From the mysterious to the deeply unsettling, A Sliver of Darkness by C.J. Tudor is a collection of stories that plays with various fears as it takes readers on a chilling ride…
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on A Sliver of Darkness by C.J. Tudor
I love this authors’ full-length novels so much already, so when I heard about this short story collection, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! I’m obsessed with this. Each story was a home run for me!
Adding to this collection, the author also has introductions for each tale, giving readers insight into where the stories came from. I absolutely loved this! It was so much fun to see the inspiration.
Without further delay, lets get into the stories!
End of the Liner –
After an event that left the land inhabitable, survivors aboard a ship have created a way of life that is sustainable. However, there are loads of rules, and The Creators are always watching and listening. When a murder occurs, our main character begins to question everything including her sanity.
This one was super claustrophobia inducing. The thought of living on a ship for decades? No thank you! And that wasn’t even close to the most terrifying element.
The Block –
When a group of bored teens decide to break into an abandoned apartment building, they very quickly learn that they’re not alone in the space.
This one was super creepy! I once photographed a house that had been abandoned, the residents leaving most of their things behind. It was very unsettling and this tale brought that all back.
Runaway Blues –
When a young man on stage is heckled by the crowd, a couple stands up for him by simply telling the hecklers to let him play. Turns out, this young man has quite the voice! But he also has some issues that he’s hiding…
I loved how this one was mainly light with a few dips into a bit of unsettling paranoia. But then the terror comes in strong!
The Completion –
Determined to complete a sale, this real estate agent is cocky and thinks he has this in the bag. But little does he know, the seller is looking to seal the deal on something else.
My gosh, this is a character that is easy to hate. As the story goes on, I just hated him more and more!
The Lion at the Gate –
Looking for a shortcut to get to school on time, these boys enter an area they were warned to stay out of. When they spot a mural of a lion, they’re immediately intrigued. Drawn to the space, one of the boy returns and finds that the lion has changed…
This one was so unsettling! I love seeing street art, some of which has haunted me. But this is chilling on a whole new level!
Gloria, who appeared in The Hiding Place, is working a cleanup job in this tale. But at a rest stop, she crossed paths with a girl. This interaction changes her path.
My goodness. The darkness in this one, while brief, was a gut punch. And that ending! I can’t wait to see more with Gloria!
I’m Not Ted –
In a situation where people keep calling him Ted, this man keeps telling them they’re wrong. Walking through, he sees what this mysterious Ted’s life is like and gets a bit jealous. But will he hold his convictions?
This one is so trippy to think about! It really pushes keeping honest.
Final Course –
Fleeing the city to try to find safety, this father daughter duo aren’t sure what to expect. Things become tense when the people in the house the duo fled to find out that the daughter is blind. There’s rumor that the blind can connect with these creatures. But is it true?
This story is dark in many aspects! What a terrifying premise with a fun twist!
The Copy Shop –
When a vase is broken, this woman is told about an amazing copy shop. Hooked on the brilliant work, she has a few more copies she wants to make.
This story is spooky in the best of unsettling ways!
Determined to forget, this woman is trying to relax and enjoy herself. But little does she know, she won’t be able to leave until she remembers.
What is it about creepy hotels?! This one really took that premise and dialed up the terror! The more readers find out, the darker it gets!
Butterfly Island –
Fleeing the populated spaces to find reprieve on an old nature preserve, this group of people thought it would be an easy place to call home. But in approaching the island, they find mines in the water. But who would protect an abandoned island? This crew is about to find out what’s really going on…
I first experience this tale in After Sundown edited by Mark Morris, and let me tell you, it was even more frightening the second time around knowing that something was wrong, but not remembering what.
My Favorite Passages from A Sliver of Darkness
The Creators usually tried to keep such things contained, but they also knew that the ship had a grapevine (of which Mirabelle was the juiciest grape).
Often, Gloria felt as if she had returned from somewhere, but not all the way.
That was the problem with scared people. Ultimately, they became more dangerous than the thing they were afraid of.
History had an unfortunate habit of repeating itself, over and over again. Human beings didn’t learn, or rather, they conveniently forgot. The massacre of the Jews in Nazi Germany, the wall between Mexico and the US, the hostility toward refugees in the UK. It didn’t take much for society to fold in and start devouring itself. Usually at the expense of the most vulnerable.
My Final Thoughts on A Sliver of Darkness
C.J. Tudor is just so darn talented. She has been one of my auto-buy authors since her debut, The Chalk Man. Having just closed the book here, I already cannot wait for her to do another short story collection!
A Sliver of Darkness is filled with tales that each pack a very different punch! Needless to say, these stories are going to stick in my head for quite some time.
Snag a copy through Bookshop.org to help support local indie bookshops:
The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor
The Hiding Place, also known as The Taking of Emily Throne, is a thriller that centers around guilt and grief, and is filled with intense situations that will keep you totally immersed in the story.
If you enjoy character-driven thrillers with a wonderful suspense build up, sprinkled with moments of intensity before things get really crazy, then I highly recommend this one to you!