A is for Anti-Christ
Issac is 16 and ready to become a man, with the party of a life time especially with his parents out of the house!
As the teenagers slowly get more drunk, Isaacs every wish, desire and comment appear to be coming true, a bit worrying in some cases, smirk worthy in some but slowly building scary tension overall.
The finale has some very gory mental images but the ending was flat and rushed IMO.
I liked the reference to the horror movie that was clever.
B is for Bogeywoman
Dean & Wendell seem to be enjoying a burger with a side order of burps! They soon settle down to some video games, enjoying their sleep over together.
IRW takes time in this short story to fill out the lives of the two boys and allude to some sadness in their pasts.
Between random fingernails, old dead women and glowing red eyes under the bed, IRW really starts the reader’s tummy rolling with tension.
The ending was a sort of surprise and sort of expected, but well written.
C is for Clown
Stacey is babysitting little Harry. As she settles down to a film and fantasising about Mr Murray she notices the clown statue standing in the corner of the room.
I found the film choices amusing and enjoyed how IRW intertwined them into the story flow. As poor Harry has trouble sleeping and the clown continues to freak Stacey out I really felt a little spooked myself. Clowns, who doesn’t get weirded out by clowns!
One – Fifteen by Jacob Rayne
Guest story to fill the void left by D which was too horrific for Amazon to publish but which you can get on IRW website – to carry on the theme I won’t review that one but leave it for a surprise for you to discover!
This is a well written first narrative of a women in trapped in some sort of place having recurring nightmares. Whilst it was slightly obvious from the outset what was happening I was still rush along at a face pace by the great writing.
A well-earned place in this book.
E is for Exterminator
Antworth Manor is a three story Edwardian house that needs some love and attention, but first its new owner needs to evict the current tenants – half a million creepy crawlies.
With a pure hatred of all buggy things since a horrific childhood experience, could this bug infested house even be too much for bug killer extraordinaire Chris Treadwell.
Love the little quotes at the start of the story, Arachnophobia; bound to get my goose bumps rising.
As he goes about the building spraying and stomping Treadwell finally makes it to the cellar, then the horror really starts.
Treadwell is urged on through greed mostly, and then defiance even as the unusually large and prevalent multitude of wasps, beetles, spiders and other insects, decide to bite and sting.
When he finally makes it into the Library a few new discoveries finally give him the “willies” enough to run for the exit.
The ending is smirk worthy and full of wonderful gore; another brilliant instalment of the A-Z of Horror.
F is for Feral
Let down, teased, tormented and then scared half to death Max is given a life or death choice from an unlikely source.
IRW manages to get teenage mannerisms and speech to a tee, makes for uncomfy reading.
G is for Genome
You know when science and secret are in the same sentence that something is going or gone wrong.
Dr Lester Solberg has been tempted by a large final pay packet and shipped off to a secluded location in Bratislava with the promise of research and more riches.
The idea of what can be done and what is to be studied by Dr Lester made me shudder and then very curious all at the same time.
With such big and bold characters to “play” with IRW does go to town with some clever wording that gave me the odd snort.
The ending was sort of expected but I would love to see this story extended.
H if for Hell
Barbara is having a day from Hell, we all have those days when nothing goes right and everything that can go wrong does, but not quite as bad as Barbara’s ends up.
A misfortunate, violent accident and she makes a “wrong” decision and her day only get worse than the broken heel she suffered earlier.
The ending left me a bit flat but a reread, as is always advised with the complex works of IRW (you will miss something!), I saw it’s truly goosebumpy potential.
I is for Ice
Peter wakes up cold and confused, but Dr Faraday is on hand to soothe his worries and warm him up with a special blue drink. Post cryostasis he needs all the help he can get, if only he could remember what was going on.
Dr Faraday needs Peter to help with his work, the search for a cure to the Final Flu; the bug that has killed off 99% of the planets human population.
The confusion Peter feels is clearly evident and IRW is sparing in his details to keep that confusion going with the reader.
Loved the little link back to other story characters.
I liked the overall story, it was like a mini apocalypse, a nice ambiguous ending but I felt with more time this “story” would have fallen apart or come under more scrutiny from us canny zombie fiends.
J is for Jaws
Hehehe, friends on a boat in the middle of the sea, but something has awoken in the deep blue ocean….I can feel a Dada, Dada…dadadadada coming on as I read that introduction.
What came next was not so funny.
Something with very big jaws and huge teeth has definitely awoken in the deep and is coming up for lunch.
I loved how this was so cliché but also quite terrifying, it’s nice to see that 30+ years on Jaws still haunts me and I can’t go in the sea past my knees, thanks IRW for reminding me.
The characters are well defined and I really cared about one couple in particular so had a routed investment in them surviving. Brilliantly clean writing as always with IRW.
K is for Klutz
An old man is dragged out from his burning house, but he is not thankful to the heroic firefighter. What follows on is a strange mix of “batty old man” and possible blood curse.
IRW leaves you guessing right to the very end. As dead people started piling up around the central character I did have to smirk at some of the OTT deaths. Not sure if intentional but it did make me giggle in that nervous way at the casualness of it all.
L is for Lamia
Loved the quotes at the beginning of the book. Made me want to watch Hocus Pocus again.
It’s all happy families until there is a knock at the door, IRW really did fantastically well to the build the tension in this short story.
I enjoyed this story as could not tell where it would end up, eventually the ending was fantastic! I found the family dynamic and the father’s thoughts were very realistic, if shocking.
M is for Matty-Bob
So very tongue in cheek, an hysterical giggle from start to finish.
The joys of fan love as IRW gets a visit from an unhinged fan! Bit close to home this one for me, as I have wasted many an hour camped out in various authors shed, but never thought to order pizza – way to go Matty-Bob.
I was snorting and giggling through this story and it was really great to see IRW humorous side.
Loved the Misery reference and I’m sure there were many more that I missed as IRW is so clever in adding little bits like that, just see the blurb to Last Winter, sorry Final Winter!
Btw Matty-Bob I DO love IRW more than you, so ner!
Matty Bob version: far more revolting and sexually focused that IRW version this does give a good and honest account of events.
The epilogue is so sad, poor Matty-Bob locked up for only doing what all good fans would do and now living in fear at what “He” will do next to poor, poor Miikeal Brae.
N for Noddy
Drugs, drink and dead cats.
I really enjoy how IRW always links his stories with a place or character, this makes for some really little perks as an avid/loyal reader.
A sad little story that you can feel coming but does not take the pain or real life horror away.
O is for Orifice
Of all the horror tales in this collection I think this one freaked me the most.
A touch of reality mixed with expert writing skills had me holding my breath forever and then not wanting to exhale in case the ending was real.
P is for Peeling
So full of tongue in cheek humour I snorted my way through this, I loved the series IRW did of this idea but thought this little nugget and possible beginning, was superb!!
Q is for Quarantine
Love the way IRW builds up his characters even in a short tale. It’s very James Herbert.
The main character really came to life for me and I was routing for him and Sammie, let's hope the Orange doesn't win!! Have to read it now huh!
R is for Revenant
Such emotion in a snap of a tale. Made me gulp a few times.
S is for Sand
A beautiful moment turned sour by someone's true nature showing.
Not sure what the true horror moment of this story was, the sand or the reaction. Made me think.
T is for Troglodyte
A proper ghost story! But not what I expected.
U is for Urinary Tract
Oh, proper gross and fabulous!
Safer sex never had a better advocate story. Any little itch will now send you scurrying!
V is for Vulgar
A chauvinistic comedian gets his due and I found the ending strangely funny and relaxing!
W is for Waste
A heart-breaking tale of modern life and love.
X is for X-22
A man vs machine story, loved it.
Such cool writing left me with a sense of dread at the consequences, I long for more on this story idea.
Y is for Yeti
A funny yet, bit sad story of a yeti/minion/scarecrow that terrorises a new neighbour!
Some great humour brought to a mythical critter.
Z is for Zion
Great tie up story for lots of IRW works.
Infuriating in its cliff hanger!!
Bonus content: Craig Saunders, Andrew Lennon, Matt Hickman, great intro stories as they show off these authors talents and styles.
Just like IRW to be so generous in allowing so much space for this brilliant authors.