Book Review: Halloween Carnival Volume 1

Title: Halloween Carnival Volume 1
Series: Halloween Carnival
Author: Robert McCammon, Kevin Lucia, John Little, Lisa Morton, Mark Allan Gunnells, Brian James Freeman
Genre: Horror, Sci Fi, Fantasy
Publisher: Hydra
Release Date: October 03, 2017
Format: Kindle
Pages: 149
Source: NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★☆

STRANGE CANDY by Robert McCammon
Chocolate bars and sour suckers are trick-or-treat staples, but beware the odd sweet at the bottom of your bag. You never know who it’s from—or what it might do to you.

THE RAGE OF ACHILLES by Kevin Lucia
Father Ward should have heeded the warnings about hearing confession on All Hallow’s Eve. Because a man is about to tell him a secret more haunting than any he has heard before.

DEMON AIR by John R. Little
Fear of flying is not uncommon. But on this transpacific airline, the real danger isn’t the flight itself. It’s whoever—or whatever—is up in the air with you.

LA HACIENDA DE LOS MUERTOS by Lisa Morton
Trick McGrew, former cowboy star of the silver screen, has never believed in tall tales. But down in Mexico, the land of La Llorona, he’s about to find out just how real urban legends can be.

#MAKEHALLOWEENSCARYAGAIN by Mark Allan Gunnells
Some people will go to any lengths to rack up retweets, likes, and follows on social media, no matter who they end up hurting . . . or even killing.


Halloween is my favorite holiday. This is something that anyone who knows me will tell you. I am a Halloween fanatic. So when given the chance to review books with stories based on Halloween and Halloween traditions – and those books are horror novels, you can bet I jumped at that chance. Halloween Carnival Volume 1 is the first of five volumes of Halloween short stories, each in the horror category.

Volume 1 starts off with a story that isn’t so much scary as weird and sad. It’s a great story and one that I’ve read twice now – in fact I’ve read the entire book twice now – and I have to say that it’s just as weird and sad each time. The book ends with a story that I think belongs more in a mystery & thriller compilation than a horror/Halloween compilation. Again, it’s great story and I’ve read it twice, but I just don’t think it fits so well with the idea of a Halloween/horror story.

The stories are all well written and I think they’d make a great addition to anyone’s Halloween reading list. It takes around 3 hours to finish the book if you read at an average to above average speed, so you could technically get through more than one of these volumes in a day.

I gave this one 4 stars because the stories have a good Halloween creepy vibe to them and they work well for those wanting a quick Halloween-themed read.

I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Book Review: The Zombie Stories of H.P. Lovecraft

Title: The Zombie Stories of H. P. Lovecraft
Author: H. P. Lovecraft
Genre: Horror, Fiction, Sci Fi, Fantasy
Publisher: Dover Publications
Release Date: September 16, 2015
Format: Kindle
Pages: 100
Source: NetGalley
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, and other experts on horror fiction deem H. P. Lovecraft the master teller of weird tales. These six chilling stories ― all published between 1921 and 1933 ― offer compelling journeys into the land of the undead.


The collection begins with “The Outsider,” the tale of a recluse whose overwhelming loneliness emboldens him to seek out human contact. Subsequent stories include “Herbert West―Reanimator,” written as a satire of Frankenstein and used as the source for a popular horror film; “In the Vault,” in which an undertaker experiences supernatural revenge; “Cool Air,” an account of a doctor’s fanatical obsession with defying death; and “Pickman’s Model,” focusing on an artist’s gallery of nightmares. “The Thing on the Doorstep” concludes the compilation with the compelling tale of a man whose body is preyed upon by a spirit that refuses to die.


When I think of zombies, I think of undead beings who stagger around, moaning and groaning, and looking to consume human (or non-human) flesh and/or brains. I think Night of the Living Dead, The Walking Dead, etc.. What I don’t think of, are scientific reanimations of corpses, black magic being used to take over others’ bodies, or any of the other things that happened in this book.

H. P. Lovecraft is one of the authors that is considered “must read” for any goth – and being a goth I felt that I must give this a try, at least once. I find that I’m not particularly entranced by H. P. Lovecraft’s writing style, nor am I particularly impressed with what the author and publisher chose to consider zombie stories. These were relatively creepy, but not downright scary and quite frankly, didn’t spark anything past mild interest.

I finished the book for the sake of finishing it as it isn’t a particularly long book. The stories were all right, but not worth more than 3 stars.

I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.