The Family: The Brotherhood
By Donte M McNeal

Based in Michigan, Donte's Playground is a blog by Donte M McNeal. His posts range from nonsensical ramblings about anime, in-depth reviews of books and television/film, to random spurts of philosophical babble.

A Scary Good Time (Brutal Bedtime Stories Review)

A Scary Good Time (Brutal Bedtime Stories Review)

Horror is one of the best genres to explore and experience, no matter the medium. Who doesn’t love the tension when watching a scary movie, whether you’re alone or in a group setting? Who doesn’t like a creepy book that constantly has you looking behind you or wondering if the coat hanging out your closet is the shadowy figure you’ve been reading about for the past hour or so? And who isn’t a fan of haunted houses, paying for the opportunity to get the bejeezus scared out of you? Oh, is…am I just talking about myself here?

So why am I talking about horror? You mean other than it being my favorite genre? Well, I had someone recommend a book to me, and man oh man did I enjoy it! What book is that?

Brutal Bedtime Stories

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Now, Brutal Bedtime Stories is a collection of 40 short stories by four different authors, each offering their own take on what horror is in their eyes. Each set of stories has their own flavor, their own twists and turns, and the best part is, they’re super short! Though I guess for a story to qualify as a short story, it has to be, well short. Anyway, I very much enjoyed each of these stories, and these authors have piqued my interest. I hadn’t been aware of any of them before being traduced to this anthology. But now that I know about them, I’m leaning toward checking out some of their other works.

The stories have your run of the mill horror settings: twisted people, supernatural creatures, ghosts, ghouls, devils. You know the usual, but the way that they use these concepts and creatures is so refreshing that you never feel like what you’re reading isn’t original. If that makes any sense. David Maloney, Tobias Wade, Ha-yong Glenn Bak and Kyle Alexander all display a unique voice that sets them apart from one other, but the one thing they all have in common is that they are amazing at telling horror stories. I mean, some of these could be read aloud around a campfire (or flashlight in the middle of a dark living room, whatever floats your boat). Seriously, these stories are a perfect example of what a horror anthology should be.

If you’re a fan of horror, psychological stories, or just stories that can make your skin crawl with unease, make you wonder what life even is, and entertain you all at once, then Brutal Bedtime Stories is the read for you. You won’t be disappointed. I promise you that.

S.J. Sherwood's "A Grey Sun"

S.J. Sherwood's "A Grey Sun"

Belart Wright's "Immortal Kalika: The Speedrunner"

Belart Wright's "Immortal Kalika: The Speedrunner"