Book Review: Day of Demons / Author: Various / Editor: Colin F. Barnes / Publisher: Anachron Press / Release Date: Out Now
Day of Demons is an interesting idea for an anthology; nine stories about demons, the pacts they make and the people they make it with. It’s a broad idea, and the collection is mostly filled with stories set in the modern age. However, it does open with Deal, a fantasy adventure by Karen Davies. It’s a strong first story, filled with wit and strangeness. I get the feeling this isn’t the last we’ve seen of the half-demon protagonist either, at least I certainly hope not.
Equally powerful is the last story in the set, The Devil and Mrs Milton by Sarah Anne Langton. Written in a slightly unusual, almost chatty style its savvy wit and easy style bookends nicely with the first story, even though they’re nothing alike.
The rest of the set is also entertaining. Highlights include Inheritance (by Phil Hickes) and James M. Mazzaro’s tale A Mother’s Love, both solid tales of urban horror which are weakened by being a little too short and a little too keen to have some spooky chills in them. Serpent’s Kiss (by Krista Walsh) however, hits the mark perfectly, playing on the readers’ expectations right to the end. Nicely creepy, nasty and slightly sexy. Sam & The Spear by Gary Bonn is the weakest in the collection, simply because it’s the least fitting. Bonn’s casual (and slightly messy) style doesn’t sit well amongst the others. It’s different, and in a themed anthology, that can be jarring.
Anthologies are always hard to give a single rating too, and Days of Demons especially so. Though it starts incredibly strongly and ends with a cracking little tale, not every tale is as good as it could be. Still, they’re worth a look, especially if you like your short stories with a twist of sulphur.