{Book Review} Were Tales – A Shapeshifter Anthology: Edited By S.D. Vassallo & Steven M. Long

Were Tales – A Shapeshifter Anthology: Edited By S.D. Vassallo & Steven M. Long

Reviewed By Simon Paul Wilson

I think most folk who like horror enjoy the odd tale of lycanthropy. I know I do. Along with the undead, shape-shifters are horror icons. They’ve been in stories since stories began, and will continue to be until the world ends.

From my first watching of An American Werewolf in London when I was a wee lad, I became a firm fan of all things ‘were’. So when this anthology came up for review, I snapped it up.

I have to confess I’d not really read much horror poetry before this anthology, so I’m glad I had the chance to fix that. I enjoyed all the poetic horrors in this collection, and especially enjoyed The Rattling Howl by Sara Tantlinger and Garden Landscape by Cynthia Pelayo. High-quality stuff.

As for the prose in this book, I honestly enjoyed each and every one. Of course, there were some tales that really impressed me and stood out, such as What The Night Swallows by Gabino Iglesias and Refuge by Kev Harrison. I must also mention More Afraid Of You by S.H. Cooper and Just Deserts by Beverley Lee for creeping me out with the particular shapes their characters shifted into. Both stories had images that will haunt my head for a good while!

However, The Water Horse by Catherine McCarthy was definitely my favourite of the whole collection. Simply put, it was beautifully written and just a wonderful read. I certainly will be checking out more of her work.

If you’re looking for an anthology to dive into, I can’t recommend Were Tales enough, it’s a cracking read and definitely worth picking up. There’s a lot of variety and fresh ideas in this anthology, which I really liked. I reckon other readers will like that too.

Spiders and Horses and Bears, oh my!

Were Tales: A Shapeshifter Anthology

Werewolves. Berserkers. Kitsune. From the most ancient times, tales have been told of people who transform into beasts.

Sometimes they’re friendly and helpful.

Sometimes they’re tricksters, playing jokes on their hapless victims.

And sometimes, they’re terrifying.

You can buy Were Tales from Amazon UK & Amazon US

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

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