Dark Visions: A Collection of Modern Horror – Volume Two
Edited by Anthony Rivera and Sharon Lawson
Published by Grey Matter Press December 2013
Synopsis: DARK VISIONS: A COLLECTION OF MODERN HORROR – Volume Two takes you deeper into the twisted psyche of man with 13 psychological tales of terror that explore the true heart of darkness. The stories in this volume offer an even more insidious look into the concepts of life, death and how choices we make affect our eternal souls.
Our Thoughts: A few months ago, I raved about DARK VISIONS: A COLLECTION OF MODERN HORROR – Volume One. It was a fantastic collection of tales that still haunts me now and again. I was excited to read this next installment from Grey Matter Press, hoping for more of the same.
Volume 2 is good, but it’s not great. To me, it doesn’t hold a candle to the first collection put out under the Dark Visions name. The stories do not carry the same caliber. While I love the kind of story that’s got an open-to-interpretation ending, there just seemed to be too many of these in this collection. Sometimes we, the readers, need closure. Sometimes we need a solid ending. Sometimes we don’t want to have to work so hard trying to figure out just what the hell happened.
That’s not to say it’s a bad collection. It’s not. There are definitely a few saving graces within its pages. And maybe reading Volume One kind of spoiled me because I went into Volume Two expecting something even grander. Shame on me. A book or a collection should be allowed to stand on its own two legs, but it’s hard for me to review Volume Two without comparing it to its predecessor.
Still, there’s some good stuff in here. MR. WHITE was an excellent starting point, chilling and haunting in its telling. If you ask who MR. WHITE is, chances are you will suffer for it. MOONLIGHTING was another good one, the story of a creepy club of which you may never want an invite. REMEMBER ME had a Pinnochio-in-reverse feel to it. It carried a good amount of gore and stayed with me long after I read it.
THE FIRST YEARS was my favorite story of the bunch. The humor within its pages caught me by surprise, and I appreciated that. THE ELEMENTALS AND I tells the tale of just how bad “Can cause side effects” can get. VARIATIONS OF SOULLESSNESS was difficult for me to get through, but it was extremely well written with a clever, original storyline. It was horrifying, and yet its the loudest story of the lot for all its quiet, monotone dialogue. LAST CALL was well-developed and just an all-around good story. How long is 10 years of your life? How short is 10 years of your life?
My best piece of advice… read both of these collections. They are definitely worth your time. Just read them out of order. And enjoy!