Horror Writers Association

Notable Works Reviews

REVIEW: The Children of Red Peak by Craig Dilouie

Novel Review by Sheri White

Plot Summary:

David, Deacon, and Beth were friends as children, all three living on a compound. Although run by a man of strong faith and a belief in God, the kids lead a relatively normal life. Then the leader, Jeremiah Peele, goes to check out the scene of a miracle he heard about. He takes the miracle as a sign the apocalypse is imminent. The commune moves to the mountain, now becoming an apocalypse cult. The children’s lives change drastically for the worse. They live in shacks, half starving, no school, no playing. Just praying …

REVIEW: Whalefall by Daniel Kraus

cover art for the novel WHALEFALLDaniel Kraus’ novel, WHALEFALL, was reviewed by the HWA’s Mental Health Initiative Notable Works readers.

On its surface, WHALEFALL is a story of Jay Gardiner, a young man swallowed by a sperm whale. His determination to escape the whale is charted on one timeline, while the backstory of significant life events is traced on another. Jay is Jonah, his old self annihilated in the belly of the beast, and his biblical journey becomes something deeply personal. The dive is not just into the ocean, but into the unexplored depths of Jay’s depression, grief, survivor guilt, abuse, and most importantly, reaction …

REVIEW: Riptide by Dan Rabarts

Short story review by Lee Murray

A multiple winner of the Australian Shadows and Sir Julius Vogel Awards, Kiwi Dan Rabarts (Ngāti Porou) is well known in Antipodean horror circles, his body of work comprising novels, novellas, short fiction, screenplays, and poetry. Of these, his short story, “Riptide”, which appears in Simon Dewar’s anthology Suspended in Dusk II (2018, Grey Matter Press), is arguably his most powerful work and my personal favourite. Perhaps the story appeals to me because it is set on a nameless beach in Aotearoa, somewhere that I might have walked myself, or …

REVIEW: Serpent’s Wake by L.E. Daniels

Novel review by Dave Jeffery

After twelve years trapped in the throat of a serpent, a girl escapes. She returns to her village naked with a monstrous snakeskin trailing behind her. One decision at a time, she reclaims her life. Each character she encounters by land and sea—brute, healer, orphan, mystic, lover—reflects an unhealed aspect of herself and plots her recovery through symbolic milestones. Serpent’s Wake is intended for adults and young adults exploring how, once fractured, we may mend.

As a reader there comes a time when you become so mesmerised in a story, …

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