Book Review: The Best of Indie Horror Presented by Kevin J Kennedy

best of indie

Title: The Best of Indie Horror Presented by Kevin J. Kennedy

Release date: November 26, 2020

For the sake of complete transparency, I’ll start off by saying, Kevin J. Kennedy has been very kind to me in my short writing career. Not only did Kevin send me my first acceptance, I’ve been fortunate enough to appear in four different releases through Kevin J. Kennedy Publishing, including two of his Horror Anthologies.

I’ve always loved Kevin’s packaging both visually but artistically. He has his finger on the pulse of who delivers great stories and so, when he announced the next anthology would be titled ‘The Best of Indie Horror,’ I knew we’d be getting some fantastic short fiction.

Before I dive into my normal format, I do want to say – if you’ve not read any of the previous Kevin J. Kennedy Publishing Anthologies, I highly recommend you do. You’re guaranteed to discover new to you authors who have amazing back catalogs, but also some very familiar names that you’ve already grown to love.

What I liked: ‘The Best of Indie Horror’ features some of the best names out there right now and the highlight here is that every single reader will discover a story inside that will be their personal favorite. I found the quality of stories here outstanding and it shows that Kevin really devotes time and love into these releases. His investment in the quality allows the readers to benefit ten-fold.

For me, the stories from Christina Bergling, Lee Murray and Nicola Lombardi, Mark Cassell, Andrew Lennon and Mark Lukens were superb. Each one crackled and the energy was fantastic. Saying that, there were a few stories that I found to be my personal favorites.

The anthology opens with a really great story from Calvin Demmer. Following a warrior attempting to find paradise, he must complete three tasks to arrive at the desired destination. Each task was written so well that it was a classic Demmer offering: 300 pages of story in only a dozen or so pages. The ending was superb.

Tim Curran’s offering roughly 30% in was another amazing story for me. I wish I could find more stories centered around Urban Exploring as it greatly intrigues me. We get to see a group of UrbEx people head into a place that not many have explored. When they arrive, things go sideways and Curran decides to ramp up the HOLY-HELL horror and we get some stunningly brutal scenes. Well done.

Showing just how solid this anthology is, the final story from Lex H Jones was also one of the best. Featuring a narrative that felt influenced by King’s ‘The Mist,’ we follow a father and daughter trying to survive after sinkholes open and things crawl out. A short story that packed a wallop of action and emotion, I was captivated from start to finish. Jones is such an amazing author and I’ve loved everything I’ve read of his. This one was perfect.

What I didn’t like: As with any anthology, some of the stories won’t resonate with each reader. In this case every story here was a good time, but mileage will vary from reader to reader. My fav may be your least.

Why you should buy this: As I mentioned in the intro, Kevin J. Kennedy keeps churning out great anthologies and this one is no exception. It would be a great place for any reader to dive in and discover new talent, or simply a place to read stories from authors they already enjoy. I loved the mix of plots and tropes and there really wasn’t a let down between one to the next.

Great stuff from a great group of authors and an anthology that I highly recommend!

5/5

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