Foul Womb Of Night: Gustavo Bondoni, Elizabeth Donald & Adam Stemple
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Don’t you love it when you discover a book that not only is fantastic but is made up of three brand new to you authors and features three novellas that electrify and absolutely have you engaged from start to finish?
‘Foul Womb of Night‘ features three novellas and the synopsis blew me away. Add in the title and the cover art and I was sold.
What I liked: The first novella in this release was ‘Goblin Hole‘ by Adam Stemple. This story takes place during WWI and follows a group of soldiers trying to advance towards enemy lines. While moving forward, a large blast hole is found and it’s at this point that Stemple steps away from a pure historical war story and enters into a gruesome creature-feature. The title gives away what type of creature, but I’m going to stay silent on the brutality that befalls our characters as they descend below ground.
The descriptions in this novella are not for the faint of heart. It’ll make even those who are not, claustrophobic. It was a really well-done story and the ending to this was superb.
The second novella was ‘Frozen Meat‘ by Gustavo Bondoni. True to the title, a group of black market salvagers head to the Antarctic to try and retrieve equipment from a ship that was considered lost. The opening of this was spot on perfect and right up until one of our characters entered the ship was I on board. Unfortunately for me, the things that are discovered are one of my least favorite genre baddies and it took me out of the story. Saying that, the second half was really well done and the survival aspect was executed wonderfully. Bondoni owned those characters and made us believe in each and every one of them.
The last novella was ‘Yanaguana‘ by Elizabeth Donald. Of the three, this story had a very different feeling. Mainly it was due to the setting, I think. Influenced heavily by The X-Files and even Thomas Harris novels, we follow an agency investigating disappearances along a river. I loved the mythology that was included in here and the way the suits were viewed by the people who lived and worked there. Great stuff.
What I didn’t like: Well, as with any collection/anthology stories will connect with readers differently. In this case all were really good, but I just wished that ‘Frozen Meat‘ had been a different set of antagonists. Still really well done, but a subgenre I often avoid on its own.
Why you should buy this: The three novellas included here were all really well done and introduced three new, exciting authors to me. They all delivered top-notch stories and the fact that each one read so individually yet felt cohesive was a delight.
If you’re looking to visit three different, dark worlds, I highly recommend you give this one a go.
Foul Womb Of Night
A soldier faces a different kind of battlefield horror.
A mercenary hunts creatures that shouldn’t exist.
An agency investigates the death of one of their own.
Settle in for an evening of terror and suspense, from the trenches of World War I to the frozen Antarctic wastes to a creature that haunts the night streets of San Antonio. Welcome to Midnight Bites!
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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