WHITE SHADOWS / AUTHOR: P.B. KANE / PUBLISHER: THINGS IN THE WELL / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Eight stories lurk between the covers of this latest collection from horror author Paul Kane, this time adapting his name to P.B. Kane for a Young Adult audience. While the name may have changed, the quality of stories is exactly what those who’ve read his other work would come to expect; the chills still remain, able to play on fears of young and old alike.
The first story, "The Rainbow Man," takes up almost half the length of this collection, allowing Kane to develop a slow-burn approach, heightening the tension with each chapter as he tells of a mysterious stranger in a small town. When this new arrival begins to integrate himself into the society, only one boy can see him for the menace that he truly is. What gradually unfolds is not only sinister, but manages to tug at the heart with its atmosphere of loneliness and isolation, ending with a sly twist that is subtly foreshadowed. The last story in the collection is a companion piece that satisfies anyone who wants to know more and, although of a much shorter length, is equally as gripping. The same can be said of all the other stories, each placing the reader deep into the mind and world of its protagonist, whether it be someone who has received a pet demon for Christmas or is suffering from the loss of their parents.
Of these tales, only one – the titular "White Shadows" – is original to this collection, the others spanning almost two decades of Kane’s career and showcasing the high standard that he has maintained throughout. What ultimately stands out is the regard that Kane show his audience; while the stories are aimed at younger readers, they are never patronised, and each tale remains as sharp as the last. This makes White Shadows a fitting anthology for horror fans, be they teenagers or those whose younger years may be behind them. It is fiction that will appeal to anyone who likes a tingle at the back of their neck, a collection that will keep readers of all ages turning the pages until the very end.