The stories explore a variety of themes, such as love and kindness, religion and faith, and breaking cycles of abuse. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is a fast-paced warning to be careful what one wishes for, and “Guilty as Cell” explores the dangers of texting while driving. “Heirloom” blurs the line between fantasy and reality when a therapist contemplates the meaning of power, while “Legend Trippers” cautions readers that thrill seeking can come with disastrous consequences. Braun keeps her audience engaged while blending genres with offerings like “Lost Time” and “Stillborn,” mixing horror with a dash of speculative fiction, while “Dying for an Invitation” summons readers to Transylvania for a tale of twisted gothic love.
Several of Braun’s dynamic characters draw inspiration from familiar lore, such as vampires or ashrays—mythic creatures with ties to Scottish folklore, rumored to absorb their victims. Others skillfully toy with modern twists on familiar protagonists, including a loner teenage who happens to be a Satanist and a nurse who ends up at the center of a disturbing secret. Braun’s main players often find themselves in battles not only for their lives but for their souls, which heightens the stakes and conjures nail-biting tension. Horror fans will appreciate the variety of characters, themes, and scares in this unsettling collection.
Takeaway: A collection of fast-paced horror stories with memorable characters and terror galore.
Great for fans of: Laura Diaz de Arce’s Monstrosity, Bora Chung’s Cursed Bunny.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A