Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: Bedtime Stories for the Apocalypse

Bedtime Stories for the Apocalypse
Joel Arnold
Available as an e-book on Smashwords and as an e-book from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Good afternoon constant reader.
In a nutshell, if you like a short story collection that is chilling and thought provoking, then this book is for you.

Bedtime Stories for the Apocalypse is a tasty collection of stories, perfect for killing a little time, and getting a case of the heebee jeebees.

I'll hit a few of the high lights of this collection and allow you to discover the rest for yourself.

Shiners is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where something really bad has happened and it seems to have an not-from-this-world origin. We find out real quick what a "shiner" is and then are introduced to Gibson, a gent who is minding his own business and trying to get by. He meets a young lady and befriends her, only to have the experience backfire in a terrible way.

Padre Sapo, is the tale of a father who will go to any length to try to find a cure for the cancer that ravages his daughter. We meet up with the pair on the road, making their way to yet another "cure" this time from a priest, Padre Sapo, which when translated, means "Father Toad". Yes, from that name alone, you know this probably isn't going to end well, and you'd be right.

What if you started looking up something on the internet, and got x number of hits, only to look the next day and find out the number of hits had decreased, and decreased again the next day, until finally there were no hits at all? Which in turn leads you to start looking yourself up? That's what happens in Narcissus in Links. Makes you think twice about what it is or who it is you might be looking for on the internet.

Branding Day is one of the grimmest short stories I've read in a long time.
Children are involved. I think that, with the title, is all I have to say.

The stories I cited above are part of an overall collection that is written brilliantly. Horror excels in the short form and Joel Arnold shines in this medium.
But wait, there's more!
In the e-book edition of Bedtime Stories for the Apocalypse I read, there is an excerpt for a full length novel by Joel Arnold called Northwoods Deep. For some reason, I missed the part telling me this and I thought I was reading another short story. As the excerpt progressed, I was drawn along, deeper and deeper into the story until I reached the end and realized I was reading a preview... and was wishing I had more to read.
That is the mark of a good writer, to leave the reader wanting more.

Look out for this Joel Arnold.
He's armed with a pen and his imagination and he knows how to use them.

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