Tittle: Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror
Author: Eden Royce
Description: Pull up a rocking chair and sit a spell. Soak in these tales of Southern Gothic horror: A witchdoctor’s niece tells him a life-altering secret, an investigator who keeps a 100% confession rate
Rating: 5 Cats
I stopped doing reviews some time ago, because I felt like the reviews were not read at all. However, engaging with the diverse book bloggers, I’ve realized that reviews help the authors get noticed a lot, especially diverse authors, therefore I’ve decided to go back on my review game.
I contacted the author personally and asked her if I could have her books for review. She graciously accepted, so here we are.
It felt very good to go back to horror. I absolutely loved the stories. I’ve never read such unique horror stories, maybe because I don’t know much of the southern culture, and everything was new to me. This type of horror is not a “Oh my God, someone is following me!”, but it is an ongoing chilling experience. The way voodoo was described here was much more realistic, and not degrading. I don’t know why, but whenever I read horror written by a white male about a voodoo priestess, there is always something “degrading”, “animalistic”, “ignorant”, “uneducated” in the way they describe them. It is extremely offensive. It might not be the case, but I get this vibe.
This lady, this author is amazing. She managed to describe these priestess as human beings, with desires, hatred, and passion, and they were extremely smart. I loved the calmness in all the priestess, the intelligence, the sassiness, the sarcastic side, and how much they knew about the other person. They are talented priestess, and consequently they are smarter and more knowledgeable than the normal human being. Just the fact that they communicate with the spirits is enough to prove that. And that is exactly how they were portrayed here.
My favorite of the short stories was “9 Mystery Rose”, and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, and you read that short story, you’ll know why. Now, of course I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, therefore I will not tell you more about it.
“Path of the War Chief” is not as scary as the others, but honestly it is very beautifully written and the message behind it is so crucial to not put it as one of my favorites.
“Homegoing” is simply pure thriller, that will mess you up big time, because there is nothing supernatural in it, but people’s minds are terrifying.
“Since Hatchet was a Hammer” has the greatest plot twist you’ve ever read in the story of horror short stories. I say this because, as an avid horror fan, I can almost predict all the plot twists, or even the little details. But this one, I didn’t see it coming. The story seems very realistic, almost normal, dare I say. Scary, but not supernaturally scary, or thriller scary. The ending will explain why this was put in this book.
I would like to talk about all the short stories, but I’m afraid I’m going to spoil it. However, I would definitely recommend this book if you’re new to horror short stories, or if you’ve been reading them for a while and want to read something unique, that doesn’t feel repetitive.
About the Author:
Eden Royce is descended from women who practiced root magic in her native Charleston, South Carolina. She’s been a bridal consultant, a reptile handler, and a stockbroker, but is now content to write dark fiction about the South from her home in the English countryside.
When she’s not writing, she’s probably roller-skating, watching quiz shows, or perfecting her signature dish for Masterchef. Sometimes all at once.
Follow her on her website at edenroyce.com or on Twitter @edenroyce.
(Anila’s note: She is also extremely nice.)