In Tooth And Claw: Dan Soule
Reviewed By Aiden Merchant
Though I have been lucky this year, usually collections are a mix of hit and miss. In Tooth and Claw is like that, though I feel the good outweighs the bad by a fair amount. “Plight of the Valkyrie” sets up an interesting world in which Death is an employee of sorts that has decided to retire and finds his replacement. I really enjoyed this one and think Soule should do an entire novel with this concept of the Guild. There would be many directions worth exploring, so it’s safe to say In Tooth and Claw starts off on a good foot.
Jump ahead a couple of stories to “The Switch,” my next favorite entry. Here, you have an old, rich man dying in the hospital while his family counts away the minutes (soon, they all will inherit great wealth). However, there is one family member there that has been tortured by this old man, and is often ignored and unseen by everyone else. Finally, she will get her revenge with the old man’s death, but it must be by her hands. This story is short, sweet, and to the point. I thought the cast was used perfectly and the POV a smart choice.
Although I didn’t particularly like “The Breed,” I did really enjoy “The Breed: Last Watch” that followed a little later in this collection. I mixed up character names a couple of times, but I was otherwise captivated by the ride. There was definitely potential in the story, enough so to warrant a novella or novel. If Soule decides to follow this idea further, you can sign me up.
Lastly, “Witchopper” did me some good. You learn of an old witch tale to scare little kids, but of course it turns out to be true. Like my other favorites in this collection, I would like to see this idea expanded. And in all honesty, that could be a minor complaint with In Tooth and Claw (as much as it is a positive) – more often than not, the stories didn’t work as simple one-shots. They demanded more. This is both good and bad. It’s good that they caught my interest in such a way that I wanted there to be more, but bad in the sense that I couldn’t simply enjoy this collection for a singular ride – I was left expecting more when it’s short-lived.
Soule has a great way with words, even if they sometimes jumble in explanation and cast of characters. This collection presented me with enough interesting ideas that I will definitely be looking into Soule further, which counts as a win for me. In Tooth and Claw has got some meat on its bones!
In Tooth And Claw
If dreams come true, then so do nightmares. Especially when demons hide – and devour – in plain sight, or the wrong psychopath is recruited for their dream job. When a telephone rings for a forgotten boy in an old red telephone box, or when the sinister origin of a curse is locked within a children’s nursery rhyme, then the horror will follow you darkly into your dreams. And it will still be there when you wake.
Click the buy button and join the growing zombie horde of readers spellbound by horror author Dan Soule’s storytelling. Grab a copy of In Tooth and Claw today, and let the eight stories fester in your putrefying claw as they worm into your mind.
Aiden Merchant is an independent author, working under various pseudonyms. He writes horror, suspense, drama, science fiction, fantasy, and whatever else fuels him on any given day. He currently has one collection of short stories available (Dead As Soon As Born).
His next story collection, KILL FOR THEM, will release in September. Before 2019 ends, there will also be some Kindle Singles along the way.
Under his real name, Aiden has been a music journalist since 2008, appearing in such international articles as Alternative Press and Outburn Magazine. Though his days of hitting the road for shows and festivals has since passed, music is still a passion of his that taught him how to write in a critical manner. Reviewing stories is still new to him, but he is very much interested in developing a style of his own.
Aiden is a father of one, married, and living in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee (USA). He is originally from further north, as is his wife. He loves to write, read, and explore the outdoors.
Dead As Soon As Born
There is evil inside us all, and no one lives forever.
In this debut collection of short stories from Aiden Merchant, you will bear witness to murderers, monsters, and other horrors.