Review

Book Review | Darkest Hours: Expanded Edition by Mike Thorn

Darkest Hours: Expanded Edition
Author:
Genre:
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Published: 2021
Page Count: 262
Between the covers of Darkest Hours, you will find academics in distress; humans abusing monsters; demons terrorizing people; ghostly reminiscences; resurrected trauma; and occult filmmaking. Ranging from satirical to dreadful, these sixteen stories share a distinct voice: urgent, sardonic, and brutal.

An updated version of the author’s short stories collection from 2017 featuring a brand-new introduction, story notes and nonfiction essays.

 

What could be so wrong, then, with allowing himself such real elation when it presented itself?

(from Hair)

 

Darkest Hours is a fantastic collection of short horror stories with some of the most unique premises I’ve ever read! Body horror, terrifying visions, and monstrous creatures all make an appearance. The clarity and confidence in the writing made these stories come alive. I liked the accompanying author’s notes which highlights the influences and background of each story.

 

The book opens with a bang with Hair, a distressing story that describes a horrifying physical condition. A New Kind of Drug is a hallucinatory terror in light of an unexplainable phenomenon. Horror films take centre stage in The Auteur, which will make you reconsider accepting film recommendations. Long Man is a fresh look at the boogeyman and it will make you think twice before looking into the mirror.

 

I loved the theme of dark academia that features prominently in this book. Sabbatical takes on the dissertation writing process and turns it into an absolute nightmare. This story brings back my memories of grad school and I thought it nailed that academic writing struggle. Lucio Schluter portrays the power and seduction of art with disturbing results. The imageries in this story are vivid and linger after I was done. In Fear and Grace, a woman is forced to reckon with her terrible knowledge of a respected man in her industry. Mired brings a comedic meta-story where academic anxiety turns into a tangible object.

 

The second half of the book features essays and criticisms of horror cinema and I enjoyed this section too. I’m a huge fan of horror films so it was great to see some of my thoughts reflected here. The films covered include Halloween (2007), Hostel (2005), Diary of the Dead (2007) and My Soul To Take (2010). There are also in-depth discussions on films by Rob Zombie, Tobe Hooper, Martin Scorsese and M. Night Shyamalan. They make me want to watch some of these movies again!

 

Darkest Hours is a terrific collection where the author’s passion for all things horror shines through. If you love horror, you don’t want to miss this!

 

I received a copy from the author for review purposes.


About the author: Mike Thorn

Photo by: Ryan Lum

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