Under Her Black Wings cover shot

Edited by Jill Girardi
Kandisha Press
March 5, 2020
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis

Hey Horror fans! Welcome to another review from Damaged Skull Writer! Today we’ll be checking out Under Her Black Wings, the premier women of horror anthology from Kandisha Press. This FIVE STAR collection features female monster stories written by women. The namesake of this press Aisha Kandisha sounds sweet and nice, but she’s a monster to be feared. She appeals to men’s desire for beauty, fantasy, and flesh. What she takes in return is much more than she ever gives. Some victims may be innocent, but often men deserve what they get. Behind that absolutely smokin’ cover by Corrine Halbert are journeys you can take. The door is open, let’s take a look inside…

What You Eat by Alys Hobbs kicks things off in a righteous fashion! The narrator of the story is living a lush life with everything a girl could want. Fine food, clothing, and toys. But what really makes her happy is feeling superior to everyone else. Especially working class poor folks who have little in the way of possessions. Have-nots make her ecstatic. “Ha-ha! Look what I have that you don’t!” When a new governess arrives, she continues to heap indulgences on the girl, especially in the food department. Sweets, rich drinks, and lots of butter add rolls of fat and keep her skin so tender. Now why would a governess do such a thing? Readers will feel slowly mounting terror as realization is reached.

Somewhere To Belong by Yolando Sfetsos This Lovecraftian tale is about loneliness and the wish to fit in to a group. Enid is a very lonely person who’s easily scared out of having fun or being happy. She lies about it often, but someone named Mother knows the truth. Not your average, mom, Mother is beautiful in her own way and offers Enid a life-changing opportunity. Will Enid take it? This story spoke to me about the times we’re living in right now. There are so many lonely people out there. We spend time talking to our computers, asking them for information, entertainment, virtual worlds, cybersex. All paid for once a month, automatically through the internet. But you don’t really BELONG, do you?

The Darkness by Stevie Kopas Two girls, sisters, are trapped in a horrible dystopia called The Darkness are desperate for food. After their mother was killed by marauding troops sent to clean up their neighborhood, Lana must take charge and get them supplies. This story is full of cool twists and turns that I don’t want to spoil. So I’ll just say that “good” can mean different things depending on who you are!

Sarah Smiles by Christy Aldridge Such a soft, smooth sounding title for a story that is anything but! Chad falls in love with Sarah, but does Sarah reciprocate? Well she does something and is very happy about it. Maybe the bigger question is: How happy is Chad?

Firstborn by Jill Girardi Ah, having that first child! Your legacy and hopefully family that will support you in times to come. Maybe if there are many, they’ll be able to pull Mansur and wife Hajar out of the horrible poverty they’re stuck in. But this new child coming has woken the Peanangal, a cursed creature that drinks the blood of mothers and newborn babies. It has managed to get its claws into husband Mansur, by appearing as a sexy babe and firing up his desires. Unless this horrible creature is stopped, there will be no happy future. But Mansur doesn’t know how to stop it! Medicine woman Tok Bidan is their only hope in a place where modern life has yet to dispel the shadows of legend. Sensual, exciting, and horror movie gross-You will dig it! Great details on this and the next story give readers a look at what life is like in other countries

PONTIANAK by Tina Isaacs is just the story to represent what this anthology is about. When son Corey wants to take a spin around the world, starting with Malaysia, his father needs to talk him out of it. Not because he’s a pompous dad who won’t let his kid have fun, but because of a bone chilling secret. Nobody would want to tell their kid this story and have proof it actually happened. Jimmy has to do it to save his son, even if he looks bad in the process. Lust can destroy a person’s thinking, putting them in horrible danger. A man’s smaller head is not much of a thinker and Jimmy is smitten with a girl who keeps showing up when no one else is around. His desire becomes so strong that he’s willing to do anything to satiate it, which is just what the Pontianak needs. There is also another group benefitting from Jimmy’s activities with the siren. It seems that it’s not just monsters who have subversive motives for what they do!

Damaged Skull Writer & Reviewer rates Under Her Black Wings FIVE Big Stars and gives it an immediate placement on The Wall of Fame! This is an amazing collection of stories by women of horror. Between all the monsters being female and women being a lot tougher than many men give them credit for, this anthology is downright amazing! Often I bid you all goodbye at the end of a review, but this time I’m lucky enough to stay close by! Keep your eyes open for a review of Graveyard Smash Women Of Horror Anthology Vol. 2 just out from Kandisha Press.

Want more information? Then be sure to check out www.kandishapress.com or visit www.yolandasfetsos.com , www.tina-isaacs.com, http://someonereadthis.com , @hobzle
By the way, this list barely scratches the surface of this thick volume of stories written by great women of horror. Pick up a copy from your favorite bookseller today! Thanks for dropping into the Skullcave, we look forward to seeing you again real soon!

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