As the title says, this book contains ten short stories about ghosts and death. There’s also an eleventh chapter, but I’ll talk about later. The stories themselves run around 15-22 pages, feature either very young or old male main characters, and are set in England.
A few of the stories had creepy moments. Nothing that kept me up at night, but I didn’t see a few of the twists coming. I also didn’t realize that it was self-published until I did a little research about the publishing company. All of the stories were well-edited and obviously had been looked over by an editor. I always appreciate when an author who self-publishes and takes the time to make sure that their book is the best it can possibly be for the reader.
With all of that being said, I didn’t enjoy this book. It took me two weeks to read all ten stories because I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. I understood their fear and apprehension around the ghosts, but I didn’t huddle over my eReader and rush through the stories to find out what happened at the end. The characters were too one-dimensional for me. There’s such a limited amount of time to develop characters in a short story, and the author didn’t accomplish that.
I didn’t particularly enjoy the writing style either. It’s supposed to be inspired by Edwardian and Victorian horror stories. The author did keep with that tradition, though, and I can see how that style related to the lack of development in the characters. I think that’s just a case of personal preference. I can see how another reader who enjoys older writing styles would enjoy this book.
While the title promises only ten stories about ghost, there is an eleventh chapter that has absolutely nothing to do with ghosts. It’s also not a short story. The eleventh chapter is a rhyming poem about how the devil created the internet in order to turn people into mindless beings.
That poem was so completely out of left field that I stared at the last page and cursed for about five minutes. I still haven’t wrapped my head around why the poem was even included in the first place. That’s not to say that it wasn’t well written. It just didn’t have a place in the book.
Overall, I’d recommend this book to a reader interested in Victorian or Edwardian type ghost stories. Just be warned that there’s a pretty strange poem at the end.
Ten Short Tales About Ghosts by K. C. Parton is published by Troubador Publishing and is available as an eBook.
**I received an advanced copy of this book in return for an unbiased review.