Cruel Works of Nature by Gemma Amor is a haunting collection of 11 illustrated horror novellas. While absolutely terrifying, each of these tales were connected by the element of grief.
This is a must read for horror novella fans!
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Cruel Works of Nature by Gemma Amor
I absolutely loved this entire collection. Each story was so different from the next, but they all had dark and heart-wrenching elements. There were also many scenes that were heartfelt and even humorous! I loved that I never knew what to expect, not only from story to story, but also within the plots of each individual novella.
Per usual, here are my notes on each tale:
Foliage – 5 Stars
When a man struggling through the grief of losing his wife decides to take a job at the famous manor in his town, he is excited to do manual labor to keep his mind off things. The house and property is in rough shape. He’s expecting a challenge, but he has no idea what the job has in store for him…
When a flower pod was opened and our main character finds a ring inside, I was nervous to see where this was going. It was darker than I could have imagined. Phew! This had a bit of a Color Out Of Space vibe to it that was super eerie. It also had a lot of heartbreaking moments as the characters coped with their grief.
Jack In The Box – Four Stars
When a man bring his wife an odd gift he got from a yard sale, the wife flies off the handle. We soon learn that this couple is still muddling through their grief… but now something else has the husbands attention.
Phew this couple was difficult to read about. I can’t imagine what they were going through, but the relationship had clearly turned toxic.
Black Sand – Four Stars
When a woman who just wants some solitude takes a vacation, her peace is interrupted when she comes across a body on the beach during her morning jog. But that’s not the only body she will see on this trip… and some will be fresher than others.
My goodness this one was eerie! I felt so bad that this poor woman couldn’t find her peace for very long.
Back Alley Sue – Four Stars
A homeless man begs for spare change. One day, a woman appears and everything changes.
This one was equally eerie and heartbreaking! I loved learning more about this man, but also not being able to tell what was accurate.
Girl On Fire – Five Stars
I love this tale! It’s a heartbreaking story about a young woman that just wants a better life. Check out my full review for the novella here.
Scuttlebug – Five Stars
When the end of the world comes, it’s not with a bang or zombies. It’s giant spiders. Man, the number of times I said “Nope!” out loud while reading this one was out of control. I am petrified of spiders so this one really got me. Nooooo thank you.
The Path Through Lower Fell – Four Stars
While on a walk one day, a woman gets news that changes things forever. But that news isn’t top of mind for long… there’s something off about the field they’re in.
This one was so unsettling!
His Life’s Work – Four Stars
When a doctor pays a visit to a rather strange home, he expects to treat a patient with early Alzheimer’s. But this man isn’t what the doc was expecting…
This one had some brutal body horror. One scene specifically made me queasy. Phew! And that ending!!
Special Delivery – Four Stars
When a package is brought to this man’s home, the delivery gal helps him bring it inside. After a little small talk, they decide to take a peek at what’s in the box…
This one was so unsettling! I had a bad gut feeling the second we learned the box had to be delivered to the recipient and out right in his hands. This was so intense!
It Sees You When You’re Sleeping – Five Stars
My goodness I love holiday horror, and this one sure served up a brutal dish!
This illustration for this one is also my favorite! It’s so foreboding.
Sketchbook – Five Stars
This final tale is about a woman who is on her deathbed, but she’s remembering things about her sons past. We learn about the sketchbook he acquired, and now he must draw one more thing for his mom.
This one was heartbreaking and terrifying! What an incredible tale!
My Favorite Passages from Cruel Works of Nature
The sound the gates made as they opened was indescribable, like the whole place was in pain, and shouting at me.
I was going to turn this motherfucker into grass clippings.
A promise passed between us. The contract, signed in love. A promise to protect you, no matter what the cost, no matter what the risk.
My Final Thoughts on Cruel Works of Nature
Each tale in this collection was a 4 or 5 star read for me. I had so much fun reading! I loved not knowing what would happen next within each tale. Many of these threw me for a massive loop with the twists and turns they took, so I was certainly always on the edge of my seat!
This is a collection that you won’t want to miss! Horror fans, go pick this one up today!
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Thanks for reading!
And make sure to check out #RicksReadAlong on social media to see what others thought of this collection! Click here to visit the review post on Horror Oasis!