Hark! The Herald Angels Scream
Booklist Reviews 2018 September #1
Golden curates another sure-bet horror anthology (after Dark Duets?, 2013), this time with an ingenious premise: the terror which is always lurking just behind the bright lights of the holiday season. Already placed squarely in the midst of the darkest time of the year, Christmas has a well-established connection to horror, starting with Dickens' ghosts, then to gross overcommercialization and the dread of forced family gatherings. In building this anthology with 18 never-before-published stories, Golden has considered it all: the obviously terrifying (disappearing children), the macabre (possessed figurines), and the frighteningly probable (the hot holiday toy gets hacked!), with doses of dark humor sprinkled in for good measure. Many of the authors featured here, such as Seanan McGuire, Josh Malerman, Jonathan Maberry, and Sarah Pinborough, will drive interest in the anthology on their own, but even without the name recognition, this is a stellar collection that will attract a wide range of readers. More importantly, it will liven up your holiday displays for years to come. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2018 September #2
Horror masters such as Kelley Armstrong, Seanan McGuire, and Jonathan Maberry will keep you up past your bedtime, but not because you're still wrapping gifts. Eighteen original tales inspired by darker elements of Christmas traditions, such as the folklore of Krampus, dominate this anthology.Copyright 2018 Library Journal.
PW Reviews 2018 July #5
Golden's solid Christmas-themed anthology of 18 original stories plays on the darker side of the holiday season. Among the best are Michael Koryta's haunting "Hiking Through," about a brokenhearted man who finds an unusual solace along the Appalachian Trail, and Sarah Pinborough's atmospheric novella "The Hangman's Bride," in which a young chimney sweep discovers horrors at the strange home of a gentleman hangman. Tim Lebbon's "Home," set in a postapocalyptic landscape, is a chilling meditation on memory and loss. Scott Smith's superb "Christmas in Barcelona" is a wondrous and twisted take on "The Gift of the Magi." In Seanan McGuire's heartbreaking "Fresh as the New-Fallen Snow," an unusual babysitter offers a new start for three children who have never known true parental love. Sarah Lotz's darkly funny "Not Just for Christmas" is about an estranged husband and father who buys a genetically modified puppy for his family, with disastrous results. Stories by Joe R. Lansdale and John M. McIveen are straightforward horror while those by Elizabeth Hand, James A. Moore, and Josh Malerman rely on more subtle shivers, and Golden's own "It's a Wonderful Knife" is a pulpy treat. With few missteps, this lineup proves that the Christmas season can have plenty of thrills and chills.