Something Borrowed, Something Blood Soaked
August 21, 2018
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis
Quiet, powerful, serious, sometimes witty, but also downright terrifying…Yep, I’m talking about Christa Carmen! The author of the amazing short story collection Something Borrowed, Something Blood Soaked recently released from Unnerving. Eddie Generous has the amazing superpower of finding great writers and displaying their finest qualities. This book is another gem from the tireless champion of independent horror writers and readers. Who is, in the words of Christa Carmen, “A beast of an avid reader with an incredible work ethic.” If you haven’t yet spent time enjoying the excellent books available from Unnerving and their magazine which contains a fantastic mix of stories, interviews, and art, please head on over to their site at www.unnervingmagazine.com and dig all the greatness available! The holidays are coming, don’t be caught unprepared!
Now onto the excellent subject of today’s review: Something Borrowed, Something Blood Soaked by Christa Carmen. Inside the beautiful cover are thirteen stories that are going to rock your world! And make some important social statements along the way. Let’s jump right into the thick of it with the front cover model, Priscilla, in Lady of the Flies. Also known to her detractors as Priss-killa because of an unfortunate accident involving dogs, she is a tall and powerful woman, who doesn’t relate well to people. One more thing she’s faulted for by many who think themselves to be perfect. Is there any truth to the creepy stories about Priscilla, or are they just a pack of lies meant to be hurtful? That’s up to you to decide. A crisis begins when her new boss at the farm brings her from behind the scenes, where she’s usually hidden and into the bloody limelight of the annual Halloween maze. Well! This is new, and good, right? Maybe she can finally be a “real girl” and just be one of the gang! Stu even extends a party invitation to her. Do you really think so, dear reader? Do you? Pardon me a second while I get my Vincent Price laughter track going…Don’t read this one alone, because it’s a 5 Star Screamer!!!
Do you like blood, monsters, and plenty of action? Good! Then The Girl Who Loved Bruce Campbell is going to make you smile. I really enjoyed this awesome, fast-paced story that features a female who decides to put her “naughty foot” forward and handle a pack of monsters all by herself. A solid, well-crafted tale that includes a cool tribute to Ash and the Evil Dead’s lead character actor, Bruce Campbell and demonstrates why doing drugs can be very hazardous to one’s health! The plausibility of this story is really very good, including the illegal dumping of hazardous waste. When you start reading, you have no idea where this one is going. The twists and turns are connected well and rest assured that women can kick ass with just as much flair as men. Pow!
How about a more subtle story that keeps you guessing? Time for the novella length piece Liquid Handcuffs. Damn, is this story good! It starts out with Olive, a drug and alcohol counselor at a clinic, helping her patient Nicole to rid herself of a demon by the name of Eddie Vance. While Olive seems very professional and appears to have it together, something is a little off. When her lunch break turns into an emergency, Olive finds herself at the mercy of Angry Eddie and it ain’t looking too good for the home team! This story alone is worth the price of admission. I had an inkling, but the conclusion is as surprising and dirty as a random employmee piss test!
Souls Dark and Deep is not a story to speed read. Take it slow and soak in all the details. You want to savor this like a fine wine. Breathe it in and get the essence of powerful writing that shows that horror is much more than just blood and screaming. You know what’s really scary? People whose beliefs cause misery and pain to others who are doing nothing wrong. When babysitter Belinda arrives at the residence of sisters Annie and Abigail, their parents are charging off to a, um…”dinner reservation.” After they’ve gone, Belinda has some unique dolls for the girls to play with and learn the truth from…
Two dynamic forces in independent horror have produced thirteen stories that will kick your ass. FIVE BIG STARS and Wall of Fame inductee! Something Borrowed, Something Blood Soaked changes what has become the usual horror story dynamic into something better and more empowering for all involved. These stories present female characters who have no interest in waiting for a man to come fix a problem that they can handle just as well. Hell, maybe even better, because they just do it and avoid all the macho swagger. Hold the hate mail, fellas. I mean really wouldn’t it be nice to equally partner with someone? You can ponder that in the future, but right now…Zip on over to www.unnervingmagazine.com and grab yourself a copy of this snouted beauty today!