WHISPERS IN THE WATER
A cracker of an opener, this story sets up a bloody & surreal mystery. Dripping with atmosphere & damp cosmic weirdness.
Less a story than an interlude, this short piece sets up a cosmic (you will hear that word a lot) mythology I hope will be revisited?
The horrors of a WW1 battlefield is beset by an abomination that stalks the wasteland, driving one soldier towards insanity. This story is vividly described & leaves you wanting more (in a good way).
THE SUDDEN REAPPEARANCE OF MARY DUNHILL
This interesting story takes a birds-eye view of an odd phenomenon taking place in a small town, where people disappear for six years before returning from the void beyond. The cosmic mysteries deepen...
IT WANTS YOU TO SLEEP
Nightmare logic is the name of the game here, with a man being pursued in his dreams by something horrible and every night, it gets closer. Short but sweet(ly creepy).
THE MUSIC FROM BEYOND THE DOOR
A sensory exploration of some strange cosmic music makes for an exciting delve into the unknown. I hope it leads to more later...
K’HRB, MOTHER OF HUNGER
A return to more traditional storytelling, this tale features a remote tribe, their goddess, big ass maggots & some good old flesh munching.
DIAMONDS OF THE VOID
This story answers the mystery at the heart of the Mary Dunhill story & is suitably bizarre & out there & concludes with a blackly comic stinger.
THE CORAL-COATED BOOK
The book is back. A less horrific, more personalised tale of the book from the first story, which could even be a prequel? I could read a whole book on this book....
THE MADNESS BEHIND THEIR EYES
Who doesn’t love a good bit of asylum horror? Throw in a creepy doctor, the patients, plus some even more sinister shit & you’ve got the makings of a good spooky yarn.
A drunk person takes a shortcut down a forbidden path where something awaits. A nice sting in this tale as well.
Another strong story, this one has Dagon / Shadow Innsmouth vibes as it dabbles in aquatic horror with a shipwreck, a lighthouse and deep sea entities. Really liked this one.
WHY US? OR AN EXPLORATION OF HUMANITY’S INSIGNIFICANCE IN THE COSMIC HIERARCHY
More of a treatise on cosmic horror than a story, this short piece conveys the author’s ideas and intent with these stories. Could’ve easily gone at the beginning but works at the end.
As a cosmic horror collection, the book is a good read, but some of the genre's tropes, such as less than memorable characters and atmosphere / strangeness over plot, can wear thin. Some pieces read more as interludes or snippets of a larger story and aren’t as memorable as the longer pieces. But the ideas on display here prove the author is not just dabbling in the genre - he gets it through and through. My favourite stories are the most traditional pieces, such as the fantastic opener Whispers in the Water, K’hrb & Castaway. Recommended for fans of cosmic horror / Lovecraft (minus the racism of course). I’m eager to see where Durrant goes from here - he is a talented writer indeed with a prodigious imagination.
BUY THE BOOK HERE: