This is without doubt one of the greatest short stories I have ever read.
James A Moore has written something
so beautifully atmospheric that it is mesmerising.
This is another sent into Ginger Nuts of Horror in exchange for an honest review of the book. This is an anthology of 4 military horror short stories.
I decided to grab this one because it features four different authors, two of which, Joseph Nassise and James A. Moore, I have read before and two others I have wanted to read, Jonathan Maberry and Weston Ochse. Military horror is a favourite of mine, if it’s done right. I have seen good reports about previous SNAFU anthologies so was looking forward to this one.
THE HUNGRY DARK: A TEMPLAR CHRONICLES MISSION BY JOSEPH NASSISE
Knight Commander Cade and his unit made up of Olsen, Riley and Duncan are sent to the remote village of Durbandorf in the Black Forest to investigate reports of strange creatures and unusual behaviour. On arrival they discover the place has been overrun by protean demons, they must try to keep the few remaining survivors alive while hunting down, and attempting to destroy the host demon.
I absolutely love books that feature the Knights Templar. I normally find them in historical / mystery thrillers so finding them in the middle of a horror story was great.
Right from the first paragraph this one kicks off with creepy scenes that perfectly set the atmosphere for the rest of the story. It’s dark, very dark. You can just imagine yourself in the middle of nowhere, with no resources, in the middle of a snowy, dark scene with no idea of what might jump out on you from a side street.
The idea of modern day Knights Templars is interesting. The characters in this are great. The four members of the team complement each other perfectly with the Knight Commander Cade, a perfect leader. They all have their own stories and, as it emerges, their own special “gifts”. There is an abundance of monsters in this. All horrifically mutilated and scary in their own ways.
It’s got the right amount of military action and an equal amount of creepiness, gore and tension. Extremely well written to make all of the above very effective. Only criticism I have is that the ending comes around way to quick. I know it’s a short but even a few more pages would have done the job.
4 stars for this one.
TARZAN DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE BY WESTON OCHSE
The Sonoran Rift was caused by something. It’s four miles long, hundreds of feet wide and more than a thousand feet deep. There is something in it that the military don’t want to escape. Andy is a reporter. Repeated attempts by his colleagues to find out what is in it have achieved nothing, No one has ever come back. Andy has a novel, yet dangerous suggestion for getting close to the rift. What he finds is way beyond anything he could have expected.
Superb. Sort of aliens land on earth, but not really, you never find out really. Plenty of monsters. Very scary for reasons that will become apparent. Reminded me a little of the film “Starship Troopers” only it was never in space, always on earth.
Really good tension and flashback’s to Andy’s past and his love of Tarzan novels. Scary, tense and very imaginative. I would absolutely love to see a full novel of this.
WAR STORIES BY JAMES A MOORE
Eddie is just back from Nam. He isn’t coping well. He is struggling with the traumas he saw. He feels guilty for coming home. His Grandpa served in WWII. He sits Eddie down one night to relate some stories to try and make him see how life should be after war. He tells the most horrifying story he can recall of a strange ally and Himmler’s monsters born of the occult.
This is without doubt one of the greatest short stories I have ever read. James A Moore has written something so beautifully atmospheric that it is mesmerising. He has taken a subject that still, so very little is known, and crafted an extremely creepy, scary and powerful story, it will stay with me for years.
Storytelling at its best. Nothing else to add!!
CHANGELING: A JOE LEDGER ADVENTURE BY JONATHAN MABERRY
The Koenig Group have been developing some things nobody knows about. Now they have been closed down and every government agency wants to know what secrets are held in their now empty building. A Captain of the DMS is first in. He has to battle his own demons, the ones in his head, before he can hope to uncover the real monsters.
To me this is more a thriller than a horror story but a good thriller it was. It’s a plot that’s been done before – secret government agency tries to solve the mysteries and strange goings on and uncover the rumoured monsters. The difference is Jonathan Maberry’s writing. He sucked me in from very early on with endearing and believable characters.
This story gets very creepy towards the end with a little supernatural thrown in as well.
Well there you have it. My first experience of SNAFU. This is an excellent concept for bringing together a particular brand within the horror genre. You know exactly what you are going to get. Military horror. Apart from that you get to read a lot of different authors you might never pick up.
Although I would have liked a bit more of the horror side of things, I really enjoyed this. It’s worth getting purely for James A Moore’s War Stories. I will definitely be picking up more SNAFU tales.
An overall 4 stars.