Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Passion and Poison
Marshall Cavendish, 2007
YA/MG Horror Story Collection
Source: Received a copy from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.
Lately I've been really into short stories so I was excited to see this available for review. I like how there is a woman on the cover as well as mentioned in the subtitle. This is a collection of seven stories with various horror themes, intended by the author to be read aloud as I discovered when I read the author's note at the end. I only had myself so I read silently but I wonder how a crowd would respond to them especially if they were told around a campfire or on a dark and stormy night.
I'm not going to go in-depth to any of the stories as I had basically the same impression for all. This is certainly competent writing with some killer closing lines (inevitably the line I wanted to highlight for almost all of the stories was the last one.) But it wasn't very scary, if that was in fact the intention, which I assumed it was due to the creepy cover and mention of ghosts. That's why I wonder if the setting in which this was read would play a factor in how you processed it.
Of further interest was the author's note, which explains how she came to compose these stories and her purpose in reclaiming some ground for the anonymous women who populate folklore. Each of the women here do have a name and their agency is clearly revealed to the reader, if not to the other characters of the story. Inspiration for each story is also cited so the curious can research more.
Overall: A well-done short story collection-though were standouts, all were good on about the same level. Maybe a fun library read for a camping trip?