Book review: Tales From The Realm: Volume One – Anthology

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Tales From The Realm: Volume One is a collection of stories taken from the first few issues of Aphotic Realm Magazine. Aphotic Realm is said to be home to the strange and sinister and there are certainly a few strange and sinister stories hiding within…

Aphotic Realm is a themed magazine featuring fiction, non-fiction, editorials and reviews. What the creators have done is collect some of the fictional highlights published so far into this anthology. Firstly, the cover art is excellent, I think it really does well in capturing the feel of the book and it goes a long way in matching the strange and sinister vibe they seek when selecting stories for publication. But really, it’s the fiction I care about the most.

Things got off to a good start with Gary Buller’s Silencing the Bell, a creepy little tale about a man called Harry Stubaker and his inability to let go of the past…a dark past it is too. Simon McHardy’s Rot Brothers (great title!) also impressed, as did The Yellow Door by Isha Ro and SJ Budd’s The Forgotten House comes across like a darker telling of The Girl on the Train. A few stories didn’t quite hit the target. Other Mother just wasn’t my bag at all, similarly with Persistence of Memories by John Crain and Enid and the Owls by KT Wagner. These stories certainly weren’t badly written, they just didn’t work for me. Towards the end of the book, Morgan Tanner entertained with The Almost Cannibal and SE Casey’s Black Lung Hay Fever was perhaps my favourite story. I love me some small town horror!

Overall, Tales From the Realm: Volume One is a very solid start for the Aphotic Realm team. There is plenty of variety lurking within these pages and you might just find a few new writers to follow.

3.5/5 hungry mouths from the Grim Reader.

Pick up a copy from here.

When you have finished reading this perhaps listen to…

If you’re looking for something strange and sinister to go with Tales From the Realm: Volume One, then look no further than Thou and their new album Magus. Vocalist Bryan Funck has one of the most unusual and sinister voices in metal. This album is thick with down-tuned, punishing riffage and his strange, strangled yet clear vocal delivery will either turn you on or have you running for the stop button. It’s not an easy listen, but if you’re looking for strange and sinister, Thou has you covered.

 

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