As I stated in my first post, something I wanted to do was post reviews on what I’ve been reading.  This serves two purposes.  One, if you follow my blog you’ll get a good idea (I hope) of what I like and dislike as a reader.  Two, it allows me to help another author promote his/her work.

Here’s the breakdown.

Author: Andrew Kincaid
Name of work: On Dark Paths
Type of work: short story collection
Genre: Horror
Price: $1.99 as an ebook
Author product Description:
Now and then a person brushes up against something they can’t explain, something so far outside the norm that in a sane world it ought not exist.  Enclosed here are thirteen stories about this unholy interaction of the Mundane and the world Beyond:
- A mysterious stranger and horrible sounds from the night give the briefest glimpse into the horrors “Beyond the Veil”
- Is it merely a dream?  Or is it a horrific glimpse into Outer Darkness?   “Plop!”
- A mysterious video wends its way through the digital world, leaving nothing but madness and destruction in its wake in “…And the Truth Shall Make You Free ”
“Where the Darkest of Dark Things Dwell” – Sometimes it isn’t the monster outside that gets you.  Sometimes it’s the one inside.
- A modern day Frankenstein learns the price of hubris in “Murphy’s Law“
- Nothing can save you now.  You’ve been bitten… in “The Bite”
-A sleepy little mining town conceals a horrible truth beneath its feet in  “Benton’s Station”
-The nighttime fancies of childhood sometimes turn out to be all too real in “It Came At Midnight”
- A paranormal enthusiast gets much more than he bargained for in “Death At a Train Crossing”
- It lurks in the woods.  Watching.  Waiting.  What is it? No one knows. “The Thing That Smiles”
- An eccentric author receives a pair of strange visitors one rainy night in “Black Eyed Kids”
- A mysterious box reveals Everything…but for a price… in “The Spirit Box”
- A journalist learns the truth about a devastating plague that has swept the world in “Pandemic Hysteria”

My thoughts:
I discovered Andrew Kincaid through Twitter and, on a whim, went to Amazon to check out his work. The entire first story of this collection is available through the “Look Inside” feature. By the time I was done, I was absolutely hooked and had to buy it. To have that strong of a reaction right away to someone’s writing is very rare for me. Generally, if I like something I stick it on my “to-read” list and will eventually get it. Rarely does something leapfrog other titles I was looking forward to reading.

I finished the collection pretty quickly and enjoyed every story.  So much so, that I immediately went back to Amazon and bought his other collection Strange World. (Again, I rarely do this. Let me go through some of the pros and cons.

  1. Great sense of voice and characters that felt real. I think this is especially hard to do in a short form and Andrew does it well.  Probably why I like his writing so much is that his characters are very prominent in the stories.
  2. Strong suspense. It was hard to stop reading a story in the middle which I was forced to do several times.
  3. Vivid images without being overly descriptive. I haven’t read a ton of horror but like any other genre the stories I enjoy the most are those that give me just enough information to let my imagination run wild and allow me to fill in the rest. 
  4. Change in point of view. Stories shifted between first, second, and third person as well as past and present tense. They worked in every case. It takes a lot of skill to do that, in my opinion.
  5. Different feels to the stories. Some were meant to scare, some to thrill, some made you think. Regardless, they all served their purpose.
  6. Great writing style. Prose was very strong.

  1. If I had to nitpick, a couple of the stories ended a bit more abruptly than I would have liked.
  2. I really want to read a novel by the author but none are currently available. I’m calling you out, Andrew!

Closing thoughts:
If you have an ereader, buy this. Even if you don’t normally read horror, I’m willing to bet you’ll enjoy the collection because the stories themselves are so strong and there is very little of the extremely gory content involved. Besides, it’s only $1.99. Anyone can afford that.

And as a side note, “Pandemic Hysteria” was by far my favorite story. I’ve thought about it for days since reading it. (Again, I can’t remember the last time something like that has happened.)

10 out of 10

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