Let There Be Dark by Tim McWhorter
Publisher: Hydra Publications | Release Date: Aug. 21, 2018 | Pages: 170
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is my first foray into Tim McWhorter’s work, and I have to say his writing and effective storytelling is profoundly impressive! Let There Be Dark consists of eight short stories, and no matter what you fear, or how little fear you have, McWhorter makes sure he finds it and exploits it enough to make your skin crawl. These eight tales have a little bit of everything- gore, sex, violence, ghosts, murders, sacrifice, and paranormal creatures to name just a few! This collection is filled to the brim with any and every kind of horror you can think of. And some you didn't.
I truly enjoyed this collection and read it in just one sitting. There really is something for everyone in here, and seeing there are only eight stories, that's pretty damn impressive to me! Some of the stories might have multiple villains, the reader having to decide which one is worse, or you start the story and there might be no villain at all, but always plenty of terror to go around!
“Rope Burns” and “The Bridge” are ghost stories, filled with plenty of creepiness to keep you looking over you shoulder. McWhorter also uses these two stories to bring some humanity to the collection. Both have innocent people who were violated in some form and both the characters and readers can sympathize with their plight. They just might not sympathize with you!
“No Saints Here” and “Skull Sessions” both show the heinous acts one person can do to another, whether for monetary gain, self-preservation, or unnatural desires. “No Saints Here” bothered me a bit. It didn't scare me, but the reasoning the predator does in his mind, making it OK with what he is doing really bothered me. I didn't like “Skull Sessions“ for a few reasons. Although well written, I personally didn't like the ending, and there are many characters in this story in which their motivations for doing certain things were never made clear. I won't go into more detail to prevent spoilers, but I didn't take off a star because one story left me questioning. The author might have done that on purpose.
“Growing Cold Together” and “The Company You Keep” are creature features, both unexpected, fun, and very well written! And I even learned about a new kind of cryptid that could be lurking about. This will definitely keep me on my toes the next time I go hiking!
“Pigs” is in a league of its own. Along with the previous two stories, this one has plenty of gore for those who enjoy it. It also is a real life, albeit far-fetched scenario of how far people will go to keep the things they've worked so hard for, and the shocking flippancy of those witnessing the gruesome acts! This was a great one for me because I thought I knew where the story was going and then the author just turned the story on its head in a magnificent way. That in itself made me a fan of this story.
Last but not least is “The Dark Side.” This is right up my alley! I love haunted attractions, I go to our local haunted corn maze every year! A Dark House is definitely on my bucket list. However, the story did give me pause, feeling the effects of what this particular college girl felt as she was going through the house with her boyfriend. The author employed his psychological terror on the reader to the point I almost needed to remind myself to breathe! I felt all the stories were strong, aside from “Skull Sessions,” but this one resonated with me and creeped me out the most. And for someone who likes anything and everything horror — this is what we want to feel when reading this genre! Other authors take note!
Let There Be Dark is a fast paced assortment of horror tales that are well-crafted and set up to hook the reader immediately and not let go! McWhorter does the horror genre proud by starting the reader on a terror fueled ride right from the start. When the reader comes to the end, he gives you a choice to turn back, but you willingly jump in his next frightening venture eagerly!