I normally wait until I’ve finished a book to review it. When I picked up We Are Wolves [link], which is edited by Gemma Amor, I had plans to spend my Saturday casually reading, taking notes on the stories, and then typing a review on Monday. I love horror anthologies, both as a way to find new authors, and for a quick, creepy story.
As you can see, this is the “first impressions” review. I think this book will take a few weeks to read through all the stories, since I found myself needing to take a break after the second story. I got about a fourth of the way through the book, and realized I should probably slow down and space out reading this collection.
If I needed one word to describe the stories I’ve read so far, it’s “Intense.” The stories are beautifully written, and there are amazing authors are in here. But the stories are also visceral. I can almost feel some of these sticking with me.
I’ll be back with a full length review of this in the future. For now, I’m giving it two very enthusiastic thumbs up, and going to read something fluffy for a bit.
The Worm and His Kings by Hailey Piper [link] is not only one of the queerest horror novels I’ve ever read, it might be one of the best horror novels of the year. I stayed up way too late reading it the night I started it, then way too late again last night to finish it. There were moments where I’d stop and re-read a sentence, just to take in the sheer beauty of the language in this book.
“Subway buskers, used to fighting train horns and railway clatter for listening ears, would’ve drowned out the choir, no trouble. They understood music. It’s purpose was to fill the soul, with no purity in the Worm’s name, and instead littered with the taint of mortal desires. The choir’s pure reverence left Monique’s soul empty.”
That’s just one example of the subtle beauty in the writing in this book. That moment I quoted above comes at about mid-way through the book. Monique’s musing on music are fascinating considering her circumstances. The scenes involving the Worm’s choir are chilling, yet strangely beautiful.
(There are spoilers after this point. Proceed with caution.)