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Review: Twisted: Tainted Tales

Title: Twisted: Tainted Tales

Author: Janine Pipe

Publisher: Pipe Screams Press

Publication year: May 1, 2021

Pages: 179 (print)

Y’all. This book is a raunchy, rollicking good time. It is unabashedly in-your-face gross horror, gore, and splatter. I laughed, cringed, and even blushed a little while reading this.

This is my first time reading Janine Pipe, but I am familiar with her as a presence in the horror community. I’d been wanting to read this since it came out, and I’m thankful the author provided me a complimentary copy for the purposes of review.

So, let’s get to the review, shall we?

First things first. I didn’t care for the frame story of the collection. The gist is that a solicitor named Jill found a series of stories written by an author and is presenting them to the readers. It didn’t work for me. BUT, don’t let this prevent you from venturing inside.

Here is a breakdown of what I enjoyed the most. Please note every reader is going to be different, and you may love stories I didn’t, I may love stories you didn’t, and that’s fine.

“When Doves Cry” – a standout for me. This was creepy and unsettling. As a reader, I had a feeling where it was going, but I couldn’t look away. Classic fairytale vibe. Made me think of Bluebeard as I was reading.

“Sweet Child O’ Mine” – One of my favorites in the collection. I would have loved for this story to keep going. I wanted more.

“Lost in the Shadows” – Weird, creepy, interesting. I liked the use of the setting with this one.

“Running With the Devil” – This one worked for me. You had an urban legend kind of vibe to it, along with teenage characters who set out to find how much of the legend is true.

“Paradise City” – I wouldn’t necessarily say it was a favorite, but it stood out to me. Usually, cautionary tales are directed at females. This story is a cautionary tale for boys akin to “You’ll go blind.” I wasn’t sure what the connection was between the newcomer and the tree, though, maybe I missed that?

“Nobody’s Fool” – One of my absolute favorites from this collection.

“They” – One of my favorites in this collection. The only question remaining in my mind is why he only changes at the full moon, when whatever bit him did it during the day?

“Sweet Child O Mine”, “Nobody’s Fool”, and “They” were at the top of my list.

This was an excellent debut collection, and a hell of a fun read.

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