Saturday, November 14, 2009

Harlan County Horrors, (Apex Publications), edited by Mari Adkins

“Harlan County Horrors” is an eclectic collection of chilling tales set deep in the hills and coal mines of Kentucky. Edited by Mari Adkins, it features fresh voices and some very unique stories. As is true with most short story collections, not all the entries have the same resonance, but there's enough here to guarantee time well spent in the haunted hills of Kentucky. Among the best are:

“Psychomachia”, by Geoffery Girard, in which a boy watches a creeping, dark madness overtake his family and everyone else working in the mines. “Yellow Warblers”, by Jason Sizemore, which tells of the deadly consequences of an isolated town's xenophobia, in an alien-occupied Earth. “Kingdom Come”, by Jeremy C. Shipp, a tale of manipulated identity, where memories can't be trusted – Shipp at his usual, mind-twisting best. “Trouble Among the Yearlings”, by Maurice Broaddus, recounts the inevitability of dark family secrets. “Greater of Two Evils”, by Stephen L. Shewsbury, is an excellent Lovecraftian tale told in a contemporary voice.

“Harlan County” ends with perhaps its strongest story, “The Witch of Black Mountain”, a dark, enchanting bit of folklore written by New York Times Bestseller Alethea Kontis. Here, a young woman scorned undertakes a dangerous journey in search of death, resolution, revenge – but instead encounters and inherits an ages-old legacy, one which gives her new, dark purpose.

“Harlan County Horrors” is certainly more than worth a look. Visit and purchase it today.


mgellington said...

This is a great review. I can't wait to get my hands on this book.

Mari Adkins said...

thank you :)