The Horror Honeys: Hardcover Honey's Book of the Week!

Hardcover Honey's Book of the Week!

A Hardcover Honey Preview Review

No Reflection - John Caliburn

First-time author John Caliburn has an e-book of short spooky stories out this week on Amazon, free for Kindles, and if you've got an hour or two, "No Reflection" might just pique your interest.  The writing is a little rough (for example, the clunky phrase "on his more braver days" made me shudder as a grammar snob, not as a horror fan) but Caliburn definitely displays some raw talent and several of the stories were reminiscent of some other favorites of mine.

In the title story "No Reflection", a museum employee encounters a strange mirror said to forecast one's future - this particular story made me feel like I was back in high school watching the short lived "Freddy's Nightmares" TV series - ah Netflix, not streaming THAT one yet, huh?

In "A Child's Imagination", a young boy deals with the joy of an imaginary world and the pain of the real one as he struggles to reconcile the two - this story was evocative of the classic Ray Bradbury tale "The Veldt", which is one that's stayed with me for many years.

In "Delusional", a patient fights to make his condescending psychiatrist understand the very real (or is it?) danger that lies in store.  "Rustling Sheets" was a visceral reminder of what it felt like to be a little kid, sure you're hearing something in your room, too scared to move, too scared to check.  It also brought back my irrational fear of bunk beds!  "The Magician's Assistant" could have used some judicious editing, but had some great imagery and captured some of the unreasonable panic that can set in when we fear a loved one is being unfaithful.  "Fear of the Shadows" details another scared young boy trying to decide which is the lesser of two evils - his stepfather or the dark he so dreads.  In "Watery Grave", a scheming man inherits an ill-gotten fortune from his wealthy aunt and moves into her gothic mansion during a rainy season, only to find himself haunted in a very curious way.  This one was especially intriguing to me - very cinematic and memorable.  Caliburn closes out his short book with a poem entitled "Closet" and for those of us who always assumed there was a monster in our closets, there isn't any solace to be had here.

Hardcover Honey says - 3 Evil Bookworms out of 5 - This young writer shows a lot of promise and I will be looking forward to seeing what Caliburn comes up with in the future.