Grotesque: Monster Stories by Lee Murray is a collection of tales that features monsters of all sorts. From the monstrous legends to the real world, you’ll never know what to expect next.
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 in!
My Thoughts on Grotesque: Monster Stories by Lee Murray
I had previously read some of Lee’s work and absolutely loved it, so I knew this was going to be a treat!
The tales from Lee that I had read before included:
- The Martha Hotel: Suite 101 from Professor Charlatan Bardot’s Travel Anthology to the Most (Fictional) Haunted Buildings in the Weird, Wild World edited by by Eric J. Guignard
- Dreamtime from The Best of Indie Horror presented by Kevin J. Kennedy
- Maiden Flight from 100 Word Horrors Part 2 presented by KJK Publishing
I dove into this collection pretty dark, but you all know how much I love short stories so I couldn’t wait to see what this one would hold!
Per usual, here are my notes on each tale within this collection:
Foreword by USA Today bestselling author David Wood
What a wonderful foreword! This entry is written in a way that will certainly peak readers interests while making them antsy to get to each story that was mentioned!
Grotesque – Five Stars
When a crew that is working on clearing out an area finds a door to a space that hadn’t been explored yet, they look to get the green light to enter. We then jump back in time to learn what this space is. This crew has no idea what they are getting themselves into by breaching this blockade.
This one is action packed! Right from the start there’s a level of intensity and terror that only builds as the story unfolds.
Hawaiki – Four Stars
Faced with a choice between fleeing and fighting, this community decides the safest bet is to flee. But first, a small group of fisherman must go on a rescue mission.
Oh my gosh this one had my heart pumping! I always get nervous when people have to go into old tunnels, and the surprises inside these certainly didn’t disappoint.
Selfie – Five Stars
When something happens in the blink of an eye, everything has changed. This tale had such a terrifying premise! With a bit of Color Out of Space vibes, this one will haunt your dreams for sure.
The New Breed – Five Stars
A man on the run does what he needs to in order to survive. But can he keep outrunning this zombie horde?
I love zombie stories so much! I loved that this one showed us so much in just a short time. It really packs a punch and makes readers question who is really the monster here.
Cave Fever – Four Stars
One sibling is tasked with a new job while another sibling is putting together a group to go to the surface. When curiosity gets the best of them both, they learn that they are at risk and go on the run.
Phew the thought of being stuck in caves is terrifying to me. Toward the end, I found myself holding my breath, waiting to see what would happen next!
Dead End Town
CONTENT WARNING: Rape.
Woof, this is one of those stories that make you feel absolutely horrible. Brilliantly dark and terrible, but make sure to tread lightly here.
Edward’s Journal – Four Stars
When a young woman receives a package, she finds that it is the journal of a young man that went away to battle. Documenting his travels and the terrors he faces, the entries get darker and darker…
This one was so suspenseful. I kept wishing for the best.
Maui’s Hook – Three Stars
When a creature rises up from the water, it begins to terrorize a town. When one resident learns something from her grandfather, she knows she has to try to help.
This creature was terrifying! The description of it was so scary and then to add what it did on top of that?!
Heart Music – Four Stars
A beautiful little tale of death and love, but also something a bit dark…
Lifeblood – Three Stars
This tale centered around survival and friendship. Doing anything to just get by, one of these two decides to take a risk. Will the risk pay off or haunt him?
This one was so devastating.
Into the Clouded Sky – A Taine McKenna Adventure – Three Stars
After a sudden event on a lake leaves four people stuck underground, their only option is to travel down an old lava tube. But what will they find in those tunnels?
This tale will certainly make your claustrophobia kick in!
My Favorite Passages from Grotesque: Monster Stories
These zombies were vaguely sentient, retaining some of their former capacity for reasoning, and that made them especially dangerous.
Before he stitched me up, he wedged a music box under my ruined ribs so I would have songs in my heart forever.
The warrior was no slug. In fact, for a dead man, he was nimble and swift, his bare feet eating up the darkness.
My Final Thoughts on Grotesque: Monster Stories
This is a dark and powerful collection with a great variety. Some of these tales really got under my skin and one even made me feel physically ill.
If you’re a horror fan, don’t wait, go pick up this collection today!
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Thanks for reading!