Shadowed Perspectives: A Collection of Curious Tales
by JD Adamsson
“She is no more than a smudge in the ancient, glacial ice.”
This was a globe-trot of men and women struggling to live their lives but getting caught up in something supernatural. Each story was new and distinct. I’m conflicted about short stories. I think horror is best done in a short format. But. Most short story collections feel like a serial sprint to the twist. With this one, though, I was immersed in the characters. These are short and I don’t want to give too much away, but this is a solid short horror collection. Just read it.
Why I Chose This One
JD Adamsson is the real deal. This is solid writing and beautiful storytelling. I believe the dialogue. I get lost in the narrative. I find myself, at times, genuinely amazed at JD’s ability to inhabit a unique voice in a new location with each story.
What I Liked
- Bone House. This was an old-fashioned ghost story. The feeling of isolation and horror crept up on me. Like Wide Sargasso Sea. Only with a dude. In the English countryside.
- Shanghai Baby. Bone House was good. But when I got into Shanghai Baby, I realized what JD was doing. This took me from the pastoral gothic of Bone House to urban commuter trains in Shanghai. Xiang gave me this visceral feeling of estrangement. Like an empathetic Don Draper. He’s a stranger in own home and he only finds that connection at work.
- Ice. This one took me to an archaeological expedition above the Arctic Circle. This is Lovecraft done right. I’ve read a lot of bad Lovecraft. Including from the man himself. This beat is correct.
- For the Love of Steffie. Wow. This one handled homeless adults with developmental disabilities in a compassionate manner. I was so wrapped up in their story and the tension of a new neighbor, I forgot a supernatural twist was coming.
- Wild Hunt. A story about two brothers. One of them is gay, but it’s just as much about the conflict and tension of having a sibling as it is about having a gay sibling. This ended in a standard movie trope, but I was so engrossed in the characters, the end was devastating when it came.
- Night Garden. Almost a novella. This is another standard ghost story, but it had a distinct Gothic flavor to it. I felt Shirley’s alienation and suspicion as she wandered the hospital halls.
What I Didn’t
- Like all collections, these stories exist on a spectrum. Mostly subjective. Some didn’t thrill me as much as others. I’m not going to rip them here. What am I, a scumbag? Honestly, all of these stories were good. I don’t have a reason for you not to buy this book.
- The hillbillies down South don’t take bites of bologna sausage. They eat it sliced on white bread with mayo. Maybe mustard if they’re total rubes. Ask Loretta Lynn.
Read This If You Like
- A full range of horror from ghost story to cosmic horror to slasher
- Good storytelling
- Travel writing
- Well-rounded characters
- Twilight Zone or Black Mirror
Read Indie, scumbags!