Maybe as part of your plans for 2020 you want to try and read more widely. That could mean leaving your preferred genre every so often or trying to read a more diverse array of authors. One sentiment I see relatively often is that readers want to try and immerse themselves in horror fiction by more female authors. Thankfully, there is no shortage of woman talent in our horror community, and nothing would make me happier than to monopolize your time recommending some of the ladies I’ve had the pleasure of reading recently.
With Under Her Black Wings, Kandisha Press has put together a collection of stories that touch upon a wide variety of subjects and give glimpses of horror from all over the world. The collection serves as a wonderful introduction to a lot of authors that I had not been acquainted with before, and also contains a few tales from some familiar faces. Among the familiar faces, The Sisters of Slaughter present Desert Kisses, a tale of revenge that reminds us that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Somer Canon delivers one of the most fun stories we come across with The Riddled Path. It’s simultaneously hilarious and horrifying.
There were so many new-to-me authors that caught my attention, and I’d love to highlight them all, but time waits for no one, so I’m just going to share a few favorites, and encourage, with great fervor, that you pick this anthology up and check them out for yourself:
- The Darkness by Stevie Kopas – This story is a post-apocalyptic story about a group of survivors, namely a young girl, living in a plague-ridden world. The direction this story went in was so unexpected, yet perfect, and I practically cheered.
- Somewhere to Belong by Yolanda Sfetsos – I won’t give away too much to this story, but the creepy kids unquestionably make this story sing.
- Road Rage by Sharon Frame Gay – This story is written in such a way that once you hit the last page, you’re going to want to flip back and read it again. I know I did.
- Pontianak by Tina Isaacs – Is there anything worse than when a good anthology, assuming you read it straight through like a reasonable human being, fizzles out with its’ last story? You’ll be pleased to know this one does not. The inclusion of flashback and local Malaysian lore really make for an original story that has you closing the book, left wanting more.
Of course, there are several stories sprinkled throughout that did not resonate with me, but there are considerably more shining stars, and the collection is edited so that the gems are spread throughout. If you are looking to adorn your shelves with some accomplished ladies of horror fiction, Under Her Black Wings is an appropriately worthy gateway.
Review by Brennan LaFaro