Danse Macabre - Laura M. Hughes

Genre: Horror
Synopsis: The dead beckon and the little girl obeys. Night after night she answers the graveyard’s call, though she dreads her encounters with the creature that dwells there. But she’ll soon come to learn that memories are much more dangerous than monsters…


Review: In the interest of full disclosure, I know the author of this novella. However, that is not something that affects my criticism of anything - I won't say I like something unless I do, and I really, really liked this.

Danse Macabre is a surprisingly dark, bite-size chunk of creepiness. It's extremely well written, employing some clever devices such as chapters which count down from ten, rather than starting at one, to add to the spooky, foreboding atmosphere which pervades the story. I think the presence of a little girl and animal companions suggests something, at first glance, which is going to be a lot lighter than this story turns out to be - and it's delightfully chilling to see just how far the darkness in this story gets pushed - at least one point in it genuinely made me gasp and go 'NO YOU CAN'T.'

I was a little unsure of the ending, it felt a little abrupt and I wasn't really sure how to interpret it, but really the only complaint I have is that it was too short, and I think Blue would have benefited simply from more story to acquaint the reader with her. That is not to say her character is lacking, simply that I would liked to have spent more time getting to know her. I loved the characters of Snail and Raven, particularly Snail. I got weirdly attached to that snail.

All in all, a solidly enjoyable novella which is the perfect quick read to get you in the mood for the upcoming spooky season. I'm genuinely looking forward to whatever comes next from Laura.

Rating: 4/5 

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