Revelations: A Horror Anthology

Revelations: A Horror Anthology by Elizabeth Hartl

A fast-paced page turner in the tradition of Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King, Revelations: A Horror Anthology is a twisted mash-up of morality and horror. Fear is that unpleasant feeling of danger looming, either real or perceived. It could be the monster under the bed. It could be the contents of a graveyard. It could be your neighbor. It could be the people you trust. In this book, fear is: The dark. A vacation. Your neighbors. Your loved ones. In this horror anthology, fear can teach us valuable lessons necessary for our survival. Are you ready for yours?

The IndieMuse Review

Short Sharp Shocks!

Elizabeth Hartl’s collection of horror shorts delivers twelve tales of terror in 51 pages, a perfect book for getting a quick horror fix for genre fans on the go!

  • “Stickpin” tells the tale of two greedy sisters who go to extreme lengths to obtain the inheritance their recently departed father denied them in death.
  • A young woman’s prophetic dream warns against an upcoming work trip, but is everything quite as it seems, in “Assumption”?
  • An “Anniversary” surprise takes a dark turn when a husband’s good intentions reveal that his loving wife may just have a surprise for him all of her own.
  • A young couples “Road Trip” takes an unexpected detour into a remote and seemingly uninhabited campsite that may not be quite as abandoned as it first appears.
  • “The Summoning” tells us of the troubled home life of a young girl, and her stuffed, cuddly friends that only have her best intentions at heart.
  • In “Legends” a group of friends swap stories of local superstitions of vicious creatures living in the surrounding woods. They don’t really believe the stories, but they soon find there may be more truth to them than first meets the eye.

The best way to describe the feeling of reading these shorts is that they felt comfortably familiar. Stories of creepy campsites, stalkers, intruders and grave-diggers are hardly untapped ground for horror literature, but then there isn’t anything wrong with a well-worn story told capably. Despite knowing the destination, it does nothing to mar your enjoyment of the journey.

The writing here is consistent, and all twelve stories are entertaining, but few felt particularly stand-out. My favorites, including “Lunacy”, which tells of a tragic accident and a mother’s mourning in the aftermath, and “Homeowners”, where a new family’s dream home is spoiled by threatening letters left in the mailbox each day, are strong ideas that feel like they could have been developed into something longer, whereas the shorter stories that feel more satisfyingly complete (“Anniversary”, “Assumption”) are enjoyable, but deliver nothing new and original.

The most memorable and effective of the stories is “Banality”, which focuses on a hypnotist and his patient who, when hypnotised, visualizes a long, dark corridor, lined with doors. Some are open and some mysteriously inaccessible. To tell you more would spoil the story but this one had an interesting premise and built tension very effectively, had a few genuinely scary scenes and a great ending.

Revelations is a quick, enjoyable read with some fun Twilight Zone-style stories with a twist in the tale. This collection works well as a consistent assortment of light entertainment, but some stories may leave you wishing that there was a bit more meat on the bones.

RICHARD MARTIN

Richard started reading horror books at a young age, starting with R L Stine’s ‘Goosebumps’ and ‘Point Horror’ series. He traumatised himself at the age of twelve when he read Stephen King’s ‘IT’, and never looked back. He is currently based in the UK, where he lives with his partner, and an inappropriate amount of books.

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