Friday, October 28, 2016

Out Of Tune Book 2 Edited By Jonathan Maberry [5 stars]

From the Description
Listen! Hear that?

The music playing in the night…whispering from the shadows. Haunting melodies and old songs sung by ghostly voices.

New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry presents a brand new collection of original stories by some of today’s top authors of horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction. Each tale draws strange inspiration from classic folks songs and murder ballads from around the world.

OUT OF TUNE Volume 2 includes strange and disturbing stories by Rachel Caine, Cherie Priest, David Mack, Dan Abnett, Laura Anne Gilman, Delilah Dawson, Alison Pang, David J. Schow, James A. Moore, Nik Vincent-Abnett, J.C. Koch and Eric J. Guignard.
Publication Date: May 20, 2016
Publisher: JournalStone
Publication Length: 294 pages
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this anthology. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review.
As a longtime fan of Jonathan Maberry I was excited to be offered a review copy of this book. I know that anything written or edited by him is sure to be enjoyable. When I found out that the stories are inspired by some of my favorite murder ballads I was even happier. Each story starts off with a creepy illustration and ends with a commentary about the history and folklore of the song that inspired it. I spent a lot of time on YouTube looking up the songs I didn't know and revisiting those I did. The tales found within these pages are fantastic. A few of my favorites are,,, Respawn, Reboot about a video game that may truly transport you to another world, one you might not escape. Midnight Rider is a weird western tale of ghostly revenge, and might be my favorite of all the stories in this anthology. In The Woods Somewhere is a dark fairy tale that I wanted more of. Who Is Bringing Milk To Me is a great example of how less is sometimes so much scarier when it comes to horror. After reading this I can't wait to read the first book in this collection! I highly recommend this outstanding 5 star anthology.
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Horror maven Maberry presents a not entirely harmonious second collection of original stories that celebrate the haunting power of music. There are several highlights among the 15 stories: Alison Pang's "Respawn, Reboot" is about an online fantasy game that takes "realistic" to a whole new level, offering a rather final escape from real life. Deborah Grabian's "Not Long After the Fair" is a twisted tale about a carnival worker who becomes obsessed with a very special and dangerous young woman. Delilah S. Dawson's "Just Another Black Umbrella" is a rather poignant tale about a lonely funeral director whose exacting standards keep him from finding love, until he meets a strange woman during one of his services. Josh Malerman's affecting "Who Is Bringing Milk to Me?" is a subtle creeper about a little girl who feels an odd affinity with the milkman whom she can hear, but cannot see—until she can. Other strong entries are Laura Anne Gilman's "First Dance," a haunting revenge tale, and "The Twa Corbies" by Nik Vincent-Abnett, which features teenagers and murder in a crumbling London. Of particular interest are the notes after each story citing the origins of the song that inspired each piece. A few pieces fail to satisfy, but there's plenty to enjoy. -- Publishers Weekly