Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
A collection of fifteen tales have been brought together in this, the fourth offering of darkness, from Michael Twist. Each of the tales shines a light on the dark side of humanity and yet, they can stand alone in the shivers they cause. Fear is the prevailing subject in this volume of tales. Fear of losing a child, fear of losing one's identity, fear of losing independence or innocence - it all comes together under one roof in the Elements of Darkness. While some tales share slightly similar subjects, no two tales are exactly alike and offers the reader a variety of thrills and chills.
I was fortunate enough to receive the Kindle version of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review of the stories. I always intrigued by short story collections because there are times when a quick fix of horror right before bed will charge up the imagination for dreamtime. The best part of this story collection for me was that each one of them had enough individuality to maintain my interest throughout the entire book. The stories prey on some of the most basic fears an individual can face in his or her lifetime -losing a child, losing one's memory, being forgotten, and making wrong choices, just to name a few. There were a couple of stories that were both frightening and comical at the same time. They drew you in with promises of a lighthearted atmosphere only to turn around and belt you a good one when you weren't looking. Sneaky stories!
Overall, I was very entertained with the collection and will be reading some of the short stories again and again. Only one story didn't grab me in any way, shape or form and I can't honestly say what the root of the problem is. The story, Moneybag, started off with a lot of promise but I didn't feel like it really went anywhere at the end. It seemed as though the story was rushed in some parts. Although complete, I wasn't really affected by it. For me, two little gems were buried within the story collection. Both Puzzled and Gary's Home sent a shiver down my spine and made me feel very glad that I was at home instead of either settings in which the stories took place. These two didn't end how I expected them too and I admit that I was very pleasantly surprised by their endings and those of the other stories as well.
Elements of Darkness by Michael Twist is currently available in Kindle form. It can be purchased at Amazon.com from the link below.
Elements of Darkness by Michael Twist