Autumncrow: Cameron Chaney
Reviewed By Yvonne Miller
Autumncrow is a collection of short stories all centred around the small Ohio town of Autumncrow. The town where it is always Halloween. I really loved the fact that each story cracked open the wounds of the town, the backstory, the creation and the inhabitants and their way of life. I have been an avid subscriber of Cameron Chaney’s YouTube channel, Library Macabre and had a funny feeling this was going to be as haunting as his content. The stories are packed with humanity, depravity and emotion.
My instant thoughts on Autumncrow took me back to my youth reading Goosebumps from R.L. Stine. It was that same edge and harboring intent that I connected with and now reminded me of now. The book focuses on the residents and the first story that spoke to me was Pumpkin Light, a familiar scene, familiar inhabitants, but a different story. The setting is chilling but we have an old woman reminiscing. The story was a perfect start to get me warmed up to what was to come. The tone was set, the narrative was precise and haunting even when describing the most average of task.
With an almost gentle start, Chaney jumps in his truck and speeds off into the distance. With a kick up of dirt and stones that gentle start is a thing of the past. All safety is gone, and the stories take a decidedly dark turn.
Autumncrow’s next story is Burnt Brownies which is by far my favourite story in the collection. This is where you get a true taste for just how immersive the writer’s style is. The story is predominately a regretful tale of neglect and sibling love gone awry. As siblings get older, they grow apart, they are interested in different things and they make a shift in their life towards adulthood. This story really did knock it up a notch and I could feel my anxiety pulsing as the story edged towards its conclusion. Halloween can be haunting, but brownies can kill.
Autumncrow was a brilliant selection of short stories. The psychological exploration of grief, relationships and fear were outstanding. I was seriously impressed with just how real the themes were portrayed. The author was able to put me in the characters shoes, I felt the emotions, often with papercut like rawness.
Welcome to Autumncrow Valley, where every night is Halloween.
Enjoy your stay!
But first, a few words of warning; Stay out of the forest.
Never venture out after dark. And don’t stare too long into the shadows…you may not like what you see.
Have a pleasant visit. We hope it won’t be your last
Well, what can I say about myself? I’m a 33-year-old married woman and mum to 3 crazy boys, aged 13,6 and 4. My eldest has a genetic condition that causes a visual impairment so as you can imagine life can be very chaotic and provides many challenges along the way but I would 100% never change any of them. They fulfil my life beyond measure.
I adore books – I adore shouting about books! I’m a reviewer of mainly horror and dark fantasy. Whether that’s featuring werewolves, evil creatures or the depravity of humanity, I will read them all.
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