2012; 128 pages. Full Title : “The Eclective : The Haunted Collection.” New Author? : Mostly Yes. Genre : Anthology; Halloween. Overall Rating : 7½*/10.
Eight tales of the paranormal. There are ghosts, ghouls, vampires, a nasty little porcelain figurine, and a witch that you shouldn’t cheat on. I read this during the week leading up to Halloween, but it’s suitable for anytime you feel like telling the Undead to “bring it on”.
What’s To Like...
Each tale has a different motif; I like that. The editing is superb – I found only one typo in the whole book. You have eight different authors, and frankly they’re all good writers. The literary unevenness you find in a lot of anthologies is not present here. The eight stories are :
Empty Vessel (M. Edward McNally)
Safe (Emma Jameson)
Cupcake Goddess : Soulfully Sweet (Shea MacLeod)
May I Go Play (Heather Marie Adkins)
Blehdward, the Vampire Who Couldn’t Sparkle (P.J. Jones)
Franscesca (Alan Nayes)
Soul Eaters (R.G. Porter)
To those who ask why I done it, why Benjamin Barrow, son of a respectable rag and bone man, took to thieving from corpses, I says, “For the bleeding steven, hey?” and leave it at that. I don’t spill all I know to every Champagne Charlie I meet down the pub. For one thing, half the blokes in this world are thicker than a fresh corpse and less diverting to talk to. For another, I’m an educated man, and that makes all the difference. (loc. 411)
“Take my hand.”
Viola gave her a look that spoke volumes. “I’m a ghost.”
“And I’m a goddess. Take my hand.” (loc. 710)
I don’t think Anthologies ever merit a perfect rating; you will always like some of the selections better than others, and short stories just don’t offer the depth that full-length novels do. But The Haunted Collection is as good of collection of tales as I’ve come across. 7½ Stars. Add another star if you liked to read Tales From the Crypt as a kid.