Book Review: THE HAUNTING SEASON Anthology

Genre: historical/horror/gothic
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: anthology

Blurb:

Book cover for THE HAUNTING SEASON: title in white on navy surrounded by gold leaves and a candle

Winter, with its unsettling blend of the cosy and the sinister, has long been a popular time for gathering by the bright flame of a candle, or the warm crackling of a fire, and swapping stories of ghosts and strange happenings.

From a bustling Covent Garden Christmas market to the frosty moors of Yorkshire, from a country estate with a dreadful secret, to a London mansion where a beautiful girl lies frozen in death, these are stories to make your hair stand on end, send shivers down your spine and to serve as your indispensable companion to the long nights of winter.

So curl up, light a candle, and fall under the spell of The Haunting Season . . .

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

This is an atmospheric anthology full of stories about unusual happenings, warnings, and revenge. Between the settings (usually historical) and the fact that the stories focused much more on unease than the visual horror and violence, I would say it’s firmly in the gothic side of things, which is my preferred sort of horror.

The great thing about anthologies is the range of stories told, and with ghosts there are so many ways to explore it. From hauntings that are more than they seem to be to explorations of mental illness in a historical lens, there’s an interesting array of takes on it. The stories are arranged in such a way that no two consecutive stories share too many elements so each one is able to really stand on its own without being compared too much to those around it.

I liked the idea of using the idea of hauntings to explore mental illness, showing how different times have viewed mental illness and also give an idea of what it might be like to suffer certain illnesses by using common horror tropes. It was also handled in such a sympathetic way too.

There are also only eight stories in this book, which means each stories has more page time (averaging around thirty pages a story.) This means they were longer than most of the other anthologies I’ve read and I really liked that. I could really sink my teeth into these stories, see them play out over more events and have more things set up. It is certainly my preferred anthology set up so far!

It is definitely anthologies like this that make me want to try more of them!


For reviews of books written by the authors see:

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