Short story collections were never a huge hit with me. I’ve always picked them up from time to time because I kept hoping I would find just the right collection. However, with most collections, the tales inside were always hit or miss. I’d have a couple of four or five star ratings, but then a majority of one, two, or three star ratings.
Then I got an email from Kevin Kennedy…
After reading a few collections that he put together, my tune changed! I have absolutely loved each collection that I have read so far from Mr. Kennedy. With each collection, I just couldn’t wait to get to his story to see what he had come up with based on the theme. They never disappointed!
While I haven’t read all of his works yet, I’m well on my way! Feel free to check out some of my other reviews below:
- 100 Word Horrors: An Anthology of Horror Drabbles
- 100 Word Horrors Part 2
- Carnival of Horror
- Collected Christmas Horror Shorts 2
- Collected Easter Horror Shorts
- Collected Halloween Horror Shorts: Trick ‘r Treat
- The Gatekeeper
- Screechers by Kevin J. Kennedy and Christina Bergling
- You Only Get One Shot by Kevin J. Kennedy & J.C. Michael
When I recently got an email from Mr Kennedy that read, “Hey Erica, my solo collection will be released soon. It’s about 32K. Do you fancy giving it a read?” I screeched and nearly threw my phone in excitement!
A collection of just his work?! I’m SO in!
Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way.
Let’s dive into my review!
My Thoughts On Dark Thoughts by Kevin J. Kennedy
Right off the bat, I have to say that this collection did not disappoint. Per usual, I absolutely loved the majority of the tales! The writing style of each was perfect; the pacing and the plots were organized wonderfully, and each tale was so different and exciting.
When I finished one tale, I couldn’t wait to dive right into the next! I easily could have read through this book in one sitting, but I forced myself to take breaks so I could enjoy it for a bit longer.
Friendship, dogs, and zombies. Bewilderment and carnies. Crime and love. Disgust and payback. Development and cannibals. Work and monsters. Sex and violence. Evolution and darkness. The last of humanity and Gods. Young adults and curses… This collection truly has something for everyone.
Here are my rating breakdowns for each story in this collection:
Life on a Double Decker- 5/5
What a great story to kick off the collection! I’m a sucker for a good zombie tale to begin with, add in a dog, and I’m in love. The story was set up perfectly and then we dive right in! The three main characters of this story were interesting. While I’m totally satisfied with the short story, I also wouldn’t mind seeing more from this group!
Carnivalland – 4/5
Yes! That ending!!! I love tales that mosey along with a light sense of confusion and dread, and then BAM!
The Way of the Streets – 5/5
A wonderful crime tale! I really liked the main character, Tyrel. If only he had listened to Monique!
I’ll Give Ye Fois Gras, Ya Cunt! – 5/5
Oh my Lordy! Amazingly disgusting. What payback!!
Charlie the Vegetarian Cannibal – 5/5
I LOVED this one! I especially loved the role that books played in the development of the main character! Terrifying but lovely!!
The Gatekeeper – 4/5
I had originally read this one back in January of 2018. I loved the idea behind this one! So creepy! So interesting!
A Tarantino Oz – 3/5
The first half of this one was a horror theme that’s not in my wheelhouse, but the second half was awesomely violent!
Flesh – 5/5
Woah! I loved this one! What is it about inbreeding that makes a tale that much more terrifying? It’s a disgusting topic for sure. I loved the powers the cave seemed to have!
The Karakyuza – 5/5
Woah! This was a quick but powerful one! What an interesting concept.
Lake Mesquite – 5/5
This final story is a tribute to Richard Laymon’s Dark Mountain. I haven’t yet read that, but I definitely need to now! Phew, this story was awesome!! It was the perfect story to round out the collection!
Praise for Dark Thoughts
My Final Thoughts on Dark Thoughts
Dark Thoughts is an awesome collection of fast-paced tales of a wide variety of horrific topics that will keep you at the edge of your seat.
This is definitely a collection that I will be coming back to from time to time to reread! I highly recommend it to all types of horror fans; there’s something in here for everyone!
This was a collection that I was a bit sad to finish, simply because I didn’t want the tales to have ended.
I cannot wait to see what Mr. Kennedy does next!
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Thanks for reading!
What was the last short story collection or horror tale you read? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!