Before I get into the review of THE DARK VERSE, VOLUME 2: IN THE BLOOD OF DEATH, I need to state up front that I have not read Volume 1, however doing so is not necessary to enjoy Volumes 2 or 3 of this series. Now that my preface is done, I will simply state this about the book (Volume 2): do yourself a favor and buy this series at all costs.
I rarely rave about a book unless it is outstanding on every front. Books I rant about are written well, are thoroughly original, and are almost flawless in both content and entertainment. I can state, without a doubt, that IN THE BLOOD OF DEATH is one of these very tomes. If you are any kind of fan of horror fiction, this book (and its brothers) are must-haves.
If you are not familiar with IN THE BLOOD OF DEATH, here is the book’s synopsis courtesy of Armored Books:
Twenty-six short stories of occult, metaphysical, and fantastical horror that will follow you to the visions of your sleep.
This is Sharkchild’s second collection of grim and ethereal stories and can be enjoyed independently from the other Dark Verse volumes. The cover of the book is imitation leather with foil stamping on the front, back, and spine; there is no dust cover. All three sides of the pages have black dusting. The artwork in its entirety, including a two-page illustration for each story, was created by John F. Stifter.
The covers of each book alone are enough to prompt their purchase. Each is beautiful to take in, vivid in detail and crafted brilliantly. I found myself enjoying their appearances just as much as I did their contents.
And enjoy them I did…immensely. Author Sharkchild does a superb job of reaching into the psyche of humanity and drawing out those things which scare us and haunt us the most. Every story is a carefully constructed tale that will resound in the subconscious long after it is over.
The characters in IN THE BLOOD OF DEATH are fleshed out well and fit perfectly within each tale. Interestingly, the stories are written in first-person, which deepens the level of immersion for each, and thus heightens the entertainment value as well. I found myself putting my own face on the characters and living then the nightmares as the tales played out.
If I were forced to find a favorite story in this collection, I simply could not pick just one. Many titles jump to mind, but here are a few of my favorites:
“Thirteen Door Roulette”
“The Taking of Hallowed Creation”
“When Eyes Have Seen Too Much”
I highly recommend IN THE BLOOD OF DEATH, and I suggest you pick up all three volumes as soon as possible. As I mentioned, you’ll get three beautiful books chocked full of hardcore horror and vivid terror. I can very easily see these becoming collector’s items soon, so snatch yours up today.