Tag Archives: genre: horror

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

The Ballad of Black Tom

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor Lavalle

Published by: Tor on February 16, 2016
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Charles Thomas “Tommy” Hester is a hustler, doing what he needs to do to survive and support his father. Life is what it is, after all. And as someone who lives in the underbelly of New York City, he’s met his share of shady, sinister, and mysterious types. He’s even benefitted a bit from those encounters at times too. But some forces should not be messed with. And we should also be careful about being too quick to judge or jump to our own conclusions.

I will admit that I have not read much Lovecraft. And that which I have read I have not found to be particularly enjoyable. It has never really grabbed me, and I have never connected with the work. So I am skeptical when I approach a work that is adapted/derived/etc. from a Lovecraft story. But there is absolutely no reason to hesitate here. Victor LaValle has taken inspiration from the original story to create something that reads as original itself, is rich with character development and world-building, and serves as a strong example of good storytelling. Well worth a read.

Resurrection Man by Laylah Hunter

23296041Title: Resurrection Man
Author: Laylah Hunter
Published: October 7, 2014 (originally appeared in the Bump in the Night anthology (October 14, 2013)
Pages: 19
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

Josef’s lover, Adel, has died, but he is not ready to be parted with him forever. He takes many risks to practice dark and forbidden magic to bring him back. But can the magic bring Adel back exactly as he was? Or does death do something to a person that can never be undone? And to what lengths is Josef willing to go for the idea of keeping Adel by his side?

A bit on the darker side of fantasy, this is an interesting story that manages a unique voice, even though it contains motifs that are not unknown to horror readers. In a few short pages, Laylah Hunter brings these two characters to life (that was intentional) and I found myself easily pulled into the story. It’s not graphic (in any way, really), but it’s not a bright and shiny romance, if that’s what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something dark and intense, this is a good bet.