Tuesday, March 13, 2018

[Book Review] Tales of the Lost by Richard Howard

Book Review of Tales of the Lost by Richard Howard

The synopsis of Tales of the Lost by Richard Howard states: This collection will not disappoint.

After picking up this book and being totally captivated by the tales inside, I can confirm that statement. This collection of tales is absolutely incredible.

Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way. 

Let's dive in!

Tales of the Lost by Richard Howard

Tales of the Lost is a book of short stories for adults, ranging from realms of fantasy to modern-day settings. Richard Howard’s stories are born out of a lifelong love of ghost stories and ‘curious tales’, which he read as a child. Some are ghost stories, others are simply scary, and most have a twist in the tail. In each story, there is a character who, one way or another, feels lost. 

One story, Flora’s Return, takes its main character from Henry James’ novella The Turn of the Screw, which was filmed in 1960 as The Innocents. Richard takes this story, which he believes is one of the finest ghost stories ever written, and continues it with an exciting new twist. 

Richard’s stories are based on his experiences of growing up in a house with its own ghosts during his childhood. Ghosts created by the author M.R.James, the many aspects of horror and disquiet by William Hope Hodgson, the dark humour of Saki and the relationship between man and the forces of nature in Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood have all inspired the author to contribute to the short story genre. 

From science fiction to fairy tales, stories have been written that allow us to enjoy feeling scared in a safe environment. This collection will not disappoint.

My thoughts: 
When I go into a collection of stories, I'm always a bit hesitant. I usually rate each story individually, and those ratings are usually all over the place. And as you all know, I am very stingy with my five star ratings. But with this collection...

I was blown away by this collection of tales. I loved that each story was about being lost in one form or another, and yet each story was so unique! Each tale was so wonderfully written. The pacing and plot of each were so well done and the characters were perfectly developed for their tale. I really loved that a few of the stories came full circle, which I am a total sucker for. Many of the stories also had twists that totally threw me for a loop or made me gasp. More than once, when I finished a story that had a twist, I had to set the book down to really digest the story.

In many of the tales, the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. I just love when authors drop in a sentence like this: He looked over the brief introduction he’d just written for a talk he was due to deliver in London two weeks later ~ a talk he would never give.

Below are my reviews and quick notes for each story. There are verrrrrrry slight spoilers, so feel free to skip through to the end.

Blood Moon
I LOVED this story! It was a bit suspenseful and unnerving as I anxiously waited to see what happened. When the story came to it’s conclusion, I stopped and closed the book. I wanted to stand up and clap. I adore stories that are organized this way. The paranormal twist was also fun!

The House Of Dreams
What an interesting idea! I loved the premise of this one and that the story took a turn that I totally wasn’t expecting!

Stories set in harsh environments always make me so nervous! This one was so thrilling! Loved that there was a use of repetition that really put an awesome twist into the story!

The Kiss
This is definitely one of the best vampire short stories I have read. I loved the plot and the pacing! It had just enough development to keep things interesting. And the ending!!

I love stories where wishes are granted. Especially when the result is rather spooky!

The Life And Purpose Of Mr Henry Dod
Trigger warning here: suicide. I almost skipped this one because of the topic… but I’m glad I didn’t. The end put a very interesting twist on things. While I was reading, the story really got my blood boiling, but the end was worth it.

WOW! This one was so intense. A bit repetitive, but it made sense with the situation. I loved the ending!

Such a bittersweet tale! The beginning of the story wasn’t for me, but the second half was great!

Trigger warning again here: suicide. So dark!

It’s Only A Myth
I loved this one; it was equal parts intriguing and terrifying! I loved the references to myths throughout. And what a great set up for the ending!

Flora’s Return
This story was so suspenseful!! I loved the old fashioned horror vibe, and what awesome characters, both good and bad! And such a spooky plot!

Fight or Flight
Wow! This one totally hooked me. How terrifying and heartbreaking.

The Encounter 
Oh! This one was equally terrifying and heartbreaking.

A few of my favorite passages:
In that instant, it mattered to me not which flight I took, so long as I could gain distance from whatever it was I now convinced myself was in pursuit of me.

She always began making her cup of tea at three o'clock. It was the habit of a lifetime and today would be no different.

Maybe even the dead need closure. The living certainly seem to. And maybe if one sees one's body left to rot in a field, there's a torment in that.

My final thoughts:
If you read through my ratings above, I'm sure you can already guess what my final rating will be :) This collection was absolutely incredible. I loved the majority of the stories so very much. There was only one story that was so-so for me simply because of the topic.

The stories in this collection are stories that will certainly be sticking with me for a long time. I will definitely be re-reading soon!

If you enjoy short stories of a wonderful variety that will keep you on the edge of your seat, you need to pick up this book!

Snag the paperback or Kindle copy today! Click here to learn more about Richard Howard and his novels.

Thanks for reading!
What is your favorite collection of short stories?


  1. Glad you enjoyed this one so much! I'm not usually one for short story collections, but these do sound interesting and a bit creepy!

    1. They certainly were! This was right up my alley!

  2. It's been awhile since I've read a book of short stories. The last one I can remember is Tenth of December by George Saunders, though I'm sure there have been others...

    That's wonderful you loved almost all of these stories. That can be rare!


  3. I can never decide whether to review books like this as a whole or in parts. I love how you itemized each individual story and then gave your thoughts on them separately. It seems like you really enjoyed them for the most part, even though some seem to have darker aspects to them.

    Do You Dog-ear?

    1. Thank you! :) Yeah, these tales were right up my alley!! The author is very talented. I can't wait to read more of his work!

  4. I can see myself hopping right over to Amazon to grab this one. Great review!

    1. Thank you!! I definitely recommend it! I can't wait to see what you think when you read it! :-D