Badlands by Alyson Faye
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Having read and published some of Alyson's work at HorrorTree.Com and read her contribution to the Women In Horror Annual 2, I was looking forward to this collection of hers. I am pleased to say it doesn't disappoint. Comprising 36 stories of flash it takes us into a world of tragedy and darkness relieved by some well-written black humour. The stories vary in length from drabble form (100 words) to longer flash, up to 1000 words. Tales are told against backdrops varying from the trenches of World War I to post-apocalyptic settings. There are ghosts and evil children, assassins and abused women, with styles ranging from the gothic to a nod to the Brothers Grimm. I enjoyed all the stories but particularly the opener Children's Games and its treatment of the horror of homelessness, No Home for Holly and its emerging love story between two damaged souls, and Scarecrow with its tale of grim revenge. A truly enjoyable book to dip into - trouble is you won't just dip into it, you will stay and turn the pages as I did.
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A writer - I think that says it all.