{Book Review} Dead As Soon As Born: Aiden Merchant

Dead As Soon As Born: Aiden Merchant

Reviewed By Steve Stred

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Lulu.com (5 Jun. 2019)

Sometimes in the reading/writing world, you end up randomly connecting with folks. I connected with Aiden via a mutual friend on Instagram. Aiden had some behind the scenes questions regarding Goodreads and Amazon etc and I was happy to help. Through chatting he ended up sending me his collection “Dead As Soon As Born,” and so after I finished up a few reads I dove into it, totally unsuspecting of any synopsis or genre!

This short story collection starts out with a bang with a fantastic alien invasion tale. ‘In Exitum’ tells the tale from a few different characters POV’s and one of my biggest most enjoyable scares is the real-life fear of what would happen if we woke up and Aliens had arrived. This story was my favourite of the entire collection but I was happy to see that there was no letdown. Merchant winds his way through a few different genres.

One thing I really enjoyed was the short story ‘The Sinking’ which also had an accompanying screenplay. This is something that I’ve never come across in a collection before and thoroughly enjoyed.

Stubby Legs’ and ‘Wild Mind’ were both fantastic creature type tales and Merchant worked well to not tell the same story over and over.

Crossing Red’ was another fun treat as Merchant gives us his take on a unique killing spree.

Overall I enjoyed this batch of short stories and I’m always a fan when an author includes story notes; the inspiration behind the story and its evolution over its lifetime. Merchant shares some great insight and I wish more authors would do this.

The only thing I found that started to grind on me a bit was the frequent nods to King’s work. I’m a massive King fan and at first thought, it was neat to have them added in, but as more of them cropped up I started to wish there was less of them. Another reader may find this enjoyable though, so check it out for sure.

Thanks for sending this my way Aiden, I highly recommend people take a look at this collection, as it has a little something for everyone. Plus it opens with an alien invasion story! I mean come on!

Star Rating (out of 5): 4*

Dead As Soon As Born

Dead As Soon As Born is a collection of short stories, including the previously released “No More.” Here are just some of the titles included:

In “The Sinking,” a husband snaps and murders his wife. Once he’s stuffed her inside an antique trunk, the next step is to decide where to dump it…

In “Wild Minds,” an author races off to his mountain cabin for some peace and quiet. There, he writes a monster to life…

In “Crossing Red,” a simple-minded man goes on a killing spree before kidnapping a vendor and heading to the mountains…

In “Stubby Legs,” an ancient creatures lives beyond the walking trails of Dawson Park…

You can buy Dead As Soon As Born from Amazon UK & Amazon US

Steve Stred

Steve Stred is an up-and-coming Dark, Bleak Horror author.

Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun and his most recent release was the coming-of-age, urban legend tale The Girl Who Hid in the Trees.

On June 1st, 2019 his second full-length novel, The Stranger will be welcomed to the world.

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.

You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred

You can visit Steve’s Official website here

The Stranger

Ahhh… nothing like the annual summer family camping trip, right?

Malcolm, his wife Sam and their two kids have been staying at the same cabin, at the same campground for years now. Heck, Malcolm’s been coming to the campground since he was a kid.

Miles and miles of groomed trails, hiking, kayaking on the pristine lake. What’s not to like?

But this year… well this year’s different. You see, roof repairs have caused them to have to change their plans. Now they’re staying at the cabin at the end of season, in fact they’re the last campers before it closes for the winter.

While happy to be spending time with the family, Malcolm feels a shift.

The caretaker next door makes it known he hates him.

The trees… move and dance, as though calling him, beckoning him.

Then on a seemingly normal kayaking trip, the family makes a discovery.



Something’s out there, just on the other side of the fence. Malcolm’s positive it’s just the caretaker trying to scare him, teach the family a lesson.

But what if it’s not…

What if there is something out there?

The Stranger is the second novel from Steve Stred and 9th release overall. The Stranger is another offering following in the footsteps of similar books Invisible, YURI and The Girl Who Hid in the Trees. As Steve describes his works; “dark, bleak horror.”

With this release, Steve has decided to look deeper into what makes humans tick. He confronts two key elements of mankind; bigotry and our environmental footprint.

Featuring stunning cover art by Chadwick St. John (www.inkshadows.com), The Stranger will be a story that will leave you feeling uneasy and have you looking at the trees differently.

Maybe it’s not the wind making the branches sway…



The Stranger. 

You can buy The Stranger from Amazon UK Amazon US

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