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Dark Things II (A Horror Anthology) Paperback – October 15, 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ty Schwamberger is growing force within the horror genre. He is the author of a novel, multiple novellas, collections and editor on several anthologies. In addition, he's had many short stories published online and in print. Two stories, 'Cake Batter' (released in 2010) and 'House Call' (currently in pre-production in 2011), have been optioned for film adaptation. He is an Active Member of the Horror Writers Association. Ty is also the Managing Editor of The Zombie Feed Press, an imprint of Apex Publications.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Pill Hill Press (October 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617060445
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617060441
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,701,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Shroud Magazine's Book Reviews VINE VOICE on June 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
Dark Things II is a fun, lightly horrorific collection of short stories meant not only to disturb and haunt their readers, but also to entertain, often provoking a chuckle of laughter as much as a sense of dread. While many readers will find this anthology to be hit or miss, there are enough solid stories in this collection to keep an avid reader awake at night:

The pinnacle of the collection has to be C. J. Sully's "The Chevalier Sisters: A Tale of Voodoo" which weaves a southern gothic narrative about Thena Chevalier, and her constant struggle in life with her physical disabilities, the emotionally heavy loss of her mother, and the antagonistic torments of her sister, Dusa. With a revelatory ending reminiscent of Poe, Sully's story is sure to capture the attention of any horror fans.

"Bug Boy" by Matt Kurtz is the story of social outcast Stanley, who has an affinity for collecting bugs. Living close to a cemetery in an area that has been experiencing a lot of rain, Stanley is certain he'll be able to see a dead body soon, and be able to collect some great bugs to terrify the students in his classroom. He pursues his hunt into the cemetery itself, to a gruesome discovery.

"Polarity" by David W. Landrum is the introspective tale of a prostitute who is hired for participation a demonic ritual. Once she realizes that all is not as it seems with the daughter of the house, the two of them make plans to end things once and for all, but not without a sacrifice.

Overall, Dark Things II is a decent anthology of horror stories, some aiming to be terrifying, some aiming to be disgusting, and some aiming simply to be silly with elements of horror. In spite of some iffy production values, the anthology is well put together and the stories make for a quick read, with something included for every horror fan to enjoy.

Reviewed by Shroud's Joshua Gage
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Format: Paperback
Pill Hill Press, a small publisher in Nebraska, has been publishing excellent speculative fiction anthologies since 2007, extending into a wide range of genres from epic fantasy to science fiction to erotica. But, Pill Hill's superb horror anthologies are, in my opinion, the best in its growing catalog.

A fine example is "Dark Things II", edited by Ty Schwamberger. As with most anthologies, some of the stories are stronger than others, but the 22 tales included provide something for anyone who loves horror fiction. Here you will find a smorgasbord of terror, everything from the slightly creepy to the profoundly disturbing.

A number of stories stand out for me. I particularly enjoyed the "creature feature" tone of A.J. French's "ROT--ROT--ROT", as well as the dark humor at the end of Scott Sandridge's "The Interview Nobody Wants". I also savored the historical settings of "The Devil's Footprints" by Jack Horne and "The Chevalier Sisters: A Tale of Voodoo". And who wouldn't enjoy the subtle creepiness of Piper Morgan's "Delicious Morsels", a different take on the thing in the closet? Or the not-so-subtle creepiness of Matt Kurtz's "Bug Boy", which is about ... well ... a boy who loves bugs (and his sweet revenge)?

The diversity of writing styles in this eclectic collection of dark and strange tales makes me want to rush out and buy the other four anthologies (so far) in the "Dark Things" series!

Review originally appeared in Suspense Magazine.
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