Zakk reviews The Hobbsburg Horror by Thomas S. Flowers

“Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness, simple reviews from a simple reader…”


Zakk reviews The Hobbsburg Horror by Thomas S. Flowers, 318 pages published by Shadow Work Publishing, March 2nd, 2017.

Synopsis

Why are you afraid? They’re just stories…right?

From the author of THE SUBDUE SERIES and REINHEIT comes a new collection of dark fiction.

THE HOBBSBURG HORROR

They Came to Gordium, an elderly man is haunted by the crimes of his past. Immolate, a widower detective struggles to solve the connection between a series of eerily similar suicides. Sunnydale Wolves, a romantic stop at a popular overlook turns deadly. The Hobbsburg Horror is a Lovecraftian tale of a weary reporter pulled into an otherworldly story of murder and a lodge with reports of strange colors at night. Hobo, a well-to-do housewife’s picture-perfect life is shattered by a home invasion. Are you hungry, dear? down on his luck divorcee Jacob Miller, after consuming a free pizza is possessed by an internal parasite. From the Sea, is a tale of an amateur sailor and his wife who are besieged by creatures that come from the sea during a storm. Neon Fortune Teller…Madam Drabardi reads the future of paranoid businessman Ronald Murray who believes his wife is cheating on him, but infidelity is not all Drabardi sees. Nostos, Katherine Adonis journeyed light years to escape the nightmares of her past, but some ghosts can never be escaped.

PRAY THEY AREN’T REAL.

Thoughts

I am a pretty big fan of Thomas S. Flowers having read most of his published work, and having recently been floored by Conceiving (Subdue book 3). So I went into The Hobbsburg Horror with a certain level of excitement. Maybe I hyped it up to much in my own mind, it happens sometimes, as the read didn’t quite do it for me. The book is a collection of nine stories, two of which I had previously read via their solo releases, Are You Hungry Dear? & Hobo, which I recall enjoying. Here is a brief story by story breakdown:

The Came to Gordium – An unnerving piece concerning the horrors or war, I’d say it’s what Mr. Flowers does best. A solid read.

Immolate – I wanted to enjoy this one, I was really on the fence. But all-in-all it’s a bit too disjointed and lost me in the end.

Sunnydale Wolves – This piece lost me immediately. I don’t care for sex in horror literature as it rarely services the story or pushes the narrative. Often times it feels clumsy and distracts from the read. And when the scene ends in gross-out humor… strike two. Pass.

The Hobbsburg Horror – Worth the price of admission. I dug this story quite a bit, a piece that channels small town secrets, secret societies, and ancient Egyptian lore. Although a slight bit repetitive from the narrator’s perspective, it kept me entertained throughout. A loose tie to subdue, correct?

Hobo – Just as entertaining as the first time I had read it. I could totally see this going down in the real world. Solid.

Are You Hungry Dear? – Didn’t hold up like it did the first time I had read it. In fact, I didn’t quite make it through the second time.

From the Sea – Another unnerving piece, I dug the tone and style initially. A Lovecraftian shadow permeates the story. Other than sex and gross-outs, another thing I dislike in literature is the SWITCH. When a story starts with one character and perspective and hooks you just to abandon and switch to another character/ perspective before an abrupt end. From the Sea would have been stronger without the switch.

Neon Fortune Teller – It’s kind of scary how hard we will push and far we will go to get somebody to tell us what we want to hear. A very good story on the human condition, possibly my favorite of the collection and I’d like to return to the main character at some point.

Nostos – A definite creep vibe throughout this piece, it’s to bad there isn’t enough context to get a firm grasp of what is going on underneath or on the surface. I get where we are, I get where we are going, but how, why, and do they connect? This piece lost me.

I read a retail copy of The Hobbsburg Horror and the presentation is a bit rough. Typo’s and the odd wonky phrasing don’t normally bother me, lord knows I have my fair share (please call me on it), but in this case it was a bit distracting. When I get distracted, I wander. And when I wander, a lot of times I get lost. Sometimes I have a hard time finding my way back.

Recommendation

If you’re familiar with Thomas S. Flowers’ brand of fiction, by all means jump in. I’m sure you’ll find something here you like. If not, maybe try something else first. Or perhaps check out the free sample, it’s a useful tool. This presentation feels rushed.

And If I had to give it a number

I Have to go with my heart and say 3/5

Zakk is a big dumb animal!

**Note: I read The Hobbsburg Horror via paid Kindle Unlimited subscription and I am reviewing it voluntarily. These are my honest, unbiased feelings. I did not receive any sort of compensation.

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