kode adsense disini
Hot Best Seller

Till the Score is Paid

Availability: Ready to download

Till the Score is Paid is Gemma Amor's follow-up collection to 2018’s critically acclaimed Cruel Works of Nature. This collection deals with: Lost dogs Mountain streams Halloween costumes Mysterious gravediggers Locked basements Hiking with friends Daddy-daughter dates Strange prisons Birthday cakes Cultists ...and so much more. With her signature flair of emotional horror, Amor Till the Score is Paid is Gemma Amor's follow-up collection to 2018’s critically acclaimed Cruel Works of Nature. This collection deals with: Lost dogs Mountain streams Halloween costumes Mysterious gravediggers Locked basements Hiking with friends Daddy-daughter dates Strange prisons Birthday cakes Cultists ...and so much more. With her signature flair of emotional horror, Amor forces readers to accept the fact that sometimes the monster lurking under the bed is, in fact, someone we know.


Compare
kode adsense disini

Till the Score is Paid is Gemma Amor's follow-up collection to 2018’s critically acclaimed Cruel Works of Nature. This collection deals with: Lost dogs Mountain streams Halloween costumes Mysterious gravediggers Locked basements Hiking with friends Daddy-daughter dates Strange prisons Birthday cakes Cultists ...and so much more. With her signature flair of emotional horror, Amor Till the Score is Paid is Gemma Amor's follow-up collection to 2018’s critically acclaimed Cruel Works of Nature. This collection deals with: Lost dogs Mountain streams Halloween costumes Mysterious gravediggers Locked basements Hiking with friends Daddy-daughter dates Strange prisons Birthday cakes Cultists ...and so much more. With her signature flair of emotional horror, Amor forces readers to accept the fact that sometimes the monster lurking under the bed is, in fact, someone we know.

30 review for Till the Score is Paid

  1. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    Unsurprisingly, Gemma Amor has done it again and has completely amazed me with how much terror and emotion she can fit into such short, tidy little stories! I first was introduced to Gemma's work through The NoSleep Podcast, and thoroughly enjoyed an earlier collection of hers (Cruel Works of Nature), so I went into Till the Score is Paid with high hopes and was not let down in the slightest. With many short story collections all from the same author, I whittle my review down only to my Unsurprisingly, Gemma Amor has done it again and has completely amazed me with how much terror and emotion she can fit into such short, tidy little stories! I first was introduced to Gemma's work through The NoSleep Podcast, and thoroughly enjoyed an earlier collection of hers (Cruel Works of Nature), so I went into Till the Score is Paid with high hopes and was not let down in the slightest. With many short story collections all from the same author, I whittle my review down only to my favorites, but that's tough to do when you have 11 stories and you've given each and every one of them either 4.5 or 5 stars! Instead, I'm going to indulge myself a bit and talk about each one (without spoilers, of course): → Have You Seen My Dog? An unsuspecting doctor is caught in a nightmare when a sick and violent man becomes convinced she has something to do with his dog's disappearance. I wasn't quite sure where this one was going, but it was equal parts tragic and disturbing, and kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. → Pure Water A hike goes downhill after a taste of the local freshwater sources. I like to take review notes when I read, especially for short story collections so I can keep up with my immediate reactions, and my note for this story is literally just, in all caps, "SO FUCKING GROSS!" I think that covers it pretty well. 😂 → Justine Justine's abuser thinks he's found an easy way out of punishment, but she'll go through hell and back to make him pay. Oh, my heart — this one's a bit tough to read at times (check the content warnings at the bottom if you're concerned, no spoilers), but it is absolutely splendid and cathartic. It also features one of the most intriguing depictions of any sort of afterlife I've ever read, and made me totally want more! → I Am Ghost Every Halloween, one young man becomes a prisoner in his own mind as Ghost comes out to play. This one took a premise I thought I was familiar with, and gave it a fresh new twist that I just thought was so much fun. → Rat Girl Timmy just wants to make friends in his new town, but how can he befriend someone who has such a dark secret living in their basement? I think the idea of finding out that your new friend is hiding something terrible is a fear a lot of us dealt with as kids (regardless of whether it ever came true or not!), and Rat Girl does a great job of putting you back there through Timmy's frightened, morbidly curious little brain. This one hurt my soul in the same way Ketchum's Girl Next Door did (though on a much less gut-wrenching level, thank the gods); something about the cruelty of bullies really never stops making me ache. That said, the descriptions in this one are well worth the sorrow and the ending? Perfect. → My Best Friend I tried to come up with a snappy one-liner synopsis for this one without spoiling it and just... couldn't do it! It's such a short installment that packs quite the punch, and it's really, truly delightful. → Heart of Stone It's hard being a single father who's being pushed out of the picture, so when a special occasion rolls around, you've really got to make sure you pick the perfect gift, right? I remember hearing this one on the NoSleep Podcast a while back and loving it so much that, when I recognized it in the collection, I even reread it just to enjoy it all over again. If you've got the time, I highly recommend finding S12E15 of the podcast (the free edition of the episode includes this story, and you can even find it on Spotify!) and listening while you read, because the narration adds even more to the absolutely twisted turn of events unfolding in this one. → Cell Block B Imagine waking up in prison without a clue of who you are, how you got there, or why your cellmates are so terrified of the Warden. Don't get me wrong, I loved every story in this collection, but this was absolutely one of my favorites! It's just so warped and offers this strange sense of karmic justice to top it all off. → A Birthday Cake for Brian She just wanted her son to have a happy birthday, for once... This was another NoSleep story (from the 7th anniversary episode if you're interested) that, again, I recognized and still had to read again because you just can't skip past any of the stories in this collection! I feel like this story would make a fantastic horror short (such as those 5-minute short films on social media) — it's a terribly unnerving little slasher film all wrapped up in just a few pages. → The Strangler They say depression is a monster. Sometimes, they mean it literally. First of all, this story is not going to go easy on you if you're a parent — especially if you've struggled with mental illness weighing down your abilities to be the parent you want to be — but it is so worth it (and, small spoiler: (view spoiler)[no children die in this story, if you're concerned (hide spoiler)] ). The first-person narrative offers a brutally honest commentary on how quick we are to dismiss the pains of new mothers, and how much we minimize the fact that loving your child doesn't mean you're incapable of having bad days. It functions as a harrowing metaphor for how smothering those bad days can become, but offers a bit of hope and optimism, too. There's a turning point in this story that made me instantly burst into tears because I related so strongly to it, and it was an aspect of motherhood I hadn't realized I needed to see depicted in a story until now — so, thank you, Gemma, for spilling your own heart out on the pages like this. → Caleb When a refugee child arrives in the middle of the war, one woman becomes convinced that her household has been cursed by dark forces. This is one of the most developed stories in the collection, and frankly could have been a full novella on its own without hearing a word of complaint from me, because I loved the premise and characters so much. The setting already carries an immense, melancholy weight about it, but when you go adding in factors like this poor refugee child, the terrible circumstances befalling this woman's home, and her uncertainty if she'll ever see the man she loves again — it really becomes such a thick, sorrowful story. That said, the horror elements are never buried and the descriptions are downright disturbing, but the ending brings everything together in a way I never would have foreseen but could not have possibly loved any more than I already do. As you can gather from my thoughts on these stories, this is one of the easiest 5-star reviews I've ever written for any short story collection. I was blown away and am so grateful to have kicked off my year with this release that I even immediately went online and ordered a copy of another title of Gemma's (Dear Laura) just so I can submerge myself back into her twisted, perturbing, wonderful imagination as soon as possible. I wholeheartedly recommend this collection to any horror readers, whether you are a long-time lover of the genre or brand new and looking for recommendations on where to begin. Thank you so much to Giles Press for providing me with this finished copy in exchange for an honest review! Content warnings for: (view spoiler)[mentions of animal abuse/death, mentions and flashbacks of rape, kidnapping, gratuitous violence, descriptions of suicide, self-mutilation, boddy horror, cannibalism, brief usage of ableist slurs (hide spoiler)] ————— blog | booktube | twitter | bookstagram

  2. 4 out of 5

    Aiden Merchant

    4.5 / 5.0 ATTENTION: We have yet another release from Gemma Amor, and that is cause for celebration. This year, I have read three of her books ("Grief Is a False God" set to be my fourth before the New Year), and it was time well spent. Now, just as 2019 is closing, we have a new collection, one that proves once more that Gemma has no problem digging deep into your psyche with her stories. I will start by saying, admittedly, I wasn't feeling the instant awe as I did with "Cruel Works of Nature" 4.5 / 5.0 ATTENTION: We have yet another release from Gemma Amor, and that is cause for celebration. This year, I have read three of her books ("Grief Is a False God" set to be my fourth before the New Year), and it was time well spent. Now, just as 2019 is closing, we have a new collection, one that proves once more that Gemma has no problem digging deep into your psyche with her stories. I will start by saying, admittedly, I wasn't feeling the instant awe as I did with "Cruel Works of Nature" when starting "Till the Score is Paid"; however, the collection gradually becomes more memorable and thought-provoking as it moves along. Though "Cruel Works of Nature" certainly hit those moments of personal, emotional turmoil - don't get me started on that Jack in the Box story - "Till the Score is Paid" is more on the level of "Dear Laura" in regards to its inner turmoil. The pressure, the emotional scarring... "Pure Water" reminds us (gruesomely) not to drink dirty water ... "Justine" takes us on an unexpected and satisfying trip that is apt to bring upon an excitable squirm ... "The Strangler" dives deep into the personal and horrific strain of postpartum depression ... and "Caleb" displays Gemma's ability to blend genres seemlessly and still surprise us in the end of it all. Where "Cruel Works of Nature" shined in its bloody bizarness, "Till the Score is Paid" excels in its use of psychological horror. Again, Gemma has writing chops. In conclusion, 2019 was the year of Amor for me. Both "Cruel Works of Nature" and "Dear Laura" made my Top 10 Reads, and now I have "Till the Score is Paid" trying to wedge itself in at the last minute. Even if it doesn't end up making the final cut, it will still have come damned close. And as usual, if you haven't read Amor yet, get on it already. (Expanded, in-depth review available on www.aidenmerchant.com)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Matt (TeamRedmon)

    Gemma Amor has hit it out of the park again with this collection of stories. The stories in this book deal with a variety of subjects. There are lost dogs, creeks in the woods, seeking justice, crazy kids, monsters under the bed, cults, and more. These stories are hard-hitting and emotional often dealing with deeply emotional subjects. It's clear to me that Gemma Amor writes with her heart on her sleeve and blood in her ink. Stories that I particularly enjoyed here were: Have You Seen My Dog, Gemma Amor has hit it out of the park again with this collection of stories. The stories in this book deal with a variety of subjects. There are lost dogs, creeks in the woods, seeking justice, crazy kids, monsters under the bed, cults, and more. These stories are hard-hitting and emotional often dealing with deeply emotional subjects. It's clear to me that Gemma Amor writes with her heart on her sleeve and blood in her ink. Stories that I particularly enjoyed here were: Have You Seen My Dog, Pure Water, Justine, The Strangler, and Caleb. Have You Seen My Dog is about a woman terrorized by an old man that's lost his dog. It's wonderfully creepy. Pure Water follows friends hiking in the woods finding out why you shouldn't drink tainted water. The descriptions in this one are incredibly horrifying. Justine is a woman dealing with the aftermath of being kidnapped and raped. She's hell-bent to make sure the man that violated her gets the justice he deserves. The Strangler dives into postpartum depression and reveals it as a hideous monster under the bed waiting for your weakest moment to pounce. Caleb revolves around an English farm during WWIIs that takes in a refugee child. I really loved this story and its deep weirdness. Gemma Amor is the real deal and one of my favorite authors writing today. I will read anything she writes.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laura Badiu

    By now I would read anything that Gemma Amor comes out with. Just like Cruel Works of Nature before, this collection is amazing. The stories are so well-written, creepy and haunting, but really beautiful. I enjoyed every single one of them and I think the very best was saved for last. Caleb was perfection. All the stars.

  5. 4 out of 5

    amanda

    review to come

  6. 5 out of 5

    Linsey Knerl

    Wow. So, there comes a book from time to time that forces you to redefine your definition of a "5-star" book. This is one of those books. I am not one to read a short story collection straight through. I tend to feel overwhelm at all of the settings and characters and resolutions and not resolutions and feelings and everything. It tires me. TILL THE SCORE IS PAID is arranged so beautifully, however, that you will not grow weary reading it. Each story pushes you through to the next, until that Wow. So, there comes a book from time to time that forces you to redefine your definition of a "5-star" book. This is one of those books. I am not one to read a short story collection straight through. I tend to feel overwhelm at all of the settings and characters and resolutions and not resolutions and feelings and everything. It tires me. TILL THE SCORE IS PAID is arranged so beautifully, however, that you will not grow weary reading it. Each story pushes you through to the next, until that last of the lovelies, "Caleb" -- the story that caused me to feel hope and wonder and delight and some tears, as well. I finished this in just a few days, which meant I didn't read anything else while going through it. This never happens. What are the stories? TILL THE SCORE IS PAID is a terrifying look at many themes, including postpartum depression, divorce, shame, desire, and the most intense of personal conflicts. The characters could be any of us, even the most terrible ones. She makes you feel like you can relate to the vilest and has created probably the only collection of first-person narratives that I really, really enjoyed. The details in her stories are rich, real, and curious, too. I never see the same words used over and over, which is difficult to do -- especially in horror. I have abandoned many brilliant books because of word fatigue, but not this one. She speaks in a new, familiar language, like something I heard long ago and forget I ever understood. I can't say which stories are my favorite. They all do such different things. But, I can say, that just when things feel really heavy, serious, and life-altering, she throws in some shorter, stabby (almost tongue-in-cheek) stories to mix it up. The one about the brithday cake, for example, came out of nowhere and helped break up some really difficult themes. Gemma Amor is my new favorite writer. She will sit on the shelf with Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Roald Dahl, and the other masters of the short story. Her stories are weird but never attempt to win shock points. Those who love gore will find it to be spun into the stories but not the main event. Those who hate gore will understand its role in these stories. (How can you describe hell without a depiction of the worst of human sufferings?) She somehow addresses some of the darkest things in the world and out of the world without making me feel dirty or a voyeur. She brings understand and acceptance to some of the things we have all thought and felt but dare never to speak to others. Gemma Amor is a force. I can no longer define 5-star books in the same way again. And that's a brilliant and beautiful thing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Red Lagoe

    Excellent collection. Each story seemed to get better and better as I moved along. Favorites included I am a Ghost, Heart of Stone, Birthday Cake, and the Strangler. The Strangler had a unique storytelling voice that was awkward for me at first, but it didn't take long for me to settle in as the narrator told her story--also I nearly cried...all the very real feels of being a broken, new mother. Looking forward to reading more by Gemma Amor.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chester LeBunbun

    Up front: Giles Press was nice enough to furnish me with a review copy. I don't read a lot of horror--I listen to it. In fact that's how I became aware of Gemma's work, from her contributions to the NoSleepPodcast. Other than that, the only other horror writer I've read, is Stephen King. I think maybe it's because, it's hard to be scared when the distractions of reading are so easily conjured--daylight, noise, children, work, kitchens that need cleaning, etc. That said--Till the Score is Paid Up front: Giles Press was nice enough to furnish me with a review copy. I don't read a lot of horror--I listen to it. In fact that's how I became aware of Gemma's work, from her contributions to the NoSleepPodcast. Other than that, the only other horror writer I've read, is Stephen King. I think maybe it's because, it's hard to be scared when the distractions of reading are so easily conjured--daylight, noise, children, work, kitchens that need cleaning, etc. That said--Till the Score is Paid genuinely thrilled and scared me. And more--dare I say it--it touched me. I tweeted this as well, so I'm repeating myself, but Amor captures fundamentally the reason horror is so endemic to our tastes. Her stories aren't just two-dimensional hack and slash--though there is a good deal of hack and slash, they touch upon the deep horror that is living. From her story of a mummy who just can't deal--familiar to EVERY parent, to her story about a schizophrenic young lad, each one of these stories touched me deeply. I had to stop and take a deep breath after each. I honestly didn't know that horror could do this. I've always been a fantasy reader--I like the struggle of good and evil, the character growth, and the endless of work of being ethical. But I struggled with why I came--late in life to horror. I still have trouble explaining it to my family. It's not that I'm macabre--it's that life is FILLED with horror, real horror. From losing a child, to rape, to murder, and the fancy, glowing patina of lust, beauty, genius and order we drape over it is mere distraction from the fact that as Hobbes said, "life is nasty, brutish, and short." Amor lifts that veil, and shows us in poetic, beautiful writing, that the ordinary is in fact extraordinary. And that we live with extreme danger--in every breath we take. One last point, Gemma Amor is a good writer. I mean--not just a writer who knows how to put a story together, but a writer whose writing inspires. I think her work with the NoSleep cast has probably assisted this endeavor, because if you were to read her tales aloud, you would be stunned by the lilting cadence, and beautiful metaphor she employs. I think in one story, she went a tad over, but the rest of the story, and what it meant, and what it meant to me, more than made up for it. Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy are realms that are ripe with cliches. Those cliches are important, they inform, and provide background lighting so that an economy of words can move the story forward. Amor's use of cliche's is spare at best, her stories are very original. I don't think I've ever read a story about a half-rat half-girl, or a horror story taking place during the Blitzkrieg, but those cliches she does use are used artfully and originally. Last, I'll say that I don't generally like stories where everyone dies--what's the point? At the end of the bloodbath, who cares? That doesn't mean that the good guy has to win. In the game of life, winning is surviving, and honestly that is enough. If you've survived this long, read Till the Score is Paid.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Well Read Beard

    Amor has a knack for writing relationship horror. It's a signature sound. I have only read this book and "Dear Laura" at this point, but her work is recognizable. For me it's like listening to a favorite musician play, even if they change genre or theme you can recognize their playing. Back to relationship horror: A man and his dog, best friends hiking in the woods, mothers of adolescents, mothers of toddlers, twins, father/daughter. Emotions flow through these relationships as they come off the Amor has a knack for writing relationship horror. It's a signature sound. I have only read this book and "Dear Laura" at this point, but her work is recognizable. For me it's like listening to a favorite musician play, even if they change genre or theme you can recognize their playing. Back to relationship horror: A man and his dog, best friends hiking in the woods, mothers of adolescents, mothers of toddlers, twins, father/daughter. Emotions flow through these relationships as they come off the page to haunt the reader. The topics and themes abound through these 11 stories across 250 pages. These stories are easy to consume, not so easy to digest. The taste stays in your mouth, maybe a bit stuck in your throat. So pull up a chair, but bring a drink or 6. It may help you swallow that last bit. Ok - I was having a bit of fun there. I highly recommend the book, but... I would recommend picking up this book and skipping to Justine. Read that story then put the book down and come back in a couple days and read the other stories. The reason is that all of these stories are enjoyable, some of them are absolutely wonderful, but having read them all in sequential order over day or two? Justine just dwarfed all the others for me. I do not think that the other stories in this book got the consideration they deserved because I was still hung up on Justine. I will briefly touch all of them in my video review but my top 4 were: #4 Rat Girl - An army brat finds a friend with a secret in his basement. There is a bike riding scene in this story that knocked me out. I am not really sure how to put it and I don't want to spoil it, but it was emotional and punched me in the gut in a way that I can't really explain. #3 Caleb - A war evacuee comes to stay on the farm. Some of that ( adopt a dog logic, maybe?? ) - maybe those that we are rescuing are really rescuing us. #2 Heart Of Stone - A divorced father who doesn't get to see his daughter as much as he would like has a hard time watching her grow up. #1 Justine - There is so much I want to say about this one but I am being forced to practice restraint. A rape victim just wants to be able to stand up in court and face her rapist, all the while she deals with ideas that he may escape his judgement.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aiden Merchant

    4.5 out of 5 ATTENTION: We have yet another release from Gemma Amor, and that is cause for celebration. This year, I have read three of her books (Grief Is a False God set to be my fourth before the New Year), and it was time well spent. Now, just as 2019 is closing, we have a new collection, one that proves once more that Gemma has no problem digging deep into your psyche with her stories. I will start by saying, admittedly, I wasn’t feeling the instant awe as I did with Cruel Works of Nature 4.5 out of 5 ATTENTION: We have yet another release from Gemma Amor, and that is cause for celebration. This year, I have read three of her books (Grief Is a False God set to be my fourth before the New Year), and it was time well spent. Now, just as 2019 is closing, we have a new collection, one that proves once more that Gemma has no problem digging deep into your psyche with her stories. I will start by saying, admittedly, I wasn’t feeling the instant awe as I did with Cruel Works of Nature when starting Till the Score is Paid (“Foliage” being a hard opening act to follow); however, the collection gradually becomes more memorable and thought-provoking as it moves along. While Cruel Works of Nature certainly hit those moments of personal, emotional turmoil – don’t get me started on that Jack in the Box story – Till the Score is Paid is more on the level of Dear Laura in regards to its inner turmoil. The pressure, the emotional scarring… THE STORIES: HAVE YOU SEEN MY DOG? – This story had plenty going for it, but the weak explanation as to the why of things hurt my overall enjoyment. Don’t worry, though; the collection picks up from here. PURE WATER – This one reminds us (gruesomely) not to drink dirty water. It’s short and to the point, with a slight vibe of The Troop (Nick Cutter). I wish it had been extended a bit further, but it works well at this length as well. I AM GHOST – This crazy kid has issues. I would love a backstory telling us of the heinous acts he did prior to this particular Halloween night. JUSTINE – Gemma takes us on an unexpected and satisfying trip during “Justine,” one that is apt to bring upon an excitable squirm. I loved the direction she took it, and am pretty sure this is my favorite in the collection. This, or “Caleb.” RAT GIRL – Aside from an expected conclusion, this story set up the creeps well. The interaction between the two kids stood out. I could have read a full story about their odd friendship. MY BEST FRIEND – This was gross, twisted, and fun. HEART OF STONE – You’ve got to feel bad for this father. His ex-wife is a real shithead. I would have liked to see her removed from the equation, but the way Gemma has things play out is more haunting. CELL BLOCK B – I got Clive Barker vibes from this story. Dark and bloody and nightmarish. A BIRTHDAY CAKE FOR BRIAN – Remind me never to go to this kid’s house. Yeesh! THE STRANGLER – Remember how I said this collection burrows deep into your mind and mental state? “The Strangler” is probably the most personal and horrific story (aside from Dear Laura and the aforementioned Jack in a Box tale) I’ve read by Gemma. It visualizes postpartum depression as a sick monster, one that defiles you as it sees fit. CALEB – This closing story proves Gemma’s ability to blend genres seamlessly and still surprise us in the end of it all. “Caleb” is a darkly hypnotic mix of historical fiction, witchcraft horror, drama, and fantasy. IN CONCLUSION: Where Cruel Works of Nature shined in its bloody and bizarre monsters and sets, Till the Score is Paid excels in its use of psychological horror. And though it isn’t without its flaws, the complaints are minimal and vastly overshadowed by Gemma’s ability to write. Both Cruel Works of Nature and Dear Laura made my Top 10 Reads of 2019, and now I have Till the Score is Paid trying to wedge itself in at the last minute. Even if it doesn’t end up making the final cut, it will still have come damned close. And as usual, if you haven’t read Amor yet, get on it already.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Till the Score is Paid takes readers through 11 very different and unique tales of terror. She takes us through contact with (and through) the other side, eco-horror, and folklore giving each story her special mark. The emotion and passion she infused into each story is amazing, hooking the reader from word one and carrying us through until the end. While all of the stories are excellent, one in particular really stood out to me: Justine. Wow. Just, wow. I know that doesn’t say much, but this Till the Score is Paid takes readers through 11 very different and unique tales of terror. She takes us through contact with (and through) the other side, eco-horror, and folklore giving each story her special mark. The emotion and passion she infused into each story is amazing, hooking the reader from word one and carrying us through until the end. While all of the stories are excellent, one in particular really stood out to me: Justine. Wow. Just, wow. I know that doesn’t say much, but this story is going to stay with me for a while. I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s a tale of a woman searching for something lost, something she felt was taken from her too soon. What she finds may not be what she wants, but what she needs. The emotion that Gemma pours into the character made it clear to me that she left everything on the page. Till the Score is Paid collects some of her best work in my opinion and you cannot go wrong picking this up. You won’t put it down.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Kuehl

    Oh man. From the very first story she grabs a hold of you and doesn’t let go until you’ve finished the last. Each story is brilliant in its own way. I adore her depictions of the afterlife. Her take on familiar concepts. Her depiction of mental illness. It’s incredible. The worlds, characters and stories she creates are stunning. Even the shorter stories are just as gripping as the longer ones. My favorites have to be Rat Girl and Caleb. However, I have to mention Justine and The Strangler. One Oh man. From the very first story she grabs a hold of you and doesn’t let go until you’ve finished the last. Each story is brilliant in its own way. I adore her depictions of the afterlife. Her take on familiar concepts. Her depiction of mental illness. It’s incredible. The worlds, characters and stories she creates are stunning. Even the shorter stories are just as gripping as the longer ones. My favorites have to be Rat Girl and Caleb. However, I have to mention Justine and The Strangler. One story features topics of kidnapping and rape and the other talks about postnatal depression. Not once in either of those stories did it come across as exploitive. These topics weren’t used as mere plot devices to fill space in a book of scary/creepy stories. They felt meaningful. They felt raw and powerful. This is definitely one of my favorite books I’ve read and is something that I can see myself rereading time and again. 5/5⭐️

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Fenlon

    As good as her last collection. Another excellent collection of short stories from Gemma Amor. Like her previous collection, I favoured some more than others. But I can't fault her writing...and her imagination, for that matter. There's a lot of layers within these stories. Solid four stars

  14. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Have You Seen My Dog? is an unusual ghost story with a very non-stereotypical beginning, end, and middle. There’s a dog who does impossible things, and a poor doctor who’s having a very bad time of things. She keeps running into a possibly-demented old man who accuses her of having his missing dog. And he gets violent when he gets angry. Pure Water is a short-but-quite-creepy story about why not every stream you run across while hiking is necessarily all pure and healthy to drink from. Justine Have You Seen My Dog? is an unusual ghost story with a very non-stereotypical beginning, end, and middle. There’s a dog who does impossible things, and a poor doctor who’s having a very bad time of things. She keeps running into a possibly-demented old man who accuses her of having his missing dog. And he gets violent when he gets angry. Pure Water is a short-but-quite-creepy story about why not every stream you run across while hiking is necessarily all pure and healthy to drink from. Justine introduces us to a young woman who was raped by a man she used to work with, and how she’s handling the aftermath. He’s about to go to trial, and she wants him to face that, but she’s just gotten a call saying he committed suicide. She isn’t about to let him get off that easy. This is a very poignant story about a woman coming to terms with some very dark things that happened to her. I Am Ghost introduces us to a quiet man named Max, and the Ghost that takes him over once a year on Halloween. He runs into an all-too-knowing Devil Kid as he stalks his prey, and his night takes a sudden turn. This is one of my favorite stories in this volume. It’s chilling and unusual. Rat Girl features army brat Timmy, who semi-sorta makes friends with the spoiled rich kid Lee at his new school. But he finds that Lee has a secret–he’s keeping a rat-like girl in his basement, who has a tail and furred, shell-like ears. When a tragedy occurs, Timmy is desperate to figure out how to help the girl. Even the children in these stories have a lot of personality to them–including punks like Lee. My Best Friend is a creepy story about what happens when two best friends get lost in the woods and fall into a mine shaft. Short but clever! Heart of Stone is another one of my favorites in this volume. The main character is father to a nine-year-old girl named Jenny who’s the light of his life. He likes nothing more than to take her for monster hot chocolates before sending her back to her mother. All he wants is to delight in her love forever, but Julie, his ex-wife, introduces a lot of bitterness into the equation. And well, this guy is not quite… normal. I don’t want to give anything away; I’ll just say that I really loved this man as a point-of-view character, and that this is a lovely juxtaposition between the supernatural and an all-too-human story. Absolutely riveting. Cell Block B features McCready, who keeps waking up in Cell Block B with no real memory of who he is or what he did to get there. But one of these days, the Warden is going to come for him–and then things are gonna get real ugly. A Birthday Cake for Brian is short, bloody, and, well, it’s actually kind of funny. The Strangler delves into a rather monstrous incarnation of the specter of post-natal depression. The narrator has a fascinating run-on voice that really brings the whole thing to life and keeps this story from being too oppressive. Caleb is my other favorite story in this book. It’s 1940 and there’s a war on. The narrator’s farm is down one person who got sent to war, and they’re taking in an evacuee. That’s when a rash of misfortunes hits the farm, and Johnny, who helps out around the farm, starts acting very suspiciously. This is told in the form of a journal, and it’s very intriguing. The sense of time and place is excellent, and the ending is powerful. I should include a content note; the various issues are handled with sensitivity, but there are themes of rape, abuse, suicidal ideation, postnatal depression, gore, and animal harm. This is a wonderful book of short stories, and I heartily recommend it to any horror fans out there. Original review posted on my blog: http://www.errantdreams.com/2019/12/r...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brennan LaFaro

    There has been a lot of discussion in the horror community lately about trigger warnings contained in books labelled as horror. Whatever side of the fence you may fall on, Gemma Amor’s introduction serves as an establishment of theme, as well as notifying readers that potentially troubling subjects will be covered in the stories they are about to read. Amor gives us enough warning that any reader who find themselves wanting to avoid spoilers can get out before they arrive and skip right to the There has been a lot of discussion in the horror community lately about trigger warnings contained in books labelled as horror. Whatever side of the fence you may fall on, Gemma Amor’s introduction serves as an establishment of theme, as well as notifying readers that potentially troubling subjects will be covered in the stories they are about to read. Amor gives us enough warning that any reader who find themselves wanting to avoid spoilers can get out before they arrive and skip right to the stories. Personally, I loved the introduction. It caused me to think a little bit deeper about everything I was reading as I went through the collection. There are supernatural elements in some and hints sprinkled here and there in others, but the stories as a whole are very down-to-earth, and very human. Gemma Amor’s illustrations accompanying each story also add a very much appreciated personal touch, and give every entry their own unique character. “Have You Seen My Dog?” is a strong opening story which makes us think: if we have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s, are they restored when they pass? On the surface it’s a frightening story, inducing paranoia in the reader who waits for a surprise around every bend. “Justine” was my favorite story in the collection. This is one of the prime reasons for the introduction Amor wrote, and although I’ve never personally experienced the events the titular character goes through, it’s all too easy to empathize with her plight. The vivid imagery contained on the character’s trip through hell was exceptionally well-detailed and conceived. “The Strangler” was another favorite. Again, I can only relate from an outsider’s perspective, but having known women who experience postnatal depression, reading about a tangible vision of this depression and anxiety is difficult. Amor reaches into our chest with this one, grabs our heart, and shakes it around a bit for good measure. This is a great example of what I meant earlier when I wrote about causing me to think deeper. This piece brought out some serious feelings in me. I can only imagine how it might affect someone who had experienced it first-hand. I could write a discourse on every story in this bunch. There’s not a bad one in here, and when a story collection doesn’t have any skips, it’s pretty much an automatic 5 star for me. It’s a rare occurrence. I will highlight some other favorites before I leave you to order it from Amazon or straight from Giles Press, though. “Pure Water” is a quick fun read that reminded me of something from an early Stephen King story collection. “Rat Girl” is a poignant story that gets more empathy out of the reader than the reader might expect to give up. “Heart of Stone” covers a lot of potential themes, and I found myself examining the events of the story in a multitude of ways. Maybe someday I’ll read something by Gemma Amor and find it worthy of less than 5 stars, but it’s not today. I was given an e-book by the publisher for review consideration

  16. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    I keep hearing about Gemma Amor all over social media and have acquired a few of her books but since I review ARCs all the time, I never really got around to reading her work until I got this surprise copy in the mail (thank you Josh!). I LOVE horror anthologies and have read quite a few. These horror stories are beautifully written and gripping and have excellent illustrations for each story. One fun thing I noticed is that you really don't know how these stories will end until you get there I keep hearing about Gemma Amor all over social media and have acquired a few of her books but since I review ARCs all the time, I never really got around to reading her work until I got this surprise copy in the mail (thank you Josh!). I LOVE horror anthologies and have read quite a few. These horror stories are beautifully written and gripping and have excellent illustrations for each story. One fun thing I noticed is that you really don't know how these stories will end until you get there and that kept me reading as fast as I could. Not many writers have the ability to do this in short stories. My favorite of this collection was Birthday Cake. It reminded me of "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and I just really enjoy killer birthday parties. Gemma Amor is going places and writing a lot of books so you need to catch on now to keep up.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This collection of short stories covers some hard ground. The forward contains trigger warnings, including: rape, abuse, suicidal ideation, and postnatal depression. As bleak and dark as the some of the stories are, they are equally stunning. My favorite story in this book was Justine, a tale of revenge that will take you on an emotional roller-coaster to hell and back. I also loved Caleb, a somber and beautiful story that takes place in WWII. Through her diary, a woman details the events in her This collection of short stories covers some hard ground. The forward contains trigger warnings, including: rape, abuse, suicidal ideation, and postnatal depression. As bleak and dark as the some of the stories are, they are equally stunning. My favorite story in this book was Justine, a tale of revenge that will take you on an emotional roller-coaster to hell and back. I also loved Caleb, a somber and beautiful story that takes place in WWII. Through her diary, a woman details the events in her life that lead her to believe her farm is cursed, including the arrival of a young boy named Caleb, who is a strange, silent refugee. There's a few fun stories in this collection, too. I Am Ghost is the perfect Halloween story. My Best Friend has the best, most satisfying ending. Reading A Birthday Cake For Brian was a blast! I also really loved the black and white illustrations accompanying each story. Thank you for the review copy, Giles Press!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kevin L

    Gemma Amor’s collection is simply outstanding. Several times I found myself dreading what Would happen next in these stories. Amor is wonderful at knowing just how much to hint at or shove in your face as the story demands. My personal favorites from this collection are Have You Seen my Dog?, Rat Girl, Cell Block B and Caleb. I fully expect to see at least one of these stories in upcoming Best Of collections.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Another excellent collection from the talented Amor, showcasing her effortlessly smooth prose and emotional subject matter. Always varied and always delightful. I’ll continue to seek out everything she releases.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Maurício da Fonte Filho

    Another great anthology of short stories by author Gemma Amor. Filled with many memorable stories, ranging from terrifying (such as 'Rat Girl') to bittersweet (such as 'Caleb').

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Soucy

    No sleep, indeed! So, I decided to read a couple of these stories each night before bed. I suspected these stories would be scary because I'm quite familiar with Ms. Amor's work (Cruel Works of Nature, Dear Laura, the NoSleep Podcast etc.). And yeah, I do enjoy a wild nightmare every once in a while for entertainment - don't we all? I really wish I didn't always feel the need to test my limits this way lol, but it keeps me young! And this book will provide fuel for some interesting nightmares, No sleep, indeed! So, I decided to read a couple of these stories each night before bed. I suspected these stories would be scary because I'm quite familiar with Ms. Amor's work (Cruel Works of Nature, Dear Laura, the NoSleep Podcast etc.). And yeah, I do enjoy a wild nightmare every once in a while for entertainment - don't we all? I really wish I didn't always feel the need to test my limits this way lol, but it keeps me young! And this book will provide fuel for some interesting nightmares, I'm sure. In the past couple of years, I've renewed my love for short story collections. Little bites of fiction that fit so easily into a busy life. Found some great authors this way, including this one. But never have I read a collection where every single story is a winner. Horror fans, you will love these! If I had to pick 1 favorite, it would be Justine. What a freaking ride! As a mythology fan, I also loved the symbolism and the mysterious journey. But even more, each layer of that story peeled back like an onion to reveal a truly unsettling core of darkness. The Strangler may also be one of the best glimpses into postpartum depression I've ever encountered, the first one I read tonight and the reason I'm turning on a nightlight. Caleb, the last one in the book, was also beautifully done - a World War II frightfest dripping with paranoid tension and gruesome imagery. But again, all of these stories absolutely rocked! Brava on this amazing collection, Gemma. I can't wait to see what comes next. And cross your fingers that my wee nightlight holds out for me😉

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Rabig

    Brilliant The stories are darkly beautiful, and the illustrations are a perfect accompaniment. I enjoyed all the stories, but Justine is my favorite (a rough read, though).

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gavin Cox

  24. 4 out of 5

    ginathebibliohoe

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ila

  26. 4 out of 5

    BookWorm

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  28. 4 out of 5

    Blutrippe

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sjgomzi

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dave

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.