The Broken Darkness was interesting and atmospheric horror/paranormal anthology with unique concepts and amazing writing.
The Broken Darkness by Theresa Braun
Publication Date : February 13, 2023
Publisher : Gorgon Blood Press
Read Date : February 19, 2023
Genre : Horror / Paranormal / Anthology
Pages : 294
Disclaimer – Many thanks to the author for review copy.
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In her debut collection, Theresa Braun explores the inner workings of the human heart and what it is we most desire—forgiveness, acceptance, love, fame, or merely to escape who we really are. Whether we are battling ghosts, demons, mythical monsters, the past, or other dimensions, we are really facing the deepest parts of ourselves. These thirteen tales of horror and dark fantasy may appear to be a matter of good versus evil, but they are all a reflection of the hidden corners of the soul that are often shades of broken darkness. The characters in these stories must face their inner and outer terrors, or else suffer the consequences.
atmospheric horror/paranormal anthology
The Broken Darkness is a collection of 13 paranormal/horror stories that include stories of ghosts, demons, celestial entities, vampires, serial killers, monsters, and other dimensions. Some stories were straight five stars, some were good while some I didn’t get and wanted more explanations. Each story started with a prologue that makes the story intriguing, they all have unique concept and idea, fantastic character backgrounds, and blood-chilling scenes with surprising twists, all in just a few pages. They gave the feeling of reading scary campfire stories. Here is review of each story-
1. Dead Over Heels ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
A perfect story to start the book. This is a ghost story in which the main characters had a paranormal experience on their first date that change their lives forever. Absolutely loved every page of this story and the scene in the climax was unexpected and spine-chilling. I literally wanted to close my eyes.
2. Collecting Empties ⭐⭐⭐
This is a story of a woman with bad history with men and her current one-night stand. I didn’t get the character in this one. With this, I wanted something more.
3. The Celestial Assignment ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Will, the playboy in his previous life who lacked empathy and self-reflection was made Celeste’s guardian angel. Character growth is most amazing it was interesting to how Will realized his mistake, what it’s like to feel emotions, and love.
4. Guilty As Cell ⭐⭐⭐⭐
A story of a boy whose life is stuck in his phone and one phone call while driving changes his whole life. ‘Be careful before making your phone your life’ is the ultimate message of the story. I understand the character made a huge mistake here and it was important for him to realize it but still, I felt sad for him.
5. Lost Time ⭐⭐.5
A story of a driver who comes across a dark figure that changes him. This was as short as 2nd story. While I get what happened in 2nd story, here I felt clueless. I couldn’t figure out what exactly happened in the end and what was the point.
6. Heathen ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
A story of a teenage boy who has different views towards religion than her mother and other people around him. He had an interest in demonology and other heathen stuff but when some kids at new religious school discovered that about him they take matters in their hands. Religious or non-religious, I liked boy’s view of having freedom of thought and individualism, deciding what one wants to believe and follow. What happened in the end was unpredictable and scary.
7. Stillborn ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is the story of a mother (who gave birth to a stillborn baby but she is sure her kid was alive and the hospital is responsible for what happened to her baby) and a nurse (new at the hospital but suspects something is off at hospital) investigate the mystery behind a stillborn baby. I liked the mystery. Who the culprit was clear before I reached halfway through the story but how and why became more clear by the end. The revelation was horrifying. I wouldn’t say I was super surprised but I just don’t get a few things like how they could get away with that and never was discovered and what their purpose was (purpose was mentioned but still it was hard to digest it).
8. Legend Trippers ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The story is about the legend of The Goat Man hypnotizing people to their death. I had to google the legend after reading the story and like the legend, the story is just as mysterious.
9. Dying For An invitation ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I still cannot figure out if it was a vampire story or a ghost story or if was it the ghost of a vampire! But this was intriguing. I liked the family background and legend and history of the family and how the main character wanted to follow her intuition but did it turn out in her favor? You have to read the story for that.
10. Homecoming ⭐⭐⭐
This was based on Asrai or Ashray folk tale. I had to google it after reading this. This was interesting at first and the twist was really good in the end but I still don’t get some point.
11. Stay Tuned ⭐⭐⭐
This is the story of team of videographers running a site on the dark net executing vengeance for their client and making a video of it to upload on their site. I didn’t like the second half of this one and their reason for vengeance in that part.
12. While My Guitar Gently Weeps ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This was like devil’s bargain. It was interesting but not the best.
13. Heirloom ⭐⭐.5
A story of another dimension and a supernatural being and an evil ring. I didn’t enjoy this as much as I hoped. It got more and more confusing at the end.
Overall, The Broken Darkness was interesting, atmospheric, and enjoyable horror/paranormal anthology with unique concepts and amazing writing.
I recommend this if you like,
Short story collection
Horror and paranormal stories
So much packed in just a few pages of the story
Unique idea and concept
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