Paths Best Left Untrodden: Kev Harrison
Reviewed By Simon Paul Wilson
One of my favourite novellas of 2020 was The Balance by Kev Harrison. I really enjoyed that tale of folk horror, and thought it was a brilliant read. So, when I got the chance to review his debut short story collection, I jumped at the chance.
The big question for me was would his writing continue to impress?
Happily, the answer is yes.
Paths Best Left Untrodden is an excellent collection of horrors and one that I highly recommend you check out.
Paths Best Left Untrodden has thirteen stories on offer and showcases a variety of different styles. Harrison definitely shows the reader that folk-horror is just one of the many genres of horror he can master. Colour me very impressed, Mr Harrison. I thought you did a brilliant job, for sure.
The collection gets off to a great start with Big Game. This is one of several stories I thought had a real Black Mirror vibe. It’s a clever and disturbing tale that makes you wonder exactly who in this story has lost their humanity. Excellent stuff indeed.
I’m happy to report that this collection is another without filler. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from cover to cover, as I’m sure most readers will.
However, there were a trio of stories that ticked all the boxes for me and I reckon these will be the ones folk talk about the most. I know I will be doing so when recommending the book to others.
The first of these is Special Order.
This had a real bizarro feel to it, which I adored. As usual, I will stay away from spoilers, but get ready for a story containing alien invasions, cosmic horror, and pizza.
Seriously, this was a lot of fun and one of the highlights of this collection.
Next up is Contaminated.
Wow, this was just fantastic. What starts as a little trouble with mould, quickly morphs into a nasty slice of body horror. Absolutely loved this, even though the ending had me squirming!
Finally, I have to mention The Fourth Wall.
For me, this is the masterpiece of the collection. Dark, twisted, and very clever. Definitely a story I will remember for a very long time. Effing brilliant.
As with a couple of other great horror collections I’ve read this year, this book ends with notes from the author. I do love reading these, and their inclusion always gets bonus points from me.
Yep, Paths Best Left Untrodden is another winner from Kev Harrison, and I highly recommend you go purchase a copy. Just don’t read this while eating pizza.
Paths Best Left Untrodden
The debut collection from Kev Harrison, author of THE BALANCE, this tome brings together tales of ghosts in the machine, folkloric creatures let loose, abandoned places and dystopian nightmares.
Containing thirteen stories – three of which are previously unpublished, with three others never before available in print, take your first tentative step onto the PATHS BEST LEFT UNTRODDEN.
Simon Paul Wilson
Simon Paul Wilson is a U.K. based writer of horror and science fiction.
He is currently writing a cyberpunk horror trilogy, the first of which is GhostCityGirl and was published by Not A Pipe publishing in 2020.
Click this link for more info: Ghost City Girl
There now follows a list of writers who have influenced his reading tastes and writing style:
James Herbert. Stephen King, Shaun Hutson, Clive Barker, China Mieville, Haruki Murakami, Carlton Mellick III, Brian Keene, and Adam Nevill.
Simon lives somewhere in the middle of England with his wonderful family. He likes to listen to post-rock and progressive rock at loud volumes. He also plays a mean air bass.
Follow him on Twitter: @spwzen