Dark Divinations: Edited By Naching T. Kassa
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Big thanks to Jon O’Bergh and Naching Kassa for reaching out and sending a digital copy of this horror anthology presented by HorrorAddicts.net
Set during the height of Queen Victoria’s rule, ‘Dark Divinations‘ featured 13 stories all told around the dark arts. There were only two authors I was familiar with prior to reading this – Jon and Stephanie Ellis. So, it was a great introduction to 11 other writers.
What I liked: With this all being set in the same time period, it made for a well-focused anthology. There was no risk of enjoying someone being slaughtered in the back alley behind a brothel and then the next story features computers and cellphones. While that isn’t always a bad thing, it was nice to see an anthology that had a theme and a focus.
With anthologies like this, I try not to single one story out as all of them were very enjoyable, but I do need to give a special mention to ‘The Bell‘ by Jon O’Bergh. Growing up, I was always creeped out big-time, by the idea that some people were buried with a bell just in case they weren’t actually dead. INSANE! John’s story was the one that made me squirm the most and that was purely because of my lifelong fascination with that practice.
What I didn’t like: Ah, the short story problem. As I said, I really did enjoy all of the stories. The opener ‘Power and Shadow‘ was just as enthralling as the final story ‘Of Blood and Bones.’ The issue is always those stories that end and you are enraged wanting more or the ones that would’ve been superb if they were a little shorter. This will never change, as is the case with the short form.
Why you should buy it: This is definitely an anthology for those who love Gothic short stories and who really enjoy those stories set around the time of Jack the Ripper. When police work was shoddy and medical training even worse. When tarot card readers would be millionaires and were scientists looked at with horror for wanting to see what was under the skin. The stories here are a fantastic cross-section of all the dark stuff we love, as horror readers and a great introduction to a number of fantastic voices.
It’s the height of Queen Victoria’s rule. Fog swirls in the gas-lit streets, while in the parlor, hands are linked. Pale and expectant faces gaze upon a woman, her eyes closed and shoulders slumped. The medium speaks, her tone hollow and inhuman. The séance has begun. Join us as we explore fourteen frightening tales of Victorian horror, each centered around a method of divination.
Can the reading of tea leaves influence the future? Can dreams keep a soldier from death in the Crimea? Can a pocket watch foretell a deadly family curse?
From entrail reading and fortune-telling machines to prophetic spiders and voodoo spells, sometimes the future is better-left unknown.
Choose your fate
Choose your DARK DIVINATION.
With stories by: Hannah Hulbert, Ash Hartwell, Joe L. Murr, Emerian Rich, Naching T. Kassa, Michael Fassbender, Jon O’Bergh, Stephanie Ellis, H.R.R. Gorman, R.L. Merrill, Rie Sheridan Rose, Daphne Strasert, Alan Fisher, and Jeremy Megargee
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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