Daughters of Darkness II is an anthology of dark and creepy horror stories featuring authors Beverley Lee, Lynn Love, Catherine McCarthy and T C Parker.
Created by Stephanie Ellis and Alyson Faye of Black Angel Press, this second instalment (the first of which came out in February this year) of gentle chills and out and out terror impressed the pants off my horror-loving self, quite frankly!
Now, I find it quite difficult to review story collections because I easily harp on for ages about each and every story, character, style, plot etc, rambling away and ending up loosing myself, let alone you, the reader of my review.
So without further ado, I shall break it down into four sections about each author, keeping it straight to the point and succinct. I wouldn’t want to keep you from heading off to buy it now, would I? 😉
A Whiteness of Swans – 5 stars
Tender is the Heart – 5 stars
The Boy Who Wore My Name – 5 stars
The Secret of Westport Fell – 10 stars
“As Flora made her way to the door, her fingers and toes numb from the cold, she glanced behind to the small country churchyard slumbering under its ghostly blanket. For all of its quaintness its forlorn song shivered through the heavy veil of grey”.
Gorgeous eh?! Expect the unexpected with Beverley’s writing though. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
A Light in the Darkness Pt 1 – Thou Little Tiny Child – 5 stars
Pt 2 – O Sisters Too, How May We Do, For To Preserve This Day – 5 stars
Pt 3 – All Young Children To Slay – 5 stars
“Lucia muttered something in Italian. There was something voluptuous about the language, something dark and fleshy that made her pulse race a little. Patricia imagined the words filling her mouth like bonbons, sugary and wicked”.
How’s that for gorgeous descriptive writing?! I love accents, I could hear this moment with such clarity, and almost taste those bonbons. Fabulous Lynn, truly it is.
The Spider and the Stag – 10 stars
“…glass jars filled with chunks of unpolished gemstones and sorted according to the spectrum of a rainbow. Spools of threads and whirls of wire, perspex boxes glinting with silver and gold clasps and catches. A non-caloric candy store”.
Catherine keeps on doing this. Hits me right here *punches own heart* with everything she writes. Her stories are kept on my “I can’t describe how brilliant this author is without waving my arms around frantically and probably spitting a little bit in excitement” shelf.
T C Parker
The Body Tree (Hummingbird 1) – 5 stars
Undeserving (Hummingbird 2) – 5 stars
“The face of one was obscured entirely by a black hood fixed around its neck with hangman’s rope; the head of another was entirely absent, its body not only decapitated but dismembered and its absent arms and legs piled in an untidy heap on the floor below”.
How utterly grotesque! TC’s story made the gruesome so fascinating!! She seems to know where to draw the line, not quite turning my stomach, but getting pretty close! That quote is one of the milder ones I’ll have you know!
With vivid imagery, delicious darkness that went from gently chilling to the darn right macabre throughout, this is the first ever anthology that’s got a spot on my ‘best of the year’ Goodreads shelf.
Thank you ladies, from the bottom of my dark heart for your writing and your wonderfully twisted imaginations. You aided my escapism from this mad, bad, real world, I absolutely loved every minute of being freaked out in your fictional ones. And huge thanks to Stephanie for sending me a copy, it was a pleasure to read.