Cover Image: Gathering Dark, The

Gathering Dark, The

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Member Reviews

Enjoyed this anthology as a whole! But my favorite stories were by Hannah Whitten, Allison Saft, and Shakira Toussaint. (Probably more like 3.5 stars)

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I feel like short stories should be complete but live on in your mind as possibilities for more, and in that these hit the mark. But they also sometimes felt incomplete and there was something vaguely unsatisfying about the whole thing. I loved it! But I could have loved it more.

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This anthology of folk horror stories was interesting, but not my favorite. I enjoyed a lot of the entries, but some were boring to me and not the best in my opinion. I think it was a great idea for a collection, but just needed some different stories to keep my attention.

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I was lucky enough to get an eARC of a Gathering Dark. As someone who is new to horror and loves gothic folklore books, this collection was up my ally. It just took me longer than I would have liked to get to it due to needing to be in the right head space.
This collection follows teenagers dealing with the urban legends of their towns. Some which they themselves are the legend. This book is a wild ride and left you wanting more from the stories due to the fact the idea wasn’t fully developed in what pages they were allowed. A lot of them could have been done as their own thing. And I honestly wish they had. The only one I felt like used what little they had and did well is Chloe Gong and Aden Polydoros who managed to use the amount of pages well. Chloe isn’t really an author I enjoy. But it’s possible that I do like her in the sense of shorter stories.
There’s one thing I do want to mention that I found a bit awkward – forced queer characters. Nothing about a few of them felt natural, just tacked on in an awkward way. As someone who’s queer, it didn’t feel like it was written for queer people per say. There were moments when two characters are making eyes only for the main character to be like ‘too bad I like girls, but let’s keep flirting.’ It’s fine that characters are bi and pan, but instead just kept it plain. Polydoros might be the only one I felt like it felt natural and right. It could just be that some of the authors should have done more to build on it instead of just throwing it away.
I would have loved to see this book deal with actual urban legends that they twist to their own design. But for the most part, they seemed like they were given a prompt based on a myth and made it their own. The Bridge is clearly a take on Goatman’s Bridge. But we don’t actually get Goatman, which was disappointing in my point of view. It was an enjoyable collection that I suggest for people who want folklore spooky books.

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As with most collections of short stories, some were more memorable than others! I enjoyed the overall gothic atmosphere of the book and believe it would make a fitting companion during the darker months. A lovely way to find new authors to explore too!

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Unfortunately this was a DNF for me. I read 3/4th of the stories and felt I had a good enough impression of the book as a whole. I live horror and thought a collection of short stories would be right up my street. Sadly none of the stories really connected with me and didn’t stick with me afterwards. They were a read and done example & I prefer horror that really is with me for a long time afterwards. Not to say the stories were bad but prehaps just not for me

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me free access to the digital advanced copy of this book.

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Thrilled me from one story to the next. I’ve always loved anthologies and this one did not disappoint. Each tale was woven so expertly, almost all of them left me with chills.

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Thank you Netgalley for the e-ARC of this title. I enjoyed reading this title. Would recommend for my library.

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The cover drew me in, but I wish the stories were enough to make me stay. Some were better than others, some definitely gave me the creep factor, but in the end, I just didn't vibe with this one as much as I wanted to.

Honestly, two of the three stars are for the cover alone - I truly can't get enough of it.

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It’s difficult to succinctly describe the stories in this collection, so I’ll just share what the publisher said, “A cemetery full of the restless dead. A town so wicked it has already burned twice, with the breath of the third fire looming. A rural, isolated bridge with a terrifying monster waiting for the completion of its summoning ritual. A lake that allows the drowned to return, though they have been changed by the claws of death. These are the shadowed, liminal spaces where the curses and monsters lurk, refusing to be forgotten.”

I really enjoyed the YA short story collection of Folk Horror, and I feel like I need to seek out more Folk Horror. Like all subgenres of horror, I go through a lot of it I don’t like just to find that one perfect story/show/movie, and that makes it all worth it. Definitely recommend this one. The stories are varied with some decent representation, and they are all unique.

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Really enjoyed this!
Short stories always leave me wanting more bc they tell part of the story, i get hooked, but i’m often left having to decipher the message for myself. But the horror aspect in this made it work - i wsa hesitant to question the spooky elements of each story.
Genuinely loved the creepiness of each story in this anthology - will likely pick this up once a year for Halloween!

Thank you NetGalley and Page Street Kids (distributed by Macmillan) for providing me with this advanced reader’s e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

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The Gathering Dark is a folk horror anthology edited by Tori Bovalino. Bovalino also contributes a story, along with Erica Waters, Chloe Gong, Hannah Whitten, Allison Saft, Olivia Chadha, Courtney Gould, Aden Polydoros, Alex Brown, and Shakira Toussaint.

These stories are unsettling and spooky, some more than others. There is lots of variety. My favorite story is Chloe Gong’s, which I found the most disturbing!

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This was, overall, a solid anthology. There were definately stories I loved more than others and some that just fell flat to me. However, it did make me excited to read more from the authors whose stories I enjoyed. Also, I can recommend this to teens who don't want to read a long novel, but want to read some spooky reads for the spooky season.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Good, spooky, scary. Obviously, some stories are more fun to read and easier to include in a class curriculum than others-- It's difficult to review a collection like this! I would need clear content warnings in order to include in a class or curriculum, though! (It would be nice if the book had these included?)

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Creepy fairy-tale-inspired short stories--sign me up! I'm also a sucker for a short story with an ambiguous, or even a not-so-happy, ending. I'll definitely be recommending this to the teens at my library looking for a quick, chilling read during spooky season.

Thank you to NetGalley and Page Street Publishing for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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A cemetery full of the restless dead. A town so wicked it has already burned twice, with the breath of the third fire looming. A rural, isolated bridge with a terrifying monster waiting for the completion of its summoning ritual. A lake that allows the drowned to return, though they have been changed by the claws of death. These are the shadowed, liminal spaces where the curses and monsters lurk, refusing to be forgotten.

Hauntings, and a variety of horrifying secrets, lurk in the places we once called home. Written by New York Times bestselling, and other critically acclaimed, authors these stories shed a harsh light on the scariest tales we grew up with.

These 10 stories are perfect for spooky season or anytime you want a little scare. Each story held its own and had a good little twist or jump scare. Perfect for fans of "Are You Scared?" On YouTube.

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I love the mix of horror shorts, lots of good ones in here and such a mix that there's sure to be something for every horror fan. I had some unexpected favourites that were out of my typical horror themes. Especially lovely to read on cool nights in a dark bedroom.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4 stars.

Spoilers ahead. I will not reveal anything big - most of the review vaguely alludes to plot, structure, and characters.

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An excellent anthology that plays with the idea and expectation of the subgenre of folk horror. As with any anthology, there are standouts, but I felt that all stories included were well-developed, engaged with the theme, and were enjoyable. My only complaint here is that some stories felt too short, and could have benefitted from more development - possibly even being their own novelettes or novellas.

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Again, thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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This short story collection worked really well. I liked almost all of the stories and loved quite a few, which makes this one that I would love to recommend to everyone. It's perfectly atmospheric across the entire set, too.

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