Kill For Them by Aiden Merchant is an intense collection of tales of varying length that will make your skin crawl as the terrors settle 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. I also purchased a copy.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Kill For Them by Aiden Merchant
First things first, I have to point out how neat it is that the author included a note at the beginning to let the reader know that there is a section at the back of the book that highlights all the potential trigger warnings! I would love to see more of this from other authors.
These stories were all super captivating! I really enjoyed that their length varied and that I never knew what would happen next! I personally found each story to be horrific in their own ways.
I also love that each tale has an authors note at the end to explain little tid-bits like if the story is related to another tale, what the writing process was like, or what sparked the story idea.
Per usual, here are my quick notes on each tale-
Complete Sacrifice – Four Stars
Oh my gosh, what a terrifying short to kick this collection off! This poor man is forced to do the unthinkable in order to save his children from the Corner Master. And man, would I love to know more about the Corner Master!
Degenerate – Four Stars
Phew, what an intense tale. I love that this one makes you question what was real and what was in this man’s head. The scene on the train really spooked me.
Misplaced – Four Stars
Yikes! In this short, we jump into a scene where the main character is running for her life. She’s in a world where everything had stopped, people disappeared, machines stopped working, and the beast is on the hunt. This one certainly had my heart pumping while reading!
Killing Two Birds With One Stone – Four Stars
When this story began, we mainly centered around a drugged up guy who was sent on an assignment to end the competition that had dropped by and announced his presence in their town. Soon, a character named Gina beings to pop in and out. I LOVE Gina! I can’t wait to see more of her!
Broken Bottles – Five Stars
What a slow but interesting burn this one was! Phew, that ending! What a guy Horace is.
Squirming Disease – Five Stars
I had read this one before as a stand-alone. It’s brutal and it will certainly make your skin crawl!! Check out my full review here.
Nightmare – Five Stars
Short and absolutely horrifying to think about!
The Other Side – Five Stars
When a man finds a creek in the woods, he’s suddenly inspired and has to write after the visit! But that creek seems to draw him back. Soon, he’s heading there daily, but at what cost? This was so eerie! I loved the image of the creek that Aiden sets in readers minds!
Prisoner – Five Stars
I this story, a man is on a mission to arrest a woman with powers. When the taken down doesn’t exactly go as planned, it leaves our main character questions what’s going on. I loved this one! This is one of those tales that’s just perfect as is, but I could also see it as a series of shorts or a longer novel.
Reputation – Four Stars
Yikes!! I’d like to think if I had a break in I’d just call for help, but it seems like this guy may have been better off running.
The Man Inside My Head – Four Stars
In this story we see a client talking to his psychiatrist. We soon learn that the client sees a man named Richard. While the psych thinks Richard is dangerous, the client has other thoughts and actually likes when Richard helps him. But what exactly is going on here, and where does the danger lie? This story was heartbreaking and terrifying all wrapped into one!
Chased – Five Stars
I LOVE this drabble! The thought of being chased is creepy enough! With just 100 words to work with, this one definitely got the terror across to the reader.
Pray – Five Stars
When two girls get in a wreck on their way to visit their parents, one girl leaves the vehicle but doesn’t come back. They both soon learn that that they need to fear more than just the dark and the cold in the woods. This story is terrifying and brutal!! I would love to see more stories related to this one.
Twitch – Five Stars
This story centers around a man that has been locked in a bright room to be monitored and tested. Over time, he learns why he was locked up. But by then, he’s got another idea. I loved that this is in the same world as Prisoner! The call for reading material from Michael Crichton made me giggle. I love seeing my favorite authors mentioned in stories!
Crimson Road: Faces – Four Stars
When a young man begins a road trip to see the US and try to get inspired to find his own calling, he meets up with a strange girl that wants to tag along. It seems to good to be true at first, and he’s about to learn that his passenger is hiding many secrets. Phew this one spooked me. I never had any idea what was going to happen next, but I dreaded what we were about to find out.
The Sinking – A Screenplay – Five Stars
Phew, I don’t know why these two were fighting, but I’m already siding with Carol. Walter sure seems to be a horrible person. I loved the path this took! Man, the first scene at the wharf was wicked creepy!! I loved the camera work, especially in the scene talking about how Carole is in his head. And that ending!!
My Final Thoughts on Kill For Them
Like a dummy, I read this out of order. I should have read Dead As Soon As Born first, but here we are. I loved each of these tales and I really enjoyed learning how many of these tales are related to one another and how they tie into stories from the other short story collection. I cannot wait to dive into that one next!
If you enjoy horror shorts, you gotta give this one a read!
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Check out my other reviews of Aiden Merchant’s work below.