My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Robert McCammon, James Renner, Kaaron Warren, Brian Hodge, Bill Schweigart, and Mick Garris reveal sinister secrets and unsavory pasts in a haunting anthology of short stories collected by acclaimed horror editors Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar.
LIZARDMAN by Robert McCammon
The lizardman thinks he knows about all the mysterious dangers of the Florida swamps, but there are things lurking in the bayou that are older and deadlier than his wildest dreams.
A MONSTER COMES TO ASHDOWN FOREST (IN WHICH CHRISTOPHER ROBIN SAYS GOODBYE) by James Renner
Although every child dreams of visiting Hundred Acre Wood, only one has ever actually frolicked in that fabled forest—and survived.
FURTHEREST by Kaaron Warren
She’s been going to the beach since she was a child, daring the other kids to go out past the dunes where those boys died all those years ago. Now she realizes that the farther out you go, the harder it is to come back.
WEST OF MATAMOROS, NORTH OF HELL by Brian Hodge
After the success of their latest album, Sebastián, Sofia, and Enrique head to Mexico for a shoot under the statue of Santa Muerte. But they have fans south of the border who’d kill to know where they get their inspiration.
THE EXPEDITION by Bill Schweigart
On a quest to bring glory to the Führer, Lieutenant Dietrich Drexler leads his team into the ruins of the Carpathian Mountains. But the wolf that’s stalking them is no ordinary predator.
SNOW SHADOWS by Mick Garris
A schoolteacher’s impulsive tryst with a colleague becomes a haunting lesson in tragedy and terror when he’s targeted for revenge by an unlikely, unhinged rival.
This collection of short stories had more misses than hits for me. Frankly, there was just one story that I truly enjoyed and that was A Monsters Comes to Ashdown Forest. There is just something so chilling when it comes to a horror tales about beloved figures from children's books. This tale was haunting and really good and I wished the rest had been as good. - 4 stars to this tale!
Then we have Lizardman and The Expeditions. They were OK, not as good as A Monsters Comes to Ashdown Forest, but they didn't bore me and had an interesting story to tell. What they lacked, however, were any chilling feeling. - 3 stars to these tales.
Finally, at the bottom, we have Furtherest, West of Matamoros, North of Hell and Snow Shadows. These three stories really didn't work for me. When a short story feels too long then you know you have a problem. Furtherest was just odd and not in a good way. I was bored reading that one. West of Matamoros, North of Hell could have been interesting, with the Santa Muerte theme. But, it was just a long short story that I couldn't wait to get through. And then we have Snow Shadows. I just don't see the point of adding this story to this collection? Now the other two at least felt like they belonged in this collection (even though I didn't enjoy them). But, this story? Sure, it seems like there is some kind of ghost thing going one, but it was lacking anything remotely chilling or thrilling. - 1 star to these stories.