Review: Shadows Abyss by L. N. Frost

cover of Shadows AbyssShadows Abyss by L. N. Frost
Independently Published (December 2020)
116 pages; $10.24 paperback, $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Luna Nyx Frost (Nicole) is a native to Baltimore, Maryland, and has been writing for the last twenty years. She is a blind author and writes poetry, urban fantasy, and paranormal. Her debut novel HUNTED: The Immortal’s Kiss cowritten with Emberly Lily Summers is available on Amazon. After publishing her poetry book. Shadow Abyss: A Book of Poetry, she has had other poems featured in anthologies such as Maryland’s Best Emerging Poets by Z Publishing and in Fae Thee Well by Dreampunk Press. Her passion for writing and reading doesn’t stop at sonnets and novels. Her inspiration mostly comes from nature, ancient history, and classic literature. Luna has also looked up to the magnificent work of poets such as Edgar Allen Poe and Emily Dickens. She has also read many works by Shakespeare and fables by The Brothers Grimm. Luna has also been intrigued by the great ancient civilizations. Her collection, Shadows Abyss, is available now. Continue Reading

Review: Under Her Eye: A Women in Horror Poetry Collection, Vol II edited by Lindy Ryan and Lee Murray

cover of Under Her EyeUnder Her Eye: A Women in Horror Poetry Collection, Vol II edited by Lindy Ryan and Lee Murray
Black Spot Books (November 7, 2023)
200 pages; $14.95 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

 In her introduction, Regina Yau writes “The Pixel Project is a global virtual volunteer-run 501c3 anti-violence against women non-profit whose mission is to raise awareness, funds, and volunteer power for the cause to end violence against women (VAW) through activism and advocacy at the intersection of social media, new technologies, and popular culture/the Arts. In 2022, Black Spot Books proposed putting together a poetry collection in benefit of The Pixel Project’s anti-VAW work. Co-editors Lindy Ryan and Lee Murray rallied 112 female and non-binary poets from across the world to contribute poems to the collection that would become Under Her Eye.”
This book is, unfortunately, a necessary collection on the shelf of every horror reader, not just because of its cause, but also because of its message.

Continue Reading

Review: Songs in the Key of Death by JG Faherty

covers of Songs in the Key of DeathSongs in the Key of Death by JG Faherty
Lvp Publications (October 3, 2023)
148 pages; $16.99 hardcover; $9.99 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

A life-long resident of New York’s haunted Hudson Valley, JG Faherty is the author of 19 books and more than 85 short stories, and he’s been a finalist for both the Bram Stoker Award (2x) and ITW Thriller Award. Songs in the Key of Death arrives ready to entertain horror poetry readers.Continue Reading

Review: anOther Mythology by Maxwell I. Gold

cover of anOther MythologyanOther Mythology by Maxwell I. Gold
Interstellar Flights Press (September 4, 2023)
72 pages; $14.99 paperback; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Maxwell I. Gold, in his end author’s note, argues that his purpose in writing this book was that “it didn’t matter how we as queer people were seen, but it mattered how we saw ourselves…” and “These are myths that are meant for us.” It is understood that the target audience for this book is specifically the queer community, written almost as a triumphant reclaiming of thousands of years of heteronormative patriarchy. This energy permeates the poetry in this collection, and anyone reading it will thoroughly enjoy it.Continue Reading

Review: The Price of a Small Hot Fire by E. F. Schraeder

cover of The Price of a Small Hot FireThe Price of a Small Hot Fire by E. F. Schraeder
Raw Dog Screaming Press (July 2023)
72 pages; $13.95 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

E.F. Schraeder believes in ghosts, magic, and dogs. A Rhysling nominated poet, Schraeder is an Active Member of the Horror Writers Association. Her newest collection is The Price of a Small Hot Fire.

Continue Reading

Review: Beautiful Malady by Ennis Rook Bashe

cover of Beautiful MaladyBeautiful Malady by Ennis Rook Bashe
Interstellar Flight Press (June 2023)
72 pages; $14.99 paperback; e-book $9.99
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Ennis Rook Bashe is a nonbinary graduate student from New York who loves their rescue cat, making cosplay TikToks, and watching horror game streamers. They write books about queer and disabled people surviving and recovering from trauma, finding community, living their best lives… and falling in love.  Their newest book of poetry is Beautiful Malady. Though short, this collection is a powerful exploration of what it means to be disabled in a world that is not willing to accommodate or undersand, written from a place of honest authenticity that will capture the attention of any reader.

Continue Reading

Review: Numinous Stones by Holly Lyn Walrath

cover of Numinous Stones by Holly Lyn WalrathNuminous Stones by Holly Lyn Walrath
Aqueduct Press (April, 2023)
98 pages, $10 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Numinous Stones is a collection of speculative pantoums, a form derived from the Malay verse pantun berkait, which is a form of interwoven verses of alternating lines. This is a difficult form to accomplish, as the repeated lines need to seem fresh each time the reader encounters them, but also echo back to the previous stanza. The tightly entwined stanzas, when executed well, create a rhythmic and incantatory experience for the audience, hypnotizing them in a sonic spell. 

Readers, if you read Numinous Stones, be prepared to be hypnotized. Continue Reading

Review: The Black Widow by Louise Worthington

cover of The Black WidowThe Black Widow by Louise Worthington
Self-published (October 2022)
116 pages; $10.44 paperback; $4.23 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Louise Worthington started writing psychological thrillers and horror in 2019 after studying for a postgraduate diploma in psychology and reading true crime non-fiction. Her degree is in literature, and she taught English in secondary schools for many years. The emotional pull of a story is very important to her, both as a reader and a writer. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Horror Writers Association (HWA). Her latest work-in-progress, a psychological horror novel, recently won the top spot on Litopia with agent Peter Cox. Her family lives in Shropshire, a rural, historic county in the UK. Her day job is tutoring and running a farm with her husband. Their newest collection of dark poetry is the independently published The Black WidowContinue Reading

Review: Dear Ted by Kim Vodicka

cover of Dear TedDear Ted by Kim Vodicka
Really Serious Literature (June 2022)
202 pages; $19.95 paperback
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

In 2020 Kim Vodicka gifted us with The Elvis Machine, one of the most compelling, and honest collections of the year. This time, she is focusing on Ted Bundy. It would be easy to go with straight depictions of the murders. Instead, Kim pictures herself as both the fangirl obsessed with Bundy and as his victim. She delves deep into the squishy desire to be both a dehumanized thing of flesh to be used and an object of adoration.Continue Reading

Review: The Crows of After by Exsanguine Hart

cover of The Crows of AfterThe Crows of After by Exsanguine Hart
Specimen SandWitch Press (October 2022)
86 pages; $17 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Exsanguine Hart is a scribbler with an obnoxiously pretentious pseudonym living somewhere in Canada with two cats, an assemblage of dolls and a number of dragons. Hart can be found online either doodling on instagram @exsanguine_hart

or lurking on exsanguinehart.com. Their newest collection of poems  is The Crows of After.Continue Reading

Review: Messengers of the Macabre by LindaAnn LoSchiavo and David Davies

cover of Messengers of the MacabreMessengers of the Macabre by LindaAnn LoSchiavo and David Davies
Audience Askew (October 2022)
54 pages; $9.99 paperback; $2.99 ebook
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

LindaAnn LoSchiavo is a dramatist, writer, and poet. A native New Yorker, LoSchiavo has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize, Rhysling Award, Best of the Net, and Dwarf Stars. She is a member of Science Fiction Poetry Assoc., The British Fantasy Society, and The Dramatists Guild. David Davies left Wales under baleful circumstances for The Lone Star State. “Have sonnets, will travel,” announces his business card. His Pushcart- and Bram Stoker-nominated poems and stories have been known to appear in: Granfalloon, Green Lantern Press, MacroMicroCosm, Moon Shadow Sanctuary, Ripples in Space. Together, LoSchiavo and Davies have written the Halloween-themed collection Messengers of the MacabreContinue Reading

Review: Spirit by Helle Gade

cover of SpiritSpirit by Helle Gade
Butterdragons Publishing (May 10, 2022)
94 pages; $14.99 hardcover; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Helle Gade lives in Denmark. She is a book blogger, poet, photographer, nocturnal creature, avid reader and chocolate addict. She has been writing poetry since 2011 and published four poetry collections since then. She has been fortunate to work with a bunch of brilliant authors and photographers on The Mind’s Eye series. Her book Nocturnal Embers won the Best Poetry Collection with eFestival of Words. Her newest collection is Spirit, a series of dark and painful poems about feeling lost.Continue Reading

Review: Fortunate by Kim Rashidi

cover of FortunateFortunate by Kim Rashidi
Andrews McMeel Publishing (May 3, 2022)
161 pages; $14.99 paperback; $7.16 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Kim Rashidi is a 24-year-old poet based in Toronto. She explores the cosmos through her words and has a soft spot for capturing love and life in the mundane. Writing about the lives, cities, and timelines that mirror back the romantic, she weaves reality with imagined possibilities. She holds an MA in English literature and has taken to poetry since she was 16. Her newest collection is Fortunate, a series of poems based upon the Waite-Rider-Smith tarot deck.Continue Reading

Review: A History of Touch by Erin Emily Ann Vance

cover of A History of TouchA History of Touch by Erin Emily Ann Vance
Guernica Editions (May 1, 2022)
101 pages; $17.95 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Erin Emily Ann Vance is the author of the novel Advice for Taxidermists and Amateur Beekeepers (Stonehouse Publishing 2019) as well as six chapbooks of poetry. She was a recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize in 2017 (nominated by Aritha van Herk) and a finalist for the 2018 Alberta Magazine Awards for her short story “All the Pretty Bones.” Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in magazines and journals all over the world. Her newest poetry collection is A History of Touch, which is a profound collection of poetry about women who were ill, disabled, mad, or simply too rebellious, and the fates they faced.Continue Reading

Review: Escaping the Body by Chloe N. Clark

cover of Escaping the Body by Chloe ClarkEscaping the Body by Chloe N. Clark
Interstellar Flight Press (March 7, 2022)
118 pages; $12.99 paperback; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Chloe N. Clark is the author of Collective Gravities, Under My Tongue, Your Strange Fortune, and The Science of Unvanishing Objects. Her forthcoming books include Every Song a Vengeance and My Prayer is a Dagger, Yours is the Moon. She is a founding co-EIC of literary journal Cotton Xenomorph. Her favorite basketball player will always be Rasheed Wallace and her favorite escape artist can only be Houdini. Her newest collection, Escaping the Body, is a tour de force exploring the physical body and the liminal spaces between one’s soul and one’s skin and bones. Continue Reading