SHADOW MASTERS features “incredible talents”

Horror writer and critic C. Dennis Moore has posted a review of SHADOW MASTERS: AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE HORROR ZINE, which features my short story, “The People Eaters”:

Pick up your copy of SHADOW MASTERS at

Pick up your copy of SHADOW MASTERS at

Books like the latest anthology from Horror Zine editor Jeani Rector are exactly the reason I love anthologies. I always discover so many great authors I may not have otherwise discovered. And new authors, for a reader as voracious as myself, is always a plus.

SHADOW MASTERS isn’t a very big book–only 342 pages–but with over 30 stories, it feels massive. And within those 30+ stories are some incredible talents. I guess I could showcase the name authors, the ones you’ll recognize, the ones you’ll buy this book for, like Bentley Little, whose story “The End of the Trail” is brilliantly weird and so very well-written. Or there’s Yvonne Navarro‘s “Holodomor Girl”, which is without question the darkest thing in this collection, and so good. I could talk about Simon Clark‘s “The Tin House” or Melanie Tem‘s “The Classmate”, which feels like a terribly deranged world masquerading as our normal everyday one and not doing a very good job of it–this might be my second favorite story here–or there’s Elizabeth Massie‘s “Wet Birds”, But I don’t have to, because you know these authors, and when you purchase this book, it’ll be those names that drew you in.

Luckily, though, SHADOW MASTERS has so much more to offer and, while the names may not be immediately recognizable (they weren’t to me, anyway), their talent is just as solid, and their stories every bit the equal of those bigger names.

Rick McQuiston‘s “Don’t Feed the Dog” is a very short, but powerful story about denial, death and dinnertime that demands a second reading, while Tim Jeffreys‘s “The Cellar” leaves all the best bits to your imagination, and is an even more powerful story because of it.

James Marlow‘s “The Thing That Was Not There” is an excellent opener and sets the tone for the rest of the stories that follow while Christopher Hivner‘s “I Am the Feeder” and Horror Zine co-editor Dean H. Wild‘s story “Foundlings” share a similar theme, but are each very much their own stories.

Devon Carey‘s “Fearful Symmetry” read like something from Clive Barker at his most inventive and Jonathan Chapman‘s “The Wood Witch” was easily one of the most enjoyable reads of the collection. Not because of the incredibly dark content, but because of Chapman’s style. That dude can write!

The collection is aptly titled. There’s a darkness that permeates these stories–which is fitting, I guess; they ARE horror stories–but it’s more than just because they’re horror stories. There are themes of hopelessness, despair and regret that run throughout many of them, adding to the feel of the book as a whole. This is not a happy collection. But if it was, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did. Jeani Rector is an editor who knows her stuff and she has put together a 5-star collection of long-time horror talents with some up and comers who are sure to make big names for themselves, very soon. SHADOWS MASTERS was, for me, the epitome of why I love horror anthologies in the first place.

If you haven’t read SHADOW MASTERS and picked out your own personal favorites, what are you waiting for? Just check out that table of contents:

SHADOW MASTERS (Imajin Books) is a product of THE HORROR ZINE, a monthly e-zine that publishes new issues the first of every month.

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