen "Obsidian Sea" - Kurt Kirchmeier "The Living World" - C. Michael Cook "The Steel Church" - Charles Colyott "The Apocalypse Ain't So Bad" - Jeff Strand "Into The After" - Kurt Dinan "Ash Wednesday" - Lorne Dixon "Ghosts Under Glass" - Tracie McBride "Sporting the Waters of the Bermuda Triangle" - Greggard Penance "Skin" - Kim Despins "Santa Maria" - Jeff Cercone "The Healing Hands of Reverend Wainwright" - Geoffrey L. Mudge "Exegesis of the Insecta Apocrypha" - Colleen Anderson "Jerrod Steihl Goes Home" - Ian Withrow "The Immolation Scene" - John F.D. Taff "Open Mind Night at the Ritz" - Shane McKenzie "Footprints Fading in the Desert" - Eric J. Guignard "The Vulture's Art" - Benjamin Kane Ethridge "The Happiness Toy" - Ray Garton "Follower" - Danny Rhodes Looking for a good book? If you enjoy reading horror fiction and will only buy one book this year, make it The Best of Horror Library, Volumes 1-5, edited by R.J. Cavender. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jonny

    From telekinetic babies to a morbid photographer that can see the future. From an optimistic zombie apocalypse survivor to a hyper sexual ghost, The Best of Horror Library covers a large spectrum of sub-genres in the realm of horror. That's the best thing about the horror genre: it can come in any form. What people find horrific or scary differ from person to person. Unfortunately, though, that's also where The Best of Horror Library stumbles a bit. Not all of the featured stories hit their mark From telekinetic babies to a morbid photographer that can see the future. From an optimistic zombie apocalypse survivor to a hyper sexual ghost, The Best of Horror Library covers a large spectrum of sub-genres in the realm of horror. That's the best thing about the horror genre: it can come in any form. What people find horrific or scary differ from person to person. Unfortunately, though, that's also where The Best of Horror Library stumbles a bit. Not all of the featured stories hit their mark. There were several overly sexual entries, where it seemed that the punch at the end of the story was the only real connection to horror. Others seemed to be too weird and abstract to find an semblance of horror other than its absurdity. Like any anthology of short-fiction, not every entry can be a winner. There will be forerunners and those that get lost in the fray. But where this collection of horror goes right is its placement of its stories. Each one, although written by different authors, flows into the next one with a similar theme or setting. A story about a woman lost in the desert is followed by a story of a single father fighting off time sucking buzzards in the desert. Often, anthologies can feel stilted and awkward with large jumps from story to story. The editing was done right this time, though. I received an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    The Behrg

    Suspenseful tension? Check. Original & fresh writing? Check. Shocking endings? Check. For a horror anthology to call itself "The Best Of" anything, it's got to deliver the goods. Fortunately, this collection did just that. I read a lot of shorts stories and I find that in 99% of anthologies or collections there are always a few thrown in that feel like "filler," for lack of a better term. They're decently told stories but not exceptional. This was one of those rare occasions where every story was f Suspenseful tension? Check. Original & fresh writing? Check. Shocking endings? Check. For a horror anthology to call itself "The Best Of" anything, it's got to deliver the goods. Fortunately, this collection did just that. I read a lot of shorts stories and I find that in 99% of anthologies or collections there are always a few thrown in that feel like "filler," for lack of a better term. They're decently told stories but not exceptional. This was one of those rare occasions where every story was filling. Now, were all of them my favorite? No. But there was certainly something worthy of each one being included. Skip a writing class and read this little gem instead if you're looking to make a mark in the world. And if you're just into things that go bump in the night, you'll find plenty here to keep you turning the pages. A solid 4 1/2 stars out of 5.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Abbie

    Not a bad collection of stories, but there weren't any that I loved. A lot of them were more weird than anything. Not a bad collection of stories, but there weren't any that I loved. A lot of them were more weird than anything.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Horror Underground

    From Horrorunderground.org Horror Library the Best of Volumes 1-5 Cutting Block Books Edited: R. J. Cavender Cutting Block Books and Editor R. J. Cavender have assembled the best short stories from the three time Bram Stoker Award nominated Horror Library series. The book features 33 of the top stories from each volume spanning the last decade. This collection is one of the most perfect representations of how truly horrifying and intelligent genre fiction can be. With most anthology collections, I ty From Horrorunderground.org Horror Library the Best of Volumes 1-5 Cutting Block Books Edited: R. J. Cavender Cutting Block Books and Editor R. J. Cavender have assembled the best short stories from the three time Bram Stoker Award nominated Horror Library series. The book features 33 of the top stories from each volume spanning the last decade. This collection is one of the most perfect representations of how truly horrifying and intelligent genre fiction can be. With most anthology collections, I typically spend a long time reading them. I usually pick the book up here and there or bounce around to my favorite authors. It is pretty rare that I will actually just sit down and read a short story collection from cover to cover. That is exactly what I did with this because I knew what I was getting into; Horror Library is a who’s who of top genre writers. That makes this one pleasure of a read. To be honest, I haven’t completely loved a short story collection like this since I first discovered H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, and Clive Barker. From the very first story, The Puppet Show, by author Rick J. Brown, I knew I was going to be enthralled with this collection. The Puppet Show is a great blend of science fiction and horror with a post-apocalyptic backdrop. The story instantly reminded me of the first time I read The Pedestrian by Ray Bradbury. This is unique take on an alien invasion. Obviously this is a very different story than The Pedestrian, but the feelings and tone are one and the same. Also, who doesn’t love a story with a Grinding Machine that regurgitates flesh for puppets? Another truly outstanding story is The Garbage Collectors by Ron McGillvray. This marvelous short story is about a Dad who is trying to console his children. His son and daughter are upset because the other children at school told them that their parents were going to pick one of them to be given to the garbage collectors, shadowy creatures that come at night to take one child of a family with two. From there, the story moves to a maddening and tense drive sequence that leads into a violent and sad ending. I could go on and on, but I assure you that each story in this volume is outstanding and worthy of your time. There is a story in here for every genre fan and enough to play on every fear. Horror Library continues to deliver some of the best horror fiction collections and this Best Of volume is the shining star.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Paul Anderson

    For those not in the know, Horror Library, published by Cutting Block Press and edited by RJ Cavender, began publishing in 2006 and, as the title suggests, has put out five volumes, each chock full of stories, either picked through the incredibly-tight submissions window (Cavender has said previously that every single author ever published in HL had been previously rejected at least once, including well-known authors), or by, I would assume, invitation (Bentley Little comes to mind, if only beca For those not in the know, Horror Library, published by Cutting Block Press and edited by RJ Cavender, began publishing in 2006 and, as the title suggests, has put out five volumes, each chock full of stories, either picked through the incredibly-tight submissions window (Cavender has said previously that every single author ever published in HL had been previously rejected at least once, including well-known authors), or by, I would assume, invitation (Bentley Little comes to mind, if only because the man is known to absolutely hate the Internet with a vehemence that not even Harlan Ellison can muster; Ellison at least has a website he occasionally visits). While the editorial team and the guidelines have remained consistent, there is a variation in material, if only because I would doubt that interests can stay so uniform for almost ten years; hell, my own editorial interests have changed since I edited Jamais Vu, and the last issue only came out a year ago. Because of this, there is a smorgasbord when it comes to the types of stories; there are psychological pieces, grue pieces (Shane MacKenzie’s “Open Mind Night at the Ritz” comes immediately to mind), ghost stories. There are stories of trauma and adaptation and giving up. There are sex toys. There’s mountain climbing. But, the people ask, is it any good? Anymore, I love stories of people dealing with trauma, of the horror passing and the survivors coming to grips with it. For that reason, Kealan Patrick Burkes’ “After” and Kurt Dinan’s “Into the After” are where my heart goes; ignore the fact that the titles are similar–one deals with the trauma of bullying and school shootings, the other discusses the survivors of 9/11. There’s weird here, too–Cameron Pierce’s “I Am Meat, I Am in Daycare” is so weird, but it comes off as a trifle. However, in spite of that–or because it’s delivered in such a ho-hum tone–it lingers. Ray Garton’s “The Happiness Toy” is just bizarre, feeling like the result of a round-robin joke: “What if magical vibrators could change you?” In spite of the hysterical premise, the punchline, and the matter-of-fact delivery of sex (too often, horror fiction deals with sex the way teenager boys do–with a lot of greasy fingers and labored breathing), keeps you turning. Because the Cutting Block team pulled from so many pieces, and present so many different types of stories, not every story is going to pull in every reader. I skipped three, personally, because the openings didn’t grab me (and, no, I’m not going to tell you which; what bored me might prove riveting to you). Still, for aspiring writers hoping to crack a Cavender project, or readers looking for those short quick bites while waiting somewhere, there’s plenty here to hold your attention.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This book opens with a story that stabs you in the soul, and each successive piece twists the knife a little more. Collected from previous Horror Library volumes, this is an anthology of tales ranging from the darkly fantastic to the utterly terrifying. Several of the stories are what I consider subtle horror: creepy and unnerving, low-key and readable, but the kind of material that will haunt you for weeks after you read it. All stay within the boundaries of good taste, even those containing the This book opens with a story that stabs you in the soul, and each successive piece twists the knife a little more. Collected from previous Horror Library volumes, this is an anthology of tales ranging from the darkly fantastic to the utterly terrifying. Several of the stories are what I consider subtle horror: creepy and unnerving, low-key and readable, but the kind of material that will haunt you for weeks after you read it. All stay within the boundaries of good taste, even those containing the most violence. If you’re looking for splatter and gore, you’ll want to look elsewhere. If you’re looking for contemporary horror, the kind that evolves out of the complex and conflicted world of the 21st century, you’ll love this book. There are some weird stories, a few wicked ones, and some that will send parents to their child’s bedrooms in the middle of the night, just to check, you know. The stories are arranged in an up and down of pace and tension, so reading the whole anthology through in one sitting is like riding a roller coaster on a replay loop that lasts for 300 pages. One Caveat: As a novice horror writer, I found the work in this book to be slightly demoralizing. Usually in an anthology this size there are a few truly noteworthy stories, some good ones, and a few that are unremarkable. This book, however, is literary gold from page one. The elements of craft are so well-polished, the writing techniques so varied, the stories themselves so unique and fresh that aspiring writers might be tempted to chuck it all and take up gardening instead. My advice: treat this book like a textbook on horror writing. Analyze what the authors did and how they did it. Read the book a few times for pleasure, then read it again with an eye on structure, character, dialogue, setting, plot. Then go forth and write scary.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    Ooooooh .... spooky! Normally I shy away from multi-author fiction collections since the quality and tone tends to vary so markedly. I can't really remember why I decided to give this horror collection a try. Probably because it said Best of, so I figured it wouldn't be awful. And it wasn't awful; it was pretty good. I read through it quickly in two evenings. I can't say that there were any stand-outs for me, but overall, the tone wasn't overly genre. This was more like reading literary fiction i Ooooooh .... spooky! Normally I shy away from multi-author fiction collections since the quality and tone tends to vary so markedly. I can't really remember why I decided to give this horror collection a try. Probably because it said Best of, so I figured it wouldn't be awful. And it wasn't awful; it was pretty good. I read through it quickly in two evenings. I can't say that there were any stand-outs for me, but overall, the tone wasn't overly genre. This was more like reading literary fiction in the horror realm than pure slash-em-aliens-ghost-psychic pulp. And there were some slash-em stories, and alien stories, and ghost stories, and psychic stories, a good variety of different plots and points-of-view. Nothing too frightening though (although I doubt anything is going to be as frightening as me being eleven, alone in the dark, and reading about Danny getting trapped in the snow tunnel The Shining). Just mild thrills. A good diversion. The Best of Horror Library: Volumes 1-5 edited by R.J. Cavender went on sale May 6, 2015. I received a copy free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    ***Review Copy*** I inhaled this book it was so good. fast paced and entertaining till the very last macabre story. Its been a while since I've been able to dole out 5 stars on any book so this was a refreshing change. ***Review Copy*** I inhaled this book it was so good. fast paced and entertaining till the very last macabre story. Its been a while since I've been able to dole out 5 stars on any book so this was a refreshing change.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Terry Mayou

    Very weird This is a strange collection of stories but it kept me coming back for more. I don't remember any one story as being great but most were good. Very weird This is a strange collection of stories but it kept me coming back for more. I don't remember any one story as being great but most were good.

  12. 5 out of 5

    T. Giachetti

    Fantastic A book of horror that will keep you turning pages until the wee hours. A little frightening , to scary to down right bone chilling.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Asia

    This was one of the best collections of stories I have read!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brian Mcclain

    Easily one of the best and most varied anthologies I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Easily one of the best and most varied anthologies I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dean Reviews Books

    The stories that were good were amazing. The stories that weren't, well, they had a few different problems. A lot of assumed-Whiteness was my main complaint. A few of the stories blew me away with how amazing they were, though, which is why this collection still gets 4*. The stories that were good were amazing. The stories that weren't, well, they had a few different problems. A lot of assumed-Whiteness was my main complaint. A few of the stories blew me away with how amazing they were, though, which is why this collection still gets 4*.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Stewart

    Have enjoyed all the volumes in the Horror Library series. This is the best of them all. Top form!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Beaudette

    "A gaunt woman wearing a sheer sweater the color of menstrual blood." This quote from "Apple," a story narrated by a hired killer, pretty much sums it up. Women = sexy, or victim, or gross, or most often, all three at once. If there is a genre of literature called women's fiction, why not also categorize certain books as "men's fiction," rather than calling them "the best of horror"? For these stories are overwhelmingly written by men, about men, and for men. Not all men, of course, and women ma "A gaunt woman wearing a sheer sweater the color of menstrual blood." This quote from "Apple," a story narrated by a hired killer, pretty much sums it up. Women = sexy, or victim, or gross, or most often, all three at once. If there is a genre of literature called women's fiction, why not also categorize certain books as "men's fiction," rather than calling them "the best of horror"? For these stories are overwhelmingly written by men, about men, and for men. Not all men, of course, and women may enjoy them too. I enjoyed the stories at first, but grew bored when it became apparent that I would find the same story over and over again (with a few notable exceptions, see below). Most of these stories don't pass the Sexy Lamp test, which asks if you can replace a female character with a sexy lamp without ruining the story. Don't get me wrong, I'll take good horror any day, no matter who is being killed or doing the killing. Good literature is good literature. But when nearly every story here features zero female characters, or female characters who are only half-formed, only appear as sexy props, victims, or causes of destruction, and hardly any of them are full, normal people, I find it hard to enjoy. The collection of stories are written by 29 male writers and 4 female writers. Let's count the lady bodies as of 40% through the book, the point at which I gave up reading. Spoiler alert here: -A man decapitates his wife with an axe (he's forced, he doesn't want to do it) -A man takes a picture of a bound and naked teenage girl, then leaves her to die. -A man tries to save a flirtatious woman, but she's hit by a car. -A man kills a woman in a bathtub with a drill after his father has burned her with battery acid -A man kills a woman UN ambassador, while his son is watching. -A man turns a secretary into "a stain on the carpet." -A man kills his own family (again, forced): wife, son, and daughter. -Woman gets herself killed because she's too insistent on taking pictures (I'm not making this up, read the book! But don't) As opposed to the male bodies: -A man goes crazy and slits his own wrists -A man dies of sickness -A man dies "peacefully in his sleep" of a coma -A man is killed with a chainsaw -A man is killed with poison. -The man who killed his family also turned the gun on himself Or, in the stories in which no one dies or in which death is indiscriminate: -A man is tortured by his behooded family and girlfriends. -A man and his wife have a baby and the world ends. Literally, it ends because they have the baby. (Baby can pull anything she wants toward her, and eventually she pulls down the sun) - A teenaged boy shoots up a school Here are three I loved, which did not objectify women. "Next Stop, Babylon" by John Mantooth, a terrifying bus ride for one southern woman in a dystopic future. Wonderful. "I am Meat, I am in Daycare" by Cameron Pierce, an absurd horror satire about a woman running a daycare. Loved it. "The Puppet Show" by Rick J. Brown--Another great dystopia, a mysterious puppet show put on by the invading alien species. Fantastic, visceral, gripping. Loved the fantastic descriptions of the "meat puppets" There may be more stories like these three in the collection--not necessarily with female main characters, but which don't revolve around violence done to women or resentment of women. Unfortunately, I stopped reading once it became clear that I wasn't going to find any part of myself, or what I love about horror reflected here.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    The Best of Horror Library is a fantastic collection of short horror stories. Two of my very favorite things put together in one book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book features 33 of the best horror from each volume, 165 stories in total. Most are extremely short and it's a testament to the talent in this book that a scary story can be pulled off with so few words. What I liked: While I enjoyed almost all of the stories in this book, there were a few that really stood out for me. Drawn by Dani The Best of Horror Library is a fantastic collection of short horror stories. Two of my very favorite things put together in one book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book features 33 of the best horror from each volume, 165 stories in total. Most are extremely short and it's a testament to the talent in this book that a scary story can be pulled off with so few words. What I liked: While I enjoyed almost all of the stories in this book, there were a few that really stood out for me. Drawn by Daniel L. Naden was one of my favorites. The story of a little girl who is born with the ability to move anything she wants, to draw it to her. Her parents try desperately to keep her and themselves safe. As she grows into a toddler it becomes increasingly difficult as she is able to move furniture and even people if she wants them. They make the decision to take her to a doctor. Unfortunately she sees things outside that she wants and draws them with disastrous consequences. This story gave me a night of bad dreams! Reverend Wainwright by Geoffrey L. Mudge is fantastically written and creepy. It's the story of a tent revival and the Reverend and his lackeys who work the crowd. Imagine that during faith healing the pain and afflictions have to go somewhere. The Revered has a dark secret and he and his band of workers are not what they seem. What are they keeping in the trailers that follow them? This story answers that question and more. Very well done. The Vulture's Art by Benjamin Kane Etheridge is another standout story. A man loses his wife in childbirth and takes his infant daughter to a desert cabin he remembers from his own childhood to grieve. Because it's the desert, there are creatures like snakes and vultures there. And the vulture is hungry, very hungry. What happens when a hungry vulture has only live food? It ages it of course! What I didn't like: I don't think my Kindle app liked this book. The stories ran together in the formatting, which is no fault of the content of the book. Each and every story in this book appeals to me on some level and I enjoyed all of them. This is a great representation of the horror genre and I think anyone will find something they like here. ARC provided by NetGalley https://readingfemme.wordpress.com/20...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jess Landry

    How do you pick thirty-three of nearly one-hundred and fifty awesome stories spanning over five volumes for one bad-ass Best Of collection? Pick names out of a hat? Quickly flip through the past volumes and plop your finger down wherever it feels right? Whatever the method, the thirty-three stories collected for the Horror Library: The Best of Volumes 1-5 really are something to write home about. What sets this Best Of collection apart from other anthologies is the sheer variety of genres, subgen How do you pick thirty-three of nearly one-hundred and fifty awesome stories spanning over five volumes for one bad-ass Best Of collection? Pick names out of a hat? Quickly flip through the past volumes and plop your finger down wherever it feels right? Whatever the method, the thirty-three stories collected for the Horror Library: The Best of Volumes 1-5 really are something to write home about. What sets this Best Of collection apart from other anthologies is the sheer variety of genres, subgenres and wild plots. Sure, there’s the usual stuff like ghosts and monsters and zombies but because of the calibre one comes to expect from the Horror Library, it’s a guarantee these aren’t run-of-the-mill stories. There are even stories about exterminators, puppets, children made from meat chunks and magical dildos. Yeah. In a collection of entertaining stories, a few that stood out for me include “The Exterminators” by Sara Joan Berniker. It’s a short but not-so-sweet tale that could also serve as a warning to read something before you sign it. And “The Apocalypse Ain’t So Bad” by Jeff Strand, which is a snarky little take on a post-apocalyptic world overrun with zombies (or mutants). Any respectable smart-ass will get a kick out of it. As far as notable names goes, this collection has tales penned by Bentley Little, John F.D. Taff and Colleen Anderson, just to name a few. There were some new names in there for me and after reading the collection, it’s safe to say I’ve added a few more authors to my must-read list. Not only is the content great, but the cover artwork suits the collection to a T. Just looking at the creepy family portrait (appropriately titled “Freak Family” by William Smyers) is enough to set the tone for what’s ahead. So do yourself a favour, pick up Horror Library: The Best of Volumes 1-5. And while you’re at it, you might as well pick up volumes 1 through 5 and see what you’re missing.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Fun anthology, some are better than others. Apple is the one that seems to stick out the most. Creepy, sickening, but also kept me wanting to know more. A lot of these are really fun one-shots and I enjoyed most of them. I have a very strong stomach for reading, so if you do not, tread lightly. There's gore and disturbing imagery everywhere. (But YAY if you're like me and consider that a good thing!) Fun anthology, some are better than others. Apple is the one that seems to stick out the most. Creepy, sickening, but also kept me wanting to know more. A lot of these are really fun one-shots and I enjoyed most of them. I have a very strong stomach for reading, so if you do not, tread lightly. There's gore and disturbing imagery everywhere. (But YAY if you're like me and consider that a good thing!)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarahkmartinuk

    I received this book to review from Netgalley. As the title suggests the book is one of short horror stories. Some are quite short and do not quite get going for me. Others such as the Puppet master I would have liked to be longer and more developed. I suppose it is a good way to discover authors in this genre but I found the quality of the stories ranged from good to others which left me thinking what was that about! Overall ok if you are looking to fill a 10 minute void in your life.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Angel Hatfield

    **I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review**As I read this compilation, I found the books were more Twilight Zonish rather than true horror. I didn't find them particularly scary, just kind of weird and creepy. I would recommend this book to fans of the authors who contributed to this book. **I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review**As I read this compilation, I found the books were more Twilight Zonish rather than true horror. I didn't find them particularly scary, just kind of weird and creepy. I would recommend this book to fans of the authors who contributed to this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    tyto

    I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is a sharp collection of horror stories that runs the gamut of all types of horror. As in all anthologies, there are some stories that are better than others, but other all, this was a pretty good collection. The stand-out story for me was probably Drawn by Daniel L. Naden.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jim Ralston

    The collection is engaging, but I'd there was one story that stuck with me, Drawn, by Dan Naden. There are some stories, that once I read them, I forget the plot after a while. Like a good Twilight Zone episode, Drawn has a plot that is so well formed, so well covered with atmosphere, that it sticks with me now, even months after I read it. The collection is engaging, but I'd there was one story that stuck with me, Drawn, by Dan Naden. There are some stories, that once I read them, I forget the plot after a while. Like a good Twilight Zone episode, Drawn has a plot that is so well formed, so well covered with atmosphere, that it sticks with me now, even months after I read it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Trina

    I received this arc from Netgalley. I absolutely loved this collection of stories. This is the type of horror that I cut my teeth on. It was like visiting with an old friend after a long absence. Definitely recommend to horror fans.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Darcie

    At the time, I plowed through these stories. there were some that were obviously better than others, but overall, I remember it was a very enjoyable reading experience. however, I really only remember a couple storylines, or general ideas.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Swati Daftuar

    Definitely not a consistent collection. fluctuates between awesome and average and just about all right. The good ones are really good though; readable and creepy and twisted enough to make the entire book worthwhile.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Eric Guignard

    BEST OF volumes 1–5 in the +Horror Library+ series! More about these books here: http://www.darkmoonbooks.com/Horror_L... BEST OF volumes 1–5 in the +Horror Library+ series! More about these books here: http://www.darkmoonbooks.com/Horror_L...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shelly

    Most of the stories are pretty good, although I think they fall more into the bizarro category instead of horror. A few stinkers, a couple of "what the hell was that" but overall I enjoyed it. Most of the stories are pretty good, although I think they fall more into the bizarro category instead of horror. A few stinkers, a couple of "what the hell was that" but overall I enjoyed it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Scott Freeman

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