Lucid Screams: Red Lagoe
Reviewed By Steve Stred
My first experience reading Lagoe’s work was in the anthology ‘If I Die Before I Wake; Vol 1.’ Shortly after my review was posted, she contacted me to see if I’d like to check out her upcoming collection ‘Lucid Screams,’ which I gladly accepted.
You can read the Kendall Review for ‘If I Die Before I Wake; Vol 1.’ HERE
‘Lucid Screams’ is a brutal ride through some uncompromising subject matter. Lagoe caveats this by putting a warning/trigger warning blurb at the front with a link to a separate page that goes through the stories and what the trigger warnings would be. While I personally don’t require that, after reading the stories within – I think it was a smart and ballsy move to include it. It will make a lot of folks happy and still be able to enjoy the stories that don’t contain their personal triggers.
For me, the high moment of this collection was the opening story.
‘Lucid Screaming’ tells us the story of a mother trying to reconcile current events with prior events. I can’t really say anything more specific than that without giving away the plot. Just a harrowing story of grief and mental health issues.
Later on, we get a story called ‘Empty Nest’ that will bring you back to ‘Lucid Screaming.’ Heartbreak and sorrow are all that is in this one. Great stuff!
From there, the stories all stabbed at various themes and while for the most part I enjoyed them all, some didn’t resonate with me as much, and that’s pretty common in a short story collection.
I would suggest folks take notes when reading ‘Helping Hands Resort’ which was a deliciously unique story about having to make a decision. I think for many people, this may end up being their favourite story in the entire collection!
Overall, I had a lot of fun with this collection. I enjoy reading short story collections when I have a number of long reads on the go. It’s a great break from being focused on a singular story for a lengthy period of time and when the stories are as good as they are in this collection, you quickly find that you are spending more and more time reading the collection than the novels!
Great stuff, and one that I think will be frequently shared over this coming year.
Mythical creatures, inner demons, and fear are a few forms in which monsters present themselves. When confronted by such savage beasts, the vulnerability of humanity is often exposed. Will we rise above, or will we succumb to our inevitable demise? These sixteen horror stories by Red Lagoe explore the supernatural as well as human horror associated with grief, guilt, severed relationships, and severed limbs.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of three novels, a number of novellas and four collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
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