2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
The Devil’s Eclipse: 6.66 Tales of Horror, by Christopher Williams, is a collection of eight brief tales. The anthology focuses on themes typically found in the horror genre: Demons from Hell, creepy monsters, black magic, aliens, and ghosts are just some of the strange creatures that make up the tales in Williams’ anthology. The stories in this collection are short, and the collection can easily be read in one sitting. However, readers should be aware that some stories include vulgar themes, sexual situations, and crass language.
Each story in this collection is short and to the point. The author does not waste time on erroneous details; however, Williams does an excellent job of concisely setting the initial scenes for each story. Williams manages to successfully set a tone and introduce characters for each tale in the anthology. For example, a sleepy southern setting, characters with extreme racial biases, and a strained marriage were just some elements of the stories that were clearly conveyed in the early stages. Despite the strong introductions, the short length of the stories did not always work to the author’s advantage. Many of the stories could have benefited from additional narrative to enhance the overall impact of the themes and characters.
As strongly as the setting, tone, and characters were portrayed, the stories lack the feelings of suspense readers of this genre crave. Although some of the tales ended cleverly, none of the stories were particularly frightening. The entire collection is missing a sense of tension, which is necessary to immerse the reader in the horrific narratives the author attempts to attain. Moreover, there are multiple instances where the stories rely only on shock and awe to horrify the reader. These stories mostly dealt with difficult themes, like pedophilia or bullying. These were my least favorite tales because the reliance on morbid elements proved to be a poor placeholder for actual scenes of horror.
In addition to the stories having a somewhat mediocre sense of the horror genre, the book needs further editing. There were many errors noted in the text, including missing punctuation, improper capitalization, and a few misspelled or made up words. The need for additional editing made this book feel unprofessional in places and detracted from the storytelling.
The Devil’s Eclipse is a difficult anthology to rate. Overall, I enjoyed the easy reading of the collection, and I found some of the presented situations and settings intriguing. However, the grammatical errors and general lack of suspense and frightening elements left me wanting more from these stories. If the collection was professionally edited, I would consider a higher rating. In its current state, I award The Devil’s Eclipse 2 out of 4 stars. Readers might enjoy elements of this book if they are looking for an anthology made up of short tales about strange and ugly things.
The Devil's Eclipse
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon