Before You Wake : Three Horrors
Author : Adam Nevill
Published : August 7,2017 by Ritual Limited
67 Pages : Kindle Edition
Horror / Short Stories / Collection
The darker side of Angels, hell in a handbag, and an empty ship with a dark secret, this small collection aims to scare and entice you to pick up the full collection these stories appear as a part of. This is a sampler platter of stories, so to speak.
I admit, when I picked this up to read I was really looking forward to another taste of the horror writing of Adam Nevill. I enjoyed the other mini-collection he shared in Before You Sleep : Three Horrors, and figured another three story sample of another collection was well worth the time to read.
While I didn’t hate it, I’ll say now, this one didn’t click as well for me. The style of these stories is a much slower reveal, a longer build to the suspense and horror, and it felt very reminiscent of some of the classic horror stories I enjoy narrating on AIC Stories Podcast with the Faded Words series. The type of stories I enjoy, but they don’t hit with the same impact as some of the more modern short horror fiction has.
In this collection we are given three stories, as the title promises, and since this is a very short mini-collection, let’s talk about all three.
First is a story called The Angels of London. In some ways it feels a BIT reminiscent of his story Florrie, but only in the sense where we have a building, a home in one and a run down apartment building in the other, that seems to have a mind of it’s own. While the stories are very different in what ends up being behind the horror, they had a similar feel. In this story we are given a view of a man down on his luck, taking an apartment in a run down building, only to find the landlords are a bunch of greedy, blackmailing Angels.
The second story is called Always In Our Hearts and it follows a cab driver on a strange night delivering passengers all over town. They all have one thing in common, they all have a handbag or luggage that seems to contain a small animal of some sort. And finding out what that luggage contains is probably not in the cab drivers best interest.
The final story is called Hippocampus and oddly, even though it has the least amount of actual action or activity happening, it was my favorite of the three. We are taken on a tour of an empty ship, through all the empty hallways, to finally discover a dark secret contained within. It had a feel that reminded me of some classic video games such as Myst, in which you simply walk, observe, explore, and solve the puzzle.
Overall, this collection just didn’t really connect for me. While I enjoyed the stories, none of them truly blew me away, which was a very different experience than what I had with his other short collection. But it does show once more the added versatility Nevill has as a horror writer. Bouncing to yet another three different styles of horror writing and doing it well. For me these stories felt a little slow on the pacing side, which I know serves the story themes as they are a slower build to the horrifying conclusion, but they just didn’t grab and hold my attention as solidly as other work he’s shared.
I would recommend checking out this short collection and I do have a few of his full books on my TBR pile that I look forward to diving into sometime in the future. However this collection just didn’t fire on all cylinders for me.
Before You Wake : Three Horrors by Adam LG Nevill gets a 3 out of 5 stars
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