Dark Carnival: An Anthology of Horror - C. Elizabeth Vescio, Julie Hutchings, Kristen Strassel, Meghan Schuler, Kat Daemon, Brian W. Taylor, J. Elizabeth Hill, Claire C Riley, Jolene Haley, Kristen Jett, Jessi Shakarian

1.5 stars...maybe even 1.25.

 

This was pretty bad.

 

I don't read a lot of short stories, but I love horror and I love all things creepy carnival themed, so I thought this might be pretty good. This was one of my Ambien buys (see my last post) and I made myself read the entire thing as a way to remind myself to never book shop after taking sleeping pills again. I only found about three of the stories actually scary; some of the stories just downright made no sense. Too many of the stories centered around the same plot -- hamburgers/hot dogs made of human meat, the devil works at the carnival and wants your soul -- which could be interesting stories, but a lot of these felt sloppy and rushed and lacked depth. Maybe it's just me, but if I'm reading a collection of short stories, I want them all to be different and give me something new. Some of the stories that were similar even came one after the other, so I found myself skimming the second story because I felt like I had just read it.

But the worst part about this was the editing. I think every single story in here had at least a few errors. Names were misspelled, punctuation was missing or used incorrectly, there were random line breaks in the middle of sentences that I don't think were put for any kind of artistic purpose...Seriously, some of the stories were hard to read because there were just so many errors. Yes, I majored in English, but I'm not a crazy grammar Nazi. But the fact of the matter is, grammatical errors make us pause and take us away from the story (not that I was really enjoying these stories anyway). I honestly don't know how these stories got published with the amount of errors they have. 

 

Pleaseeee save your 99 cents and skip this. Like I said, I don't read short stories often, but I am still 100% sure there are better scary story collections out there.