Cover Image: The Gathering Dark

The Gathering Dark

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Member Reviews

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.


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.


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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I love a good book of short stories!!!!
These spooky, twist filled, short stories were jaw dropping!
Such a good spooky season read and highly recommend!
Such a good mix of authors!
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While I definitely think a handful of the stories strayed very far from being actual folk horror, this was still perhaps my favorite YA anthology I've ever read. There were a ton of incredible, creepy, touching stories in this collection and I'm so glad I read it!
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A surprising and engaging anthology full of spooky stories that go deeper than the goosebumps on your skin.
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All of these authors are fantastic. They're talented and able to write with such distinct voices that you have no trouble knowing who's written what, even if you didn't read the name of the author of the story. I think short stories are hard to market, but the gathering dark has done it in a nice way that's sure to keep readers happy
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I ranked each short story in this book and my average rating was basically a 4.0! I'm very impressed by that because short stories are very hit or miss typically I think. This was a nice selection of odd stories and I actually found myself sad when the collection was over.

Stay by Erica Waters - 3.5 stars
This didn't really do anything new or fresh but it was still a juicy story. A girl feels trapped in her small town, by her family specifically.

The Tallest Poppy by Chloe Gong - 3.5 stars
I like Chloe's writing but I feel like the things that happened in this story were a little all over the place. The main character gets a summer job at a creepy house.

Loved by All, Save One by Tori Bovalino - 5 stars
Close friends go through a home invasion in their haunted home.

One Lane Bridge by Hannah Whitten - 5 stars
I genuinely felt a little creeped out reading this one. A once-close group of friends had a weird experience on a spooky bridge and then there are consequences.

The Ghost on the Short by Allison Saft - 4 stars
Someone the main character was close to died, and the main character would do anything to get to talk to her one more time.

Petrified by Olivia Chadha - 4 stars
A revenge story in a creepy forest, simply put

Third Burn by Courtney Gould - 3 stars
Cool concept, not the most engaging execution. The MC finds out that her town has burned down twice and it's been prophesized that the third time will be the last.

It Stays With You by Aden Polydoros - 5 stars
Extremely cinematic, delved well into character motivations and backstories in 30 pages while still having major and minor action arcs. I was the most excited for Aden's story and it totally delivered. A group of 4 friends play Bloody Mary one night with major consequences.

Truth or Dare by Alex Brown - 3.5 stars
A weird set of tunnels appears any time people in the MC's area have a decision to make. Our MC has a decision to make...

Winter Has Come by Shakira Toussaint - 2.5 stars
Unfortunately my least favorite of the group - our MC meets someone from a new group of people even though they aren't supposed to go down the mountain from where they live. The writing is in a primitive dialect and it made it sort of difficult to connect, personally

Reading this gave me the same vibes as watching a few episodes of Who's Afraid of the Dark, just short spooky stories with generally contemporary settings, mostly in small sleepy towns. Totally think it's worth picking up, and Aden Polydoros is a total standout, as expected.
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The stories in this collection are unique and intriguing. While some stories are better than others, all of the stories have something to offer. They are a perfect read in October while preparing for Halloween. I really enjoyed reading them.
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➸ 3.9 ⭐️
this was a great October read 🎃🍂

Stay by Erika Waters - 3.5 ⭐️

The Tallest Poppy by Chloe Gong - 4 ⭐️

One-Lane Bridge by Hannah Whitten- 5 ⭐️

The Ghost on the Shore by Allison Saft - 4.5 ⭐️

Petrified by Olivia Chadha - 4 ⭐️

Third Burn by Courtney Gould - 3.5 ⭐️

It Stays With You by Aden Polydoros - 4 ⭐️

Truth or Dare by Alex Brown - 5 ⭐️

The Burning One by Shakira Toussaint - 1 ⭐️

eternal gratitude to the publisher and NetGalley for the arc
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As with all short-story anthologies I loved some and I was fine with others. My stand-out authors were Erica Waters, Chloe Gong, Tori Bovalino, and Hannah Whitten - so it felt like the book was front-loaded with great prose and chilling tales but nothing else fully lived up to those stories for me. I'm glad I read it, and it has one of the best covers for fall 2022, but it was so-so overall.
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I LOVE a horror anthology and this was such a fun spooky-season read!

This is a great collection featuring a great selection of YA authors who all show they can skilfully handle the supernatural. The cover is absolutely beautiful too and would immediately make me pick it up had I seen it in a bookstore. 

My personal favourite stories were by Tori Bovalino, Erica Waters, Shakira Toussaint and Alex Brown. 

Featuring gorgeous writing and eerie images that will remain with you late into the night, this is the perfect fall coffee shop read.
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An interesting and diverse collection for a young adult audience, published just in time for spooky season! I think these stories have wide appeal with both teens and adults. Some stories were better than others, as is usually the case with a short story collection such as this. However, I think this title is an enjoyable read, particularly for young adult readers with an interest in the horror genre.
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The Gathering Dark: An Anthology of Folk Horror was hit and miss for me. I usually love reading horror anthologies as I get to read new work by old favorites and I'm introduced to new voices. However, there were very few stories that stood out to me. A good attempt at energizing urban legends and creepy folktales, but ultimately fell flat.
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Thank you to the publisher for providing an ARC via NetGalley for review. 

This collection of short stories was good! Like all collections of this nature, I enjoyed some stories better than others, but overall it had some solid spooky short stories. 
Some of the stories gave me definite chills and others got me with the last line. I liked the different writing styles of the different authors. Each of the stories was well written, and they were quick and easy to read. 
If you’re looking for a quick read with some spooky vibes this fall, check out this anthology!
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