Burrows of Blood and Shadow
by Rebekah L Webb
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Pub Date 28 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 29 Dec 2023
Rebekah Webb, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles
The dreamers dream all the time, free to go anywhere, to be anything, to see worlds outside themselves, inside themselves and beyond themselves. The Dream Surfer has no past or memory and can only experience life through the dreams and memories of others. He is stuck in a world of doors and windows leading to quiet lives, where pain and tragedy flow like the inevitable path of gentle streams. There is one spot he refuses to go, a dank corner where burrows dive down to dark and brutal depths.
He yearns to break free of his cage and create an existence of his own. But nothing he's done so far has brought him closer to freedom. Maybe the key to escape lies where he has so far feared to tread. The Dream Surfer takes the plunge into the depths of the burrows, where he will travel the turbulent current of pain and cruelty intersecting through various narratives. Will this give him the freedom he craves? Or is it just a way to add more chains?
Thirty-seven tales weave together to shape multiple plots, some which dig into literal flesh, while others rip at the flesh of the mind. Neither guilty or innocent, young or old, are safe in this twisting path of mental and physical horrors.
A Note From the Publisher
Illustrator: Neverland Art
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 16 members
Rebekah L Webb has a great writing style for the horror genre. I enjoyed each story and thought they were all so well done. It had what I was hoping for in this type of book and the characters were really well done. Playing with Dolls was my favorite in the collection but the rest was really well done. It left me wanting to read more from the author and glad I got to read this.
4 stars book for me!
It's a book composed of short horror stories that I think are great. The author's descriptions are just enough to know what is happening without veering into obscene detail, and there's a variety of types of supernatural horror in this little book - which I appreciate, sticking throughout one specific horror theme could get old but here we rarely know what we will get next.
There are also humorous short stories that did give me some mood whiplash at times but also stops the book from being too gloomy. A bit of funny to contrast the horror (don't misunderstand however. The implications of these are no less horror themed than the rest.)
Now the Dream Surfer, the being that the reader is following in the journey, is trying to discover more about themselves by going through these memory burrows (and this is quite literal. Each burrow is 'decorated' in a way as to hint to the story which is a nice detail), looking through the horrors humans go through - or are the cause of. They are the connecting thread from the beginning through all these stories.
I think there was a bit of a miss with their specific part. As readers we know their thoughts of each burrow but I think something more was necessary before the ending.
All in all, a solid horror book.
Ebook was obtained from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.
Burrows of Blood and Shadow centers around the Dream Surfer entering burrows of people's nightmares while trying to piece his past together. I love how it might look like a normal horror anthology at first, but the more nightmare hellscapes you visit with the Dream Surfer, the more you realise how interconnected they are. I think this is a very creative effort, what with the plot and the ideas of pain themselves, and I think it's well translated in this book.
The writing is well done, the environment of each burrow is very descriptive. There's also stories that were darkly funny, which is a nice break from all the cruelty, and I think the humor isn't overdone. My favourite nightmares were Dreams Do Come True, Raising Gina, Hidden, Sunshine, The Perfect Wife, A Cold Day in Hell, and Demon Justice.
I could've wished for some parts to be a little more detailed, especially near the 'climaxes' of the stories, because they went by so quickly that I barely even registered what happened. But otherwise I enjoyed reading this and I look forward to more people hearing about Burrows of Blood and Shadow :))
* ARC provided by NetGalley and Rebekah L. Webb in exchange for an honest review *