Recently, Amazon got together six horror writers that you’ve likely heard of and tasked them with writing short stories about monsters. The collection is called “Creature Feature.” And, in anticipation of Halloween, I figured it would be fun to go over each of the books in the set individually throughout the month. Then, we’ll see which one is the best of the bunch.
We’ll be going over them in the order they’re presented, continuing with…
“Best of Luck” by Jason Mott
“Best of Luck” is pulling as my favorite story in the collection. Although “Ankle Snatcher” is the only one that scared me, this one was the most fun to read. I actively wish there were more pages, that the story didn’t have to be over so soon.
And this is for two distinct reasons. The first is that the prose is extremely breezy—the most like what I’m used to reading. No massive info-dumps. No weird, all-tell, no-show stylistic choices. We start right in the middle of the event, and relevant information is backfilled by a conversation, with lots of interesting turns as it goes. More horror stories should have this attention-grabbing of a hook.
And the other reason is that the premise, even without the cold open, is fascinating. A concept that could easily spawn so many books in so many genres. The core idea and mystery of “Best of Luck” is if luck is a finite, movable resource—and if it is, how does that work? Can you take luck? Can you give it to someone else? And the way the story explores it ends up getting into social commentary and cosmic horror.
Though, in terms of the point of this collection, it once again highlights how flimsy the rules are. When a collection is named “Creature Feature,” I would expect more giant monsters. Big evil bugs. Some kind of sea serpent, maybe. Yeah, this story has a supernatural monster, but it’s not really the point. “Best of Luck” could’ve easily been told without anything more than a vague magical explanation, and arguably, it would’ve been stronger. I didn’t notice any overt plot holes, but the closest only exists because there’s a flesh-and-blood creature to keep track of in the narrative.
But this is honestly such a minor complaint. Like I said at the offset, this is my favorite of the collection—and is honestly a contender for my favorite horror short story of all time. We get worldbuilding, scary visuals, interesting character dynamics, and the pacing was fantastic. If you’ve been unsure if you want to read this little collection, or even if you’re not sure if you like horror stories, give “Best of Luck” a chance.
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