Carnival of Horror is another amazing short story collection put together by Kevin J Kennedy. This collection has a little something for all horror lovers!
Mr Kennedy had sent this over to me ages ago, but I had quite the backlog of honest review requests that sat between where I was in the queue and where this book’s entry sat. So needless to say, I was so pumped when this one was finally up next!
This was the second book I read for the Spring Into Horror Readathon. If you’re taking part in the challenge and need a wonderful short story collection, I highly recommend this one!
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.
My Thoughts on Carnival of Horror edited by Kevin J. Kennedy
This was such a great collection! I both love and am terrified by carnivals! Clowns aren’t my favorite, never have been. Though I wouldn’t say I was afraid of them, exactly… it’s more like I just want to avoid them. But the clowns in this collection are the terrifying type for sure!
This collection also taught me the term “candy floss.” I’d only ever heard the term “cotton candy,” so I found that so interesting!
I also loved that many of these tales featured characters walking to the carnival! I grew up on an island off the coast of Maine, so to get to a carnival for us was a whole production and usually had at least a half an hour drive. I can only imagine how fun it would have been to be able to walk to one!
Of course, with any type of collection, it’s normal for me to love some and dislike some. In this specific collection, there was only one story that I didn’t care for simply based on the content matter which strayed into the type of horror I dislike.
Feel free to read on to see my quick thoughts after I read each story.
Heads up: there are very slight spoilers.
Wobbly Bob by David J. Fielding – 4/5
Woah! The mermaid caught me totally off guard but how neat! Then it just got better!
Mister Weasels and the Cosmic Carnival by H.R. Boldwood- 3/5
Woah! Space clowns? Eek!
Abandonland by Jason M. Light- 5/5
What?! Ah! This one was perfect! I’d love to read a longer tale with this plot! A great short story but as a novella it could also pack a punch!
The Frog Prince by Joe X. Young- 5/5
Yes!! Brutal revenge! I would happily read more about this tale! I need to know more about Trudy!!
Zoltara by Christina Bergling- 5/5
I loved this modern carnival! What a clever idea! And phew, what a dark tale!
In a Hand or Face by Gary A. Braunbeck- 4/5
Heartbreaking and terrifying!
Blood Show at the Carnival by Guy N. Smith- 4/5
Phew!! Quite violent and creepy!
For One Night Only by Lex H Jones- 5/5
Yes! I love a good ominous tale like this! So unsettling!
The Last Freakshow on Earth by a David Owain Hughes- 4/5
What a clever idea! I loved the 80s pop culture references! And what an ending!
Lifeblood by Mark Fleming
Unfortunately not one for me.
House of Illusion by Andrew Lennon- 5/5
Terrifying! Oh my gosh. I so wanted this one to have a happy ending.
Sweetheart by Selene MacLeod- 4/5
Woah! Intensely dark.
Vampiro by Kevin J. Kennedy- 5/5
Yes! A solid vampire tale! I loved the main character in this tale. And what an interesting plan.
What a Price to Pay for a Fucking Teddy Bear by J.C. Michael- 5/5
What a title for this one! I loved the comments here and there that built the suspense in this tale. And phew, what a tale!
The Voodoo Man by Steven Stacy- 5/5
Woah! Dark but this one packs a punch with a strong lesson.
Frimby’s Big Day by John Dover- 5/5
So intense and gory!! Wonderfully done. And that ending!!
The Pinch by Ike Hamill- 5/5
Ooh! Loved this one!
The Scare Machine by Megan Franzen- 5/5
Phew! What a story to end the collection! Terrifying!
My Final Thoughts on Carnival of Horror
Phew! What a collection! This really had a short for all types of horror lovers; from the eerie or sad tales to the downright brutal and gory. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
Thanks for reading!
Thinking about snagging a copy? Snag a copy through your local bookstore or feel free to use my Amazon affiliate link:
To check out my reviews for other works by Kevin J. Kennedy, feel free to click the links below:
- 100 Word Horrors: An Anthology of Horror Drabbles
- 100 Word Horrors Part 2
- Collected Christmas Horror Shorts 2
- Collected Easter Horror Shorts
- Collected Halloween Horror Shorts: Trick ‘r Treat
- Dark Thoughts
- The Gatekeeper
- Screechers by Kevin J. Kennedy and Christina Bergling
- You Only Get One Shot by Kevin J. Kennedy & J.C. Michael