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TPG reviews: Shared Nightmares

January 10, 2015

A solid collection; well worth a look

In Shared Nightmares, twelve authors— including New York Times bestseller Larry Correia, #1 Amazon bestseller Michaelbrent Collings, Prometheus Award winner Sarah Hoyt, Campbell Award nominee Max Gladstone, and Hugo nominee Howard Tayler—take you to the dark side of the dream world, where phantasms and fears become frighteningly real.

Shared Nightmares

My rating: 8/10

Before we begin: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review, and I received it from none other than Nathan Shumate of Lousy Book Covers (and several other things). Go ahead and check out that site if you haven’t already. I promise you: it’s hilarious…not to mention a good guide on what not to do, for any budding indie writers out there.

Aaaanyway…

Shared Nightmares is a horror anthology with dreams as its unifying theme. In some stories, characters interact with their own dreams or the dreams of others; in other stories, characters struggle to differentiate between what is real and what is not.

The collection remains richly varied, however, which each story approaching things from its own unique angle. There was very little overlap between the stories in terms of style or ideas, so every individual piece felt fresh. As such, I enjoyed it immensely. There were a few duds, as with most anthologies, but these were thankfully not a big part of the overall experience.

For me, “Onnen” by Paul Genesse was easily the anthology’s finest moment. Set in feudal Japan, it follows a wrathful spirit’s quest for revenge over the course of several decades.  The story is beautifully written and full of interesting details, and I really got the impression that the author had done his research well. It’s also incredibly disturbing in places, as you might expect from such a concept.

There are, of course, several other highlights. “Father’s Day” by Larry Correia, for instance, presents an apocalyptic future in which aliens have invaded humans’ dreams and brought the world to its knees. “What Hellhounds Dream”, by Steven Diamond, explores the struggles of a once-normal man roped into serving a demon’s wishes. And last but not least, “The Damnation of St Teresa of Avila” by Marie Brennan provides a downright intriguing exploration of religion and faith.

Shared Nightmares is everything you could ask for in a horror collection. It’s chock full of strong writing, interesting ideas and, of course, a lot of creepy goings-on. Well worth checking out, I’d say.

Shared Nightmares can be found on Amazon here.

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