Title: In Darkness, Delight (Vol. 1): Masters of Midnight
Author: Edited by Andrew Lennon & Evans Light
Page Count: 275 pages
Rating: 4.5 / 5 ✨✨✨✨
Summary from GoodReads
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again – I love short story collections! Ones from single authors are awesome, but I also really enjoy anthologies of collections from different writers put together. If edited well, the collection of widely different voices can, despite the odds, somehow come together to form a really cohesive whole. With IN DARKNESS, DELIGHT’s first volume, MASTERS OF MIDNIGHT, Andrew Lennon & Evans Light did exactly that.
This was my first brush with many of these authors – all but 3 actually, which is a pretty high number of unknowns to me considering there are only about 17 stories total in the whole thing. Of the below list of contributors, I was only familiar with Malerman, Lacey, & Chizmar. What a shame, because the rest are also amazing, and I’m excited to read more by them in the future!
Josh Malerman | William Meikle | Jason Parent | Ryan C. Thomas | Mark Matthews | Israel Finn | Evans Light | Joanna Koch | Andrew Lennon | John McNee | Patrick Lacey | Paul Michaels | Michael Bray | Lisa Lepovetsky | Espi Kvlt | Billy Chizmar | Monique Youzwa
I loved that this collection had a nice mixture of both male and female writers. I know this isn’t something everyone cares about or looks at, but as a woman who has been reading horror her entire life, I can say that for a long time, I didn’t even know there were female horror writers anymore. Of course, I knew about the classic horror writers, but was totally ignorant to modern stuff!
I’m incredibly grateful that my newfound bookish community, both on Instagram & Twitter, have introduced me to so many. And now, when I’m picking up a collection for example, I can make a mental note of the inclusion, and it’s a nice little extra thing to appreciate. 🙂
Overall, I really enjoyed this entire collection. It’s mainly horror, although at least one of the stories also blends a sort of science fiction-y type thing to the plot (which I loved). I love variety, and the stuff here is great – some gore, some fun, some emotionally impacting hits. I didn’t give less than 3.5 stars to any of the stories, and I’ll highlight a couple of my top favorites below – but if you’re thinking of reading it, feel free to skip that, and go in blind! It’s an excellent read, and I’d definitely recommend it!
🌈 THE PIPE by Israel Finn
This is one of the first few stories in the collection, and just wow. It was hard to read, but only because of how realistic the story was, and how easily something like this could actually happen. I was completely horrified throughout!
🌈 VIOLET by Jason Parent
Saying this was a ‘favorite’ feels wrong, ’cause it broke my heart. But since I like stuff that makes me sad, it’s no real surprise I really liked the experience!
🌈 THE DOGSHIT GAUNTLET by John McNee
This story was completely absorbing for me, and didn’t at all go the way I thought it would. I loved it!
🌈 EVERY LUCKY PENNY IS ANOTHER DROP OF BLOOD by Joanna Koch
This is the one I mentioned being sort of science fiction-y, and it was so unique and seems like it’d be awesome as a short film. The visuals!! It’d be weird and strange and incredible.
There will also be a Volume 2, which I can’t wait to get, ’cause I love books that match! 😂 I’d definitely recommend this one if you’re in the mood for a wide variety of horrors in your reading – from racism to lost pets to extra limbs as cosmetic enhancements. 😉