The short story collection features a number of horror stories that deal with alien invasions, irregular births and supernaturally-induced tiny tragedies in the daily lives of the characters. The author’s style is sufficiently gloomy and his writing style matches his pacing perfectly, building up suspense while avoiding the unnecessary filler that has become a staple of the genre. Jared Boggess’ cover art helps cement that idea in the mind of the reader, with a very apt minimalist design.
Ghouljaw and Other Stories’ main failing, in my opinion, was that despite their great presentation, the themes in the stories were repeated perhaps, a bit too often. While these are horror stories that deal with small tragedies, their protagonists appear to be roughly the same people: lost men and women, trudging through life before they are struck down by something particularly awful. This, coupled with the cryptic, abrupt endings to some of the stories, gave me a case of narrative whiplash in the middle of what I would otherwise call a very well-made horror anthology.
- Visceral, well-paced horror
- Interesting approach
- Good value
- Cryptic, abrupt endings to a number of the stories
- The gloomy leitmotiff does not suit all readers.