*Disclaimer – I was given this book for free in exchange for an honest review*
In the waning light of day, shadows, invaded the cemetery. A large pine, several rows over, cast its mark along the ground and reached for her. The shapes of nearby statues bled across the grass, distorting as they stretched. Taller markers grew longer still as their inky mirror images oozed past the plot lines. And inside the bag, the shadows swallowed all but the tiniest bit of light. That light glinted from its contents, rejecting the darkness around it.
Lucy sighed a held breath, reached into the bag, and pulled her hand back out with memories. And secrets. (‘The Tin Box)
Horror is pessimism at its bleakest. Worst-case scenario. The darker side of reality. The glass half-empty. The situation unfathomable. In Black Bubbles, Kelli Owen presents classic genre tropes—ghosts, murderers, zombies, what you’d expect (sans sharks)—but it’s the characters, rather than the tropes, that experience the story, speak of the horrors, and sometimes survive the inevitable.
An decades-old crime shocks a family as evidence points to one of their own… An ancient evil hitchhikes its way to freedom… A child has an unusual fascination with decay… A woman excuses premeditation… Death takes a holiday… Science and good intentions make horrific bedfellows… A man hides from nightmares that invade his waking world…
Black Bubbles by Kellie Owen covers a vast array of characters and a wide spectrum of horrific ideas. Her straight forward prose lays out each story with clarity and allows the reader to become fully enveloped in the actions and events the characters struggle through; no flowery language or hyperbole needed to state the terrors that lie within these stories.
Each tale is accompanied by a short paragraph of notes explaining where the concept came from which is fascinating for both readers and writers alike. For instance ‘The Tin Box’ which was birthed from the glimpse of a small trinket in an elderly relatives belongings that grows into a full blown story of dark secrets and violent ends, these notes give an extra layer to the collection that I certainly appreciated.
The titular story that rounds off this collection, as stated by the opening introduction from Thomas F. Monteleone, is indeed unique and unsettling. An idea I haven’t heard the likes of before and that you can glimpse a hint of on the cover for this edition though that hint does nothing to prepare you for the frightening end that this collection has.
Black Bubbles is a rich and intriguing collection that takes the usual tropes and looks at them from a new angle, a new perspective and with the trustworthy voice of Owen.
About the Author –
“The author of more than a dozen books—my fiction spans the genres from thriller and psychological horror, to an occasional bloodbath, and the even rarer happy ending.
I was an editor and reviewer for over a decade, and have attended countless writing conventions, participated on dozens of panels, and spoken at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, VA regarding both my writing and the field in general.”
Born and raised in Wisconsin, she now lives in Destination, Pennsylvania.
For more information you can visit her website at kelliowen.com
Read and Review –