13 Horror Bundle – by John McDonnell – Review

I have read quite a number of horror and fantasy books. This one is a mixture of both genres, yet it is radically different from the previous horror or fantasy books I have read: both in style and substance. This book is actually a combination of short stories: some short and others long.

The first story is about a modern-day Casanova. He thinks he knows all the tricks and strategies required to seduce any woman; he says exactly what the woman wants to hear and once he has seduced them and got the juice out of them, he would dump them heartlessly. Little did he know that one of his future encounters would be with someone who is quite unlike any woman he has ever met. I believe that after his horrific experience with a ‘woman’ he might have even given up on this seduction business completely, lol. I know I would. The fifth story is in a similar vein in that a corrupt, womanizing cop runs out of his luck when gets more than he’d bargained for, or rather, exactly NOT what he’d bargained for.

The second tale is not quite a horror story but rather a fairy tale full of enchanting events. The protagonist meets a strange creature – quite like a shiny, silvery fish – nurses it back to health and in the process (unbeknownst to her) falls in love with fish. But of course, it is not really a fish! What follows is the unexpected – a minor tragedy beginning with an exceptional kind of metamorphosis.

The third tale is more like a flash fiction rather than a full-fledged short story, improving murder, gore, and supernatural horror. It reminded me of some of the Victorian gothic novels I had read in my school.

Fourth tale is about a middle-aged man who has a beautiful girlfriend. To his horror, his watch has suddenly stopped functioning, which means he won’t be able to keep his appointment with his girlfriend. In order to fix his watch, he has to go through an even funnier, rollercoaster ride and even then, how far does he succeed? Read the book to find out.

There are even more fantastic tales in it than the ones I have just described.

I liked the style. There were no big, complex words that would force you to lookup the dictionary every minute. I also loved how the author didn’t spend pages after pages with boring descriptions of nature but rather went straight to the point. A lot of the tales start with a very brief description of the characters involved and then straightaway heads toward creating a situation with enough description to help you get a visual feel of the surroundings at hand; after that the story moves on to the dialogs which are quite entertaining and innovative, I must say. Many of the stories are about bad karma and its consequences – with a little didactic feel about them. Quite my taste, I can say. I prefer modern-day eBooks such as this which are low on description and heavier on dialogs. The stories were so engaging and thrilling that they put me on the edge of my seat – so much so that not only I had my dinner pretty late, I also didn’t sleep at all. This is not something that happens to me often, not even when I read my favorite horror classics. In short, I highly recommend it to any fans of horror or supernatural. This ebook will now remain as part of my permanent collection, for those lazy weekend evenings when I feel bored.

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