Edited by Eric J. Guignard

Published by Dark Moon Books, March 1, 2022

Review by The Horror Zine Staff Reviewer Heather Miller

horror library7

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Horror Library, Volume 7 continues the time-honored tradition of the horror anthology. With stories curated and edited by Eric J Guignard, this book brings together some of the best-of-the-best of today's horror writers into one wonderfully dark collection.

Since this is not a themed collection, it's literally "anything goes", as long as that "anything" is creepy or crawly, desperate or disturbing. Guignard has an eye for good literature, and we the readers benefit from his discernment as we make our way through this library of horror.

The book contains thirty stories, some by names easily recognizable to those who keep up with the world of literary horror--Jo Kaplan, Bentley Little, Gene O'Neill, William Meikle, Christi Nogle, Lucy Taylor, and more--and some by lesser known writers whose stories stand up and hold their own among the bigger names.

Within these pages you'll find haunted houses ("Her House" by Jo Kaplan), haunted objects ("8-Ball" by Darren Todd) and haunted people ("Ring Rust" by Gene O'Neill). There are brushes with the bizarre in Darren D. Gregory's "Discovery of Blanks", H. Pueyo's "Death Republic", and Garick Cooke's "Holder City".

There's something for everyone here: a bleak and desolate landscape full of zombies in "just keep walking" by David Afsharirad; genetic experiments gone horribly wrong (or perhaps horribly right) in Brady Golden's "Neon Showgirl"; existential horror in Christi Nogle's "The Apartment"; dark and dirty folk horror in Bentley Little's "In the Valley".

Add in some vampires, ghosts, murderers, Old Gods, a giant, some unnatural plants, a few brushes with Satan, and few stories of love gone wrong. Finish it off with a heaping helping of pandemics and quarantines and desperate people who will do absolutely anything to get what they want. Mix all these things together and you get the wonderful concoction that is this anthology.

There's a spot on the back cover that says "Literary Adult Horror", and that is what this collection is. This is old-school style horror writing that incorporates modern themes.  There's no extreme horror or splatter-anything, but there is plenty of good old-fashioned creepiness. These stories will make you shiver and shake and break out in goosebumps, but they'll also make you feel a connection with the despair and longing and sorrow and loneliness of the poor characters who suffer within.

As if all this wasn't enough, Volume 7 includes a new feature: a special Artist's Gallery in the back of the book featuring the beautifully disturbing work of Allen Koszowski. Koszowski's drawings feature everything from monsters to ghosts to aliens, from creatures of the deep to things with no name that will stare right off the page and deep into your soul.

All in all, Horror Library, Volume 7 is an outstanding offering in the world of literary horror anthologies. There's not a bad story in the lot.

Horror Library, Volume 7 is edited by Eric J Guignard and published by Dark Moon Books.