Book Review – Baby’s Breath by Sydney Leigh

Baby’s Breath
by Sydney Leigh
Courtesy of Villipede Publications
Release Date: April 21, 2015

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If the cover of BABY’S BREATH doesn’t mesmerize you and pique your curiosity, there must be something wrong with you. If I were to find this book on a shelf, I’d snatch it up for sure before I even knew what it was about or who wrote it. Author Sydney Leigh offers much more than just a pretty face for this story, however, and I guarantee you’ll be haunted by this one long after the final sentence.

If you are not familiar with BABY’S BREATH, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Villipede Publications:

Diane is an obstetric nurse who fears losing her new husband after becoming pregnant. Her paranoid descent into madness creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, exacerbated by Ben’s increasing neglect of his vulnerable wife. As new life grows both inside and around her, Diane’s marriage deteriorates―but so does her health, along with that of her unborn child’s―and her resulting grief pushes her to carry out a shocking act of revenge.

Originally appeared in Bugs: Tales That Slither, Creep, and Crawl from Great Old Ones Publishing with a Foreword by Simon Rumley. Bram Stoker Award Finalist for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction and winner of the Best Horror Short Story Award in the 2014 Preditors & Editors Reader’s Poll. “Transference,” the opening paragraph of “Baby’s Breath,” was originally a standalone micro-fiction piece featured on Episode 503 of The Wicked Library, and is a Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama Finalist in the 2015 Parsec Awards.

Ok, so this is actually a short story, and not a book…but it IS in book format, and the cover IS amazing. Thus, I would make it a point to try and pick it up in physical form. Regardless of the format, get this story at all costs…it is very worth it.

BABY’S BREATH is written well and packs a huge punch for being so short (it measures in at 13 pages in total). Leigh is a master storyteller, and her talents are on full display here. If you have never read her work, this piece is the perfect place to start.

The story is excellent, and the light and airy tone it starts with is quickly replaced with a dark and menacing one. I wasn’t sure what to expect, based on the opening paragraph, but I was not disappointed at all. At the conclusion, the last sentence startled and thrilled me, and I still have not fully recovered from its effect.

BABY’S BREATH is a hell of a read, and I highly recommend it. You’ll get a lot of terror in a small package, and it’s worth every penny. Grab a copy of this one for sure.

MSB

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