Howls from Hell

Foreword by Grady Hendrix

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The HOWL (Horror-Obsessed Writing and Literature) Society came to being as a subreddit gathering of horror fans and writers, and, as the saying goes, the rest is history. Howls from Hell is their first anthology, featuring sixteen emerging authors.

Anthologies are always a mixed bag, but they are a great way of finding new authors. I’d never heard of any of the authors, so my expectations weren’t high, but a few of the stories pleasantly surprised me, and author names have been added to my ever-increasing ‘Keep an Eye Out For’ list.

Three of the stories stood out for me. The first is Manufactured God, by P.L. McMillian, a sci-fi/horror tale of a group of futuristic anthropology academics sent to investigate Ancient Egyptian ruins who end up finding way more than they could have ever anticipated. Suspended in Light, by Alex Wolfgang, is a quietly creepy horror about an old set of film reels and the unfortunate film student tasked with reviewing and cataloguing them.

By far my favourite is Possess & Serve, by Christopher O’Halloran, a story which I’d class more as sci-fi than horror. A new and experimental police department has opened for those who can afford to pay: The Assumed Control Unit doesn’t just sent police to the scene of a crime, it sends them into the head of the person who summons them, allowing the Summoner to step back and hand over control of their body to somebody trained to deal with whatever situation has arisen. All well and good, but what happens when the Summoned officer betrays that trust?

For the record, my ratings for each story are:

A Casual Encounter by Quinn Fern – 2/5
The Pigeon Lied by J.W. Donley – 3/5
Manufactured God by P.L. McMillian – 4/5
Red Punch Buggy by B.O.B Jenkin – 3/5
She’s Taken Away by Shane Hawk – 3/5
Suspended in Light by Alex Wolfgang – 4/5
Gooseberry Bramble by Solomon Forse – 3/5
Clement & Sons by Joe Radkins – 3/5
Possess & Serve by Christopher O’Halloran
Duplicitous Wings by Amanda Nevada DeMel – 3/5
It Gets in Your Eyes by Joseph Andre Thomas – 3/5
Red and The Beast by Thea Maeve – 3/5
The Intruder by Justin Faull – 1/5
Sprout by M. David Clarkson – 2/5
Junco Creek by S.E. Denton – 3/5
A Fistful of Murder by Lindsey Ragsdale – 3/5

I received an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publication date – 18th May 2021

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