AUTHOR: Andrew Cull
AGE RANGE: Adult
‘Bones’ brings together four chilling ghost stories by award winning writer-director Andrew Cull. Four monsters collected in paperback for the first time.
We buried dad in the winter. It wasn’t until Spring that we heard from him again.
Whether you like your horror creepy, otherworldly, gruesome, or tragic, Andrew Cull’s got you covered in this collection. Bones is a bind-up of four short stories (plus a bonus very short story at the end!), each vastly different but all playing on a universal theme of family and the way any terrifying situation is instantly amped up when those we love become involved. I was so incredibly impressed by each story in this collection that, while I do want to take a moment to discuss them all, I’ll go ahead and spoil this review for you: I gave every story in Bones five glowing stars.
→ Did You Forget About Me?
In this tremendously atmospheric and haunting introduction to the collection, after Cam’s estranged father passes, he returns to his childhood home for closure, and finds something that’s been waiting a long time for his return. This story packed such a punch and was an incredible way to kick off Bones, because honestly, it creeped me out horribly and left me positively mortified (in the best way).
→ Hope & Walker
Em’s father runs a funeral parlor, so when Em gets bored, she likes to sit up with the dead and draw them while they speak to her. She never expected her odd little hobby to drag her into the middle of a terrible crime, but now that she’s in it, she’s got to find answers. This story had a nice little element of mystery to it, though mostly, I loved the overall melancholy vibes that came from this poor little girl’s “gift” of hearing the dead speak.
→ The Trade
One summer, a family is trying to stay afloat in the midst of a dismantling marriage, when something begins leaving offerings of dead creatures at their door. This story, like the second one, is told through a child’s perspective, which adds so much to the creep factor. I kept imagining myself in this poor kid’s shoes and thinking about how utterly petrified I would’ve been — and that ending? Tragic, but just right.
→ Knock and You Will See Me
After Ellie’s father passes away, she and one of her sons begin finding disturbing notes from him, begging Ellie to help him from the other side. This fourth story was the longest, but for good reason. It’s very well fleshed-out, and I was sitting in complete and utter suspense throughout the entire thing as I hurried along to learn what on earth had happened to this poor woman’s father after his passing. By the end, I realized that the real terror in the story was a little more subtle, and that notion has found its way under my skin and is nagging at me, still. What really happens when we die…?
→ The Rambling Man
While this last bonus piece doesn’t count as a main “story”, I enjoyed it so much that I had to mention it. A village must send out randomly selected girls as offerings to a beast in the woods twice a year, else their crops will die. It’s so short that there’s nothing else I can say without spoiling the whole thing, but let me just say that I would absolutely adore a full novella on this story and hope that Andrew Cull will pursue the plot more later on!
All in all, Bones was a fantastic collection of stories that I enjoyed so much. I’m so pleased to have had the chance to read and review a copy of these stories, and I can’t wait to see what Andrew Cull writes next!
Thank you so much to the author for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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