An amusement park turns to a nightmare for a newly married couple. A night camp turns morbid for three teenagers. A dead horse is the cause of his owner’s death. These are just some of the short stories’ brief synopsis from the collection of unlucky 13 stories in Ed Pessalano’s collection, aptly titled, “Night Shivers”.
Writing a horror story is not easy. It takes a lot to think of what will scare the readers and what has already been said by other horror writers. Night Shivers is an attempt to scare readers and it achieves that to some extent (but only when you have not reading anything which is remotely similar).
I found the writing taut and simple, though I wish some stories would not end abruptly or had more meat to them. For instance, The Mourning about a mad uncle trying to do away with this nephew started off brilliantly and then ended too soon to be able to speak much of it. Similarly, I was looking for more while reading, Razorback Hill, however even that ended too quickly.
The collection in all is a bit spooky for readers (might I also risk and add: Young Readers) who have yet to venture into the horror genre. Ed knows how to tell a story and that I give him. At the same time, I do not understand the need to make the scary parts so obvious. I mean why let them be so scary-in-the-face?
If you have already read horror stories, then may be this book will not manage to give you the chills or the shivers. A tale or two would manage to but that is about it. For me, the only thing that didn’t work is that the stories weren’t spooky enough. I wish there was more to that.