When I first read the blurb about AT HELL’S GATES: ORIGINS OF EVIL, I thought to myself, “What a perfect title for an anthology!” Hell is always an interesting backdrop for horror stories, and the gates of hell make for a more specific setting for terror to unfurl. I am excited to promote this anthology, but not just because of the title. The tales within this collection are all excellent for various reasons, and the authors who wrote them are all talented. But this book is also being used to promote a worthy cause. Thus, this anthology is a win-win, all the way around.
If you are not familiar with AT HELL’S GATES: ORIGINS OF EVIL, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of amazon.com:
Welcome back to Hell’s Gates! The palpable sense of dread may seem familiar, but this time things are a bit…different. Fresher. Newer. As though just recently born… See that squealing baby over there? He could grow up to be a lifesaving doctor (or perhaps the antichrist.) What about that scientist burning the midnight oil? He could be working on a bug zapper (or a doomsday device.) Did you catch that comet out of the corner of your eye? It might bring good luck (or an apocalyptic plague.) Yes, every darkness has a source, every monster has a birthplace, and every evil has an origin. In the second volume of the #1 Bestselling AT HELL’S GATES series, twenty-three of the finest dark fiction authors working today will force you to witness the ORIGINS OF EVIL. Each unique tale of terror traces an unspeakable horror back to its very beginning. All proceeds from this horror anthology series go to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a charity benefiting military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. The authors and editors of this series are pleased to donate their time and effort to a truly worthy cause. So sit back, relax, support a fine charity, and enjoy twenty-three tales of dawning calamity from some of horror fiction’s leading lights.
I am a huge supporter of our armed forces and any cause that works to support them. As such, organizations like The Wounded Warrior Project and The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund are certainly to be commended in my eyes. One of the coolest aspects of this book is that proceeds from the sales of this anthology are donated to The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. So not only is it entertaining, but it is being used to do some good.
As I mentioned, every story in AT HELL’S GATES: ORIGINS OF EVIL is written well and flows smoothly. A couple take a bit to get going, but this is a minor detraction and takes nothing away from the collection as a whole. The authors showcased here are very talented, and I would wager many (if not all) will have long, successful careers in the industry.
I particularly like how broad the usage of the subject matter is. Some stories utilize the concept of the book’s title literally, while others use it metaphorically. This diversity is nice and works well to satisfy the collection’s overall theme.
One of my favorite stories in AT HELL’S GATES: ORIGINS OF EVIL is “Operation Devil Walk” by David Mickolas. This tale is set in World War II and chronicles a British Commando Team who is sent to infiltrate a secret Nazi sect. In addition to great fight scenes, the story combines a heightened sense of tension with some truly horrific imagery. This might be my favorite story in the whole book.
AT HELL’S GATES: ORIGINS OF EVIL is a major win for me, and I highly recommend it. Fans of horror will want to eat this up, and those interested in quirky literature will want to give this a look as well. But if you’re wanting a unique way to support our troops and their families, this will satisfy that as well. The book is available now in a variety of formats.