So having discovered DC McGannon and C Michael McGannon via Kaos Obsidere (see my earlier review) I was keen to check out DC McGannon’s horror stories for young adults. For although I am far too old to be ever considered a young adult (if only!) it has been my experience that good writing is just good writing for any age from the teen years onwards. And this set of wonderful halloween tales did not disappoint!
Like Kaos, Halloween Games straddles a ‘real’ world with an entirely ‘other’ world or dimension, and there are echoes of Kaos in the tales, and one disturbing, wonderful, entirely original character (with many faces and names even in this book) that walks both books and many, many realms.
In this collection we see the ‘other’ world collide in darkly creative ways with the lives of various teenagers. A particular talent evidenced in these stories is to create very individual, realistic and relatable characters, each with their own unique voice and response to the macabre hurtling into their lives. You care about these characters and their often sad or dark fates, and the visual splendour of the descriptions in the work are redolent of the alchemy of artistry and fear.
It’s exciting to find what promises to be an entirely new vision for reality and the supernatural, and one that can traverse age groups so well. I would note that the horror in these tales is real but-perhaps less visceral and detailed than in the adult stories of Kaos (as makes sense for the different main audiences), but they are no less impacting for that.
These stories like Kaos, seem to call out for the movie screen, or for the renderings of a graphic artist. This does not diminish the quality of the excellent writing – instead it is a testament to it. I read these and I want to see them as well as read. I don’t find that very often with horror, but when I do, it’s a treat.
Dare I say a Halloween treat?
Helen M Valentina 2017