Corpsing: Kayleigh Marie Edwards
Reviewed By Ben Walker
Promising both giggles and grimness with its double entendre of a title, Kayleigh Marie Edwards’ Corpsing presents eight short stories which straddle the line between mirth and the macabre somewhat successfully.
It’s a varied bunch of stories to be sure, covering zombie attacks, a bungled act of defiance, kids seeing ghosts, nasty spider bites, kids causing trouble for the world, an eventful retirement and a Christmas eve to remember. Some stories take well-trodden paths, others veer into weirdness for the sake of a punchline, and as such it’s a real mixed bag. I can’t say there was one particular highlight for me, all the stories achieve what they set out to do, whether that’s to amuse or to give you a little shiver, and maybe that’s why I struggled to highlight a favourite.
It’s all solid writing, just none of it tips the scale over into belly-busting laughter or soul-trembling terror. The one story I wanted to like the most was Siren, with its tale of a ghost trying to befriend a young girl, but it has one set up too many at the start and never really kicks into a creepy enough gear. It’s a tricky trope to get right anyway, and perhaps it would have been better in a longer format, giving more chances to explore the mystery or worm in deeper under the reader’s skin. The same goes for Skin, which blends body horror with family trouble and dreamlike weirdness – the characters and relationships all feel well executed, but the horror doesn’t always have a strong enough impact, despite a decent ending.
As for the comedy promised by the title, it’s Very British, with cheeky gags and dark humour sprinkled on top of some wince-worthy gore. Not every joke lands successfully, but then again, not every story is meant to be funny, so you never know what to expect as you flick to the next offering. As a curiosity, it’s worth a look, though I’d be more interested to see what comes next from the author.
Kayleigh Marie Edwards has been entertaining and chilling audiences with her own eclectic mix of horror and comedy. Now, for the first time, this popular author has collected her works together, reviewing and revising each one to bring you the definitive versions of her unique tales.
From murderous children to nightmarish trips to an ill-fated zombie apocalypse, Corpsing will send you running for the light switch, but smiling as you do it.
Featuring the stories: Bitey Bachman, Bits and Bobs, Siren, Now You See Them, Skin, ‘S’ Day, Barry’s Last Day & ’Twas The Night Before Christmas.
Ben got a taste for terror after sneaking downstairs to watch The Thing from behind the sofa at age 9. He’s a big fan of extreme & bizarre horror and well as more psychological frights, and most things in between. When he’s not reading, he’s writing, and when he’s not writing he’s on twitter @BensNotWriting or reviewing books on his YouTube channel, BLURB.