Book Review: Deadman’s Tome – Monsters Exist

Hi there everyone.

Due to some technical difficulties, the upload schedule for chapter three of From The Shadows has been set back by a week, meaning that instead of being finished and uploaded on the 17th, it’ll be uploaded on the 24th instead (God willing).

While I won’t be able to access my computer for long periods of time this week, I thankfully found enough time to do this little review. I hope you all enjoy it, and I hope you consider giving this ‘tome’ a look.

What would make a serial killer stop dead in his tracks, terrified? What could drive a man to serve the entities that slaughtered his mother when he was a child? What kind of story could you possibly expect to get from the synopsis, “Willy Wonka meets Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son“?

The answers to these and other questions await you in the horror anthology, Deadman’s Tome: Monsters Exist.

I heard of Monsters Exist through one of its authors, S.E. Casey (writer of the aforementioned Willy Wonka meets Saturn story) after the two of us had bonded over our mutual appreciation of the Jon Padgett horror collection, The Secret of Ventriloquism, and I decided to go ahead and check it out.

As the title suggests, each of the book’s 14 stories centers around a different, very memorable monster.

How memorable are these creatures? Well, in one tale, we get a relentless carnivore who, once it’s had a taste of your blood, will not be satisfied until it devours you–no matter how much time passes or how many barriers stand in its way. In another, there’s a local boogeyman, an intelligent beast who won’t just kill you but try to do so in a way that pins your death on your closest friend. In yet another, we’re treated to a variation of Sasquatch that–instead of tearing you limb from limb and killing you outright–opts to go the route of Lucifer from Paradise Lost and The Joker from The Dark Knight, tempting you to bring your doom upon yourself.

As you’d probably expect from a book about monsters, there’s a lot of disturbing violence to be found. Sexual references and other harsh language are also present but largely kept to a minimum. See my review of Padgett’s The Secret of Ventriloquism if you want an idea on what kinds of language bother me and what kinds don’t.

While this had no impact on the rating I gave this book on Goodreads (4 stars), I wish the editors had changed the order of the stories. ‘Mr. Deadman’ opens the book with a delightfully morbid introduction that channels not just Rod Serling but also Alfred Hitchcock. Besides the intro, Deadman also contributes a story (Lake Monster), and if that story had been the final one in the anthology, Deadman’s ‘About the Author’ section at the end of the tale would have provided the perfect bookend for his already excellent introduction. As it is, it’s in the middle, so the opportunity is missed. I understand that the stories are listed by the authors’ surnames, but for the sake of that bookend, I wish Deadman had broken that rule for his own contribution.

All in all, Monsters Exist is an imaginative, excellent and affordable read for anyone with a taste for the unsettling. You can find it on Amazon’s Kindle store here (US) or here (UK).

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