Night Worms Book Review – Love for Slaughter by Sara Tantlinger

Title: Love For Slaughter

Authors: Sara Tantlinger

Edition: Paperback

Page Count: 104 pages

Rating: 5  / 5 ✨

This review was originally shared over on the Night Worms Blog! Make sure to check it & all the other awesome blog posts there by my fellow Worms.


“We are sinking into the chasm  of cruel affection.” – Funhouse, pg 32

Poetry in horror is one of those things that I discovered only recently, and feel like I’d been missing for my entire life. I’ve read poetry for as long as I can remember, and have also read horror for just as long, but never knew there was an entire genre devoted to the intersection of the two. For the many things I owe to bookstagram to be thankful for, discovering dark poetry and Sara Tantlinger’s work are among those I’ll give the highest of praises to.

“Love madly or not at all.” – Lawless, pg 81

These are poems about love, yes, but not only the good parts – Sara focuses on darker themes, like revenge following infidelity, and the mutually assured destruction of toxic relationships. There is a sexiness to the slaughter and pain she writes about, each word and line chosen to convey a dark sensuality that seems to ooze off the pages, soaking everything in a deliciously morbid atmosphere of haunting passion and violence.

“I pretend for a moment, imagine we are not designed to fail” – Incurable, pg 52

Sara’s writing is melodic and lulling, her tone gentle but the words chaotic in their brutality. In these poems,  you are transported from frozen landscapes to hellish infernos, cut open and sewn shut, the hunter and the prey. None of the poems in this collection ever got anything less than 4 stars from me, and I was surprised to hear that this was her debut collection – her poetry has a polished finish that can take some other writers several collections to develop.

“I crawl to no one.” – Crawl to Me, pg 33

In addition to the writing, can we also just take a moment to appreciate the cover here? I love everything about the cover design, from the typewriter-esque font to the blood splatter placement and meatface. If I knew nothing about this collection or writer, I’d have picked this up on cover alone.

Overall, love is weird, and painful, and scary. Sara takes all of that, and steps it up to a decadently disturbing level with her first poetry collection, and I enjoyed every second of it. Highly recommended, and I’ll definitely be checking out her second poetry collection, THE DEVIL’S DREAMLAND, as soon as possible!


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