Tattered Souls 2: A Review

November 12, 2011

Articles, Arts & Literature, Reviews

by Alex Mcdermott

The world of horror writing is a struggle. There are millions of time-worn cliché ideas to fall back on and many writers do just that. Taking a chance means taking a risk and that’s a dangerous idea. Selling the cliché is far easier. Editor Frank Hutton had put together a collection of stories that take chances in his anthology Tattered Souls 2. The authors here have stepped outside of the cliché box. Although the result is a mixed bag, Hutton gives us something more challenging than the latest zombie fare to sink our teeth into.

The stories in this collection cover the standard horror topics. There is the usual suspects list of zombies, evil dolls, and haunted houses. But it’s the spin these authors take that sets this collection apart. In “The First Stroke” by Elias Siqueiros for example, we have a very sinister doll as our horror creature. Instead of the cliché satanic, possessed dolly however, Siqueiros delves into Old World European customs and culture for a completely different take on the Pinocchio legend. Steve Ruthenbeck gives us the zombie apocalypse from a teen’s perspective in “I Was a Teenage Zombie Apocalypse.” Only unlike most of the zombie teen protagonists, this one never morphs into the hero rising from geekdom to save the girl. These authors take risks in their characters, plots, themes, and monsters. They’re a breath of fresh air in an increasingly stale market.

Different doesn’t always work however. In an attempt to be different, some of the plot turns become so convoluted they never come back to center. In short, they just don’t hold together enough to make sense! Even those stories are a better read than the same blood-soaked zombie tale or throat-ripping vampire story.

Reviewing a short story collection is difficult. Each story is unique and touches readers differently. With elements of Gothic horror to touches of steampunk, this collection covers a wide range of tastes. The authors take a chance and that’s worth the read right there! Step outside of the mundane and pick up a copy!

Tattered Souls 2 can be found on

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