BOOK REVIEW: A DEEP HORROR THAT WAS VERY NEARLY AWE by J.R. Hamantaschen

Review copy provided courtesy of the author.

Eleven short stories full of the strange and horrifying.

(First off, to be completely honest, I think I may be in a rather strange reading mood, and I'm not quite sure what to make of it.)

A Deep Horror That Was Very Nearly Awe is full of average, mundane scenarios that take a turn into strange circumstances that range from pretty terrifying, to just slightly odd, but is consistent (and pretty impressive) in regards to Hamantaschen's voice, as well as the focus on the characters. While not every story really hit hard for me, every story definitely gave me incredible insight to it's character's thoughts and motivations. Even when things go sideways, and even when the character does or thinks something absurd (or crazy), their behaviors always felt believable within that specific story, for that specific character. I love that feeling of really getting into a characters mindset, but even more so when I feel an author truly understands their characters.

Now, many of the stories felt a bit anticlimactic to me, or that the ratio of character focus to action/horror/weirdness felt a bit off balance. However, I'm pretty confident that's due to said weird reading mood I think I'm in, and I certainly enjoyed this collection, and appreciate a more subtle horror story. I actually think if I had read this during the winter months versus the summer, it would have been a completely different experience.

For all of that, each story had a wildly unique premise, and a few that particularly stood out to me were Bleecker and Bleaker; or, Gay for Muesli, 7099 Brecksville Road, Independence, Ohio, and A Gob of Minty Spit in the Sink. For all my conflicting feelings these stories are anything but basic. This is a great collection for someone in the mood for some character focused weird fiction.

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