Review: Hark! The Herald Angel Screams edited by Christopher Golden

That there is darkness at the heart of the Yuletide season should not surprise. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is filled with scenes that are unsettling. Marley untying the bandage that holds his jaws together. The hideous children–Want and Ignorance–beneath the robe of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. The heavy ledgers Marley drags by his chains. In the finest versions of this story, the best parts are the terrifying parts.

Bestselling author and editor Christopher Golden shares his love for Christmas horror stories with this anthology of all-new short fiction from some of the most talented and original writers of horror today.

Absinthe & angels by Kelley Armstrong —

Christmas in Barcelona by Scott Smith —

Fresh as the new-fallen snow by Seanan McGuire —

Love me by Thomas E. Sniegoski —

Not just for Christmas by Sarah Lotz —

Tenets by Josh Malerman —

Good deeds by Jeff Strand —

It’s a wonderful knife by Christopher Golden —

Mistletoe and holly by James A. Moore —

Snake’s tail by Sarah Langan —

The second floor of the Christmas hotel by Joe R. Lansdale —

Farrow Street by Elizabeth Hand —

Doctor Velocity: a story of the fire zone by Jonathan Maberry —

Yankee swap by John M. McIlveen —

Honor thy mother by Angela Slatter —

Home by Tim Lebbon —

Hiking through by Michael Koryta —

The hangman’s bride by Sarah Pinborough

Oh man! I’ve been saving this book all year, waiting for Christmas time to crack it open! 😀 You now how it is… like most anthologies, it is a mixed bag of stories. Some will be a huge hit with you, some will be… well, not a hit with you.

I personally loved Christmas in Barcelona by Scott Smith. Such a clever, creepy little magical toy (?) story. What a great twist at the end! I had so much fun watching where this story was going to go. I was not disappointed!

What goes best with Christmas? GHOSTS! So unsurprisingly, the two shining stars were two amazing ghost stories. The 2nd Floor of the Christmas Hotel by Joe R. Lansdale was just great. The other story is the very last story, The Hangman’s Bride by Sarah Pinsborough. WOW. Both were just fantastic and spooky.

The handful of the stories that fell a little flat for me were not terrible at all. There were just a little too ambiguous, plots or endings. I don’t think it was badly written, I just hate ambiguous stories! Just not my thing. I felt some of them were a little confusing with what actually happened.

This is a rather nice set of 18 Christmas stories. Hark! The Herald Angel Screams is a perfect read for the holiday time. Don’t forget the hot cocoa!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s