Necro Files: Two Decades of Extreme Horror by Cheryl Mullenax
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Necro Files is a collection of “horror” stories, written by twenty authors over a period of 20 years. Many of the authors have won or were nominated for awards, such as the Bram Stoker Award. I was thrilled when I found out I won a copy on Goodreads (as a first read giveaway), especially since Halloween was just around the corner and I was in a mood to be scared.
The book ended up being a total disappointment. Some of the stories had a twist at the end that was reminiscent of the TV series The Twilight Zone, except the twists in Necro Files were so telegraphed and poorly done that I could see what was coming in most of the stories, and in a few, in the first paragraphs. Only one story had an ending that caught me off guard and that is because the protagonist lived, and in the situation he was in it was totally unbelievable that he wasn’t killed. This ruined the story.
There are some “Extreme”, violent “sex” and graphic passages in the book, making this an ADULT ONLY book.
Gore and violence doesn’t equal horror no matter how “extreme” or detailed it is. In a few of the stories it felt that the writer was just trying too hard. Example: What is worse that having sex with a dead person? Having the dead person rotting and full of maggots! (Guess this type of writing is what justified the use of “Extreme” in the title of the book).
One of the stories had a torture passage that was hard to read, but the character development was so poor that there was no real emotional investment to make a true impact.
The two scariest parts of the book, for me, was when in one of the stories had a character describe the process of making hamburger (wasn’t scary enough for me not to want a meatloaf for dinner). The other was when a character was described as wearing what looked like a plaid fur coat.
I was wanting a book that left me wanting to leave the lights on and maybe give me a shiver or two. What I ended up with was a book that felt as if it was always over reaching and trying to shock the reader instead of trying to scare the reader. Sometimes less is more.
The worse thing about this book is that it took away my desire to read. Hope I get it back soon.
If only horror and horrible meant the same thing…
I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone!
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