I’d not read anything by T. Kingfisher before this novel, but given the grace of the prose, The Hollow Places will not be the last. She’s shown her sureness within both this subgenre and in the art of simply telling a good story.
Starting worst and going toward best, this is a shorter but much more spoiler-heavy breakdown of these six spooky tales.
So many stories start with something inexplicable happening. Something that seems impossible. In this case, that thing is a cube.
I Found a Circus Tent in the Woods Behind My House is a stark contrast to the first book in the “I Found Horror” series. It’s technically the second book, but was published first. I’m unsure of why it’s set up that way, except perhaps to give a better starting impression.
As is our tradition around here, we’ve got an extra short story for you, delivered by me, your humble Fictionmonger. And written by our usual prolific scribe, Brandon Scott.
“Big Bad” made for an interesting end to the Creature Feature collection. It’s the only story in it that fits within any of my preconceived expectations. It’s about a werewolf. The werewolf follows normal horror werewolf rules (as opposed to paranormal werewolf rules), and the story has a lot of gore and tense moments in it.
I stared at the adult person, or adult person-shaped thing, standing there. They didn’t do anything at first. I risked glancing back to make sure that there wasn’t a second ghost person in the mirrored corner. There wasn’t. That didn’t make me feel better.
“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.
“In Bloom” just kept missing. Each time the horror felt like it was going to build to something, each time I thought the concept was going to hit harder, it just failed to work.
The open door of The Phobia Box filled my vision. The idea that I could fall into the damn thing occurred to me, and I stepped back from it.
If there was an award for the most middle-of-the-road story in this collection, “It Waits in the Woods” would currently win.
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