7 DEADLY SINS
Editor: Becky Narron
Terror Tract Publishing
May 20, 2020
reviewed by Brian James Lewis
Hello lovers of Independent Horror that kicks ass! Tonight at the Skullcave we have something special to share with you. 7 Deadly Sins from Terror Tract Publishing is an anthology that focuses on the horrific consequences of committing the seven deadly sins of:
7 Deadly Sins depicted by 14 Horror Authors that include: James Pyles, Billy Chizmar, Andy Rausch, Kitty Kane, Shaun Avery, Andrew Lennon, and many MORE! Isn’t it funny how we humans rationalize our behavior, trying to twist it into a good thing when it clearly is not? That’s why even with the sheer strength and power they possess, tigers, bears, boa constrictors, even those crazy Honey Badgers pale in comparison to what evil humans are capable of. Does your good old pal Skull have you intrigued? Then let’s step behind that awesome cover and see what await us inside…
Searching For Dirty Jesus by Andy Rausch takes us on a roller coaster ride from hell. Dev is a misunderstood person who’s been through a lot in his fairly brief life. Stuck working in a fast food joint and relying on renaissance role play gaming to help him keep his sanity, Dev gets an unexpected call from his Grammy at work. Jesse Marks, the man who killed Dev’s father, has escaped from prison! Instead of just accepting that fact, Dev decides to swing into action and confront his father’s killer. But he’s not doing it alone. The ghost of his daddy arrives and does what he always did: make Dev and his mother miserable. Beating, insulting, making life a living hell. Still, Dev thinks Daddy has a couple good ideas and before long they’re off to catch the bad guys. Except things stray far from Dev’s original plan. Think funky antique store and giant sword wrong. And when those police car lights find the rearview mirror of Dev’s car, nobody is there to help him out. Not even Daddy.
The Babel Project by James Pyles is probably my favorite story in the anthology. It’s an excellent piece that combines elements of science fiction, social-political commentary, and horror to create a thought-provoking tale that is painfully close to reality. A couple things I like about Pyles’ work is how he never rushes the story or splashes unnecessary gore around. And yet, I came away from reading The Babel Project feeling terrified and upset. There is an international pandemic going on and the future is uncertain at best. But one man has a plan to save the human race. Not everyone of course, but a carefully hand-picked thousand. Noah Guenther is a disgustingly rich man who enjoys playing God and controlling every aspect of “his people’s” lives. So he builds his own modern day Ark to escape the earth’s demise. But what if he’s wrong about something? Missing a crucial detail, no matter how tiny, could slowly turn the Ark into an orbiting museum of death.
The Man Who Loved Thin Women by Shaun Avery is a twisted tale of lust, greed, and envy, that’s messier than mud wrestling and crazier than a carnival stripper on meth. Frank is a talent scout for a major record label who is constantly on the lookout for the next big thing. Not only does he enjoy making money, but the side benefits are pretty fun, too. Frank LOVES all the sex he gets to have while on the road. However, there is one condition: all the women he beds MUST be thin. So when he discovers Sue singing at a Holiday Inn karaoke night, Frank is smitten and excited about how much money they’re going to make. They have a wild first night together, with Sue’s friend thrown into the mix. But things don’t stay fantastic for long because Frank is a sex glutton. He’ll bang anything as long as it fits his wish list. Even his wife’s old friend while she’s trying to extort money from him. Of course, he’s got to get rid of her and that puts him under his boss’ thumb. This crazy story is one high speed trip to hell, that you don’t want to miss!
Seasons Don’t Fear The Reaper by Billy Chizmar is an expose of the deadly sin wrath. You wouldn’t expect it from detective Ira Paul Ripley, who seems to be the most well-adjusted man in the world. Everything is regular, routine, and safe. Or is that just a carefully constructed cover for what hides inside? When a strange little man arrives at police headquarters, asking to see Detective Ripley, he whips the blanket off a monster in waiting. Not that Ripley doesn’t have a reason for all of his pent-up rage. It even has a name: Walter. At first, it seems like justice is being served and old hurts put to rest, but in this story that’s just the beginning of even more hell. Who is the oddly cheerful man in the down jacket and why would anyone walk into a police station to inform them of his crimes? Chizmar has proven many times that there’s more than one expert storyteller in his family and Seasons Don’t Fear The Reaper is a great example of his work. Check it out!
Fast Food by Andrew Lennon gives us an interesting take on the sins of gluttony. Fast food is gross, greasy, heavy, bready, and chock full of carbs. It’s the stuff that all the TV health gurus warn us about. And yet…We keep eating it because in our moment of need, it tastes fab! Some people even eat it four times a day. But at some point, you gotta pay the piper for all the bodily abuse you commit, right? Peter sure is paying painfully and unhappily when we enter the story. Heaving his guts out, sweating, miserable-Hey! What the hell is that green thing he just hurled? He better figure out real quick, or else he could be in serious trouble.
So what’s the Skull’s evaluation of 7 Seven Deadly Sins? Honestly, This is a seriously boss read with a great variety of stories that follow a single theme but stay fresh. Nice work, editor Becky Narron! That earns you a rating of FIVE BIG STARS! This is real horror written by real people, so it’s very relatable for readers and a great way to escape reality for at least an hour a day. Hopefully, this review has piqued your interest in the 7 Deadly Sins anthology from Terror Tract Publishing. Paperbacks are priced at a very reasonable $10 on Amazon and you can also purchase a kindle version for $3.99. It’s a Damaged Skull Reviewer “Wall of Fame” inductee!
Want more information or have an interest in their other cool publications? Then check out Terror Tract Publishing at: https://terrortract.com for exciting novels, more great anthologies, and their magazine TERROR TRACT. You can also visit them on Twitter @terrortract.