Book Reviews

Book Review: Halloween Carnival Volume Two by Brian James Freeman

Title: Halloween Carnival Volume Two
Series: Halloween Carnival
Authors: Glen Hirshberb, Lee Thomas, Holly Newstein, Del James, All Sarrantonio, Brian James Freeman Genre: Horror, Sci Fi, Fantasy
Publisher: Hydra
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Format: Kindle
Pages: 130
Source: NetGalley
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Glen Hirshberg, Lee Thomas, Holly Newstein, Del James, and Al Sarrantonio bring the ghouls of the most haunted night of the year to life in a chilling collection of stories curated by master of horror Brian James Freeman.

MR. DARK’S CARNIVAL by Glen Hirshberg
Halloween is more than just a holiday in Clarkson, Montana; it’s a tradition passed down through generations. Only this year, the ghosts of the past may just be a little closer than usual.

When David was young, he believed in magic. In fact, he wanted to become a magician himself. But meddling in the forces of the mind has consequences beyond what an eleven-year-old can see.

MISCHIEF NIGHT by Holly Newstein
Cabbage Night, Goose Night, Devil’s Night—they’re all the same. Before the treats come the tricks. It’s all in good fun . . . until someone gets hurt.

When people need to disappear, I make them vanish. The catch? I’ve always got to be on guard—because that knock at the door may not just be a little monster looking for candy.

THE PUMPKIN BOY by Al Sarrantonio
When boys start going missing, Detective Len Schneider is determined to make it right. But his partner knows that there are worse things out there than a dead kid.

While I loved Halloween Carnival Volume One, I wasn’t quite as impressed with Halloween Carnival Volume Two.

To my idea, the best story in this batch of five stories was Mr. Dark’s Carnival by Glen Hirshberg. It added a twist at the end that I honestly didn’t see coming. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t see it coming. It was awesome, creepy, and just like when I watched The Sixth Sense, there were clues that I didn’t realize pointed to the ending.

The Facts in the Case of My Sister by Lee Thomas wasn’t too bad either. I kind of figured what was going on, but there were a couple of subtle things that startled me that had nothing to do with the actual story line, but were just awesome things to see in the story. While this story was predictable, it was very good.

Mischief Night by Holly Newstein wasn’t even memorable enough for me to remember what the story was about. I literally finished the book less than 24 hours ago and have no clue what that story was about.

The Ghost Maker by Del James wasn’t scary or creepy. It didn’t even fit as horror, sci fi, or fantasy. There was nothing horror about it. It was so straight forward that I just didn’t see the point in it being there.

The Pumpkin Boy by Al Sarrantonio was just plain weird. I have no idea what the author was going for, but I’m assuming weird wasn’t it. It had a plot twist that just didn’t make a lick of sense because you didn’t know enough about the backstory. I think it could have been a better story if the backstory behind it had been better fleshed out.

All in all, the only reason this collection didn’t get 2 stars was because of Mr. Dark’s Carnival – that was a great story and I’d love to see more like that in Volumes 3-5.

I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.