SLASH-HER: A Women of Horror Anthology edited by Janine Pipe and Jill Girardi is a collection of hard-hitting tales by an amazing group of horror writers! Buckle up before diving into this one as these women have brought darkness and brutality to the table in full bloody force.
Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book from the one and only, Mother Horror, thanks to her wonderful newsletter that allows readers to snag a copy. This did not affect my rating in any way.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on SLASH-HER: A Women of Horror Anthology edited by Janine Pipe and Jill Girardi
HOW AMAZING IS THAT COVER?! It was creating by the super talented Gemma Amor. Check out the preview (not the fully completed version!) from HorrorDNA.com to the right. The red nails are such a great touch!
As I was provided an early copy, I definitely need to get my hands on the final version when it comes out! One story was unfortunately not fully loaded in to the version I had, so I couldn’t read more than just the first page. I can’t wait to dive back in to read that one!
As for the heavy topics I mentioned before, the final edition of this book will have a list of content warnings for each story at the back of the book. I would definitely recommend checking those out before diving head-first into the tales if you have any sensitivities. I personally had one story that was triggering to me for two different reasons that left me in a bit of a dark place afterward.
That being said, I had a blast reading this collection! The range of stories here was incredible, and I loved that the central theme that tied them all together was the bloody and horrific slasher tropes. For some of the tales, they started out so sweet that when things went sideways, they still caught me off guard even though I know what I had signed up for going in. What fun!
My favorite tales from this collection include:
- YOU’RE DYING UP THERE – Somer Canon
- HOW TO POSE THE DEAD – Holly Rae Garcia
- TUPPERWARE PARTY – Villemey Mist
- THE BUTCHER ON BLUE JAY WAY – Haley Newlin
- A HELPING HAND FROM PETER PAN – Stephanie Rabig
- THE ONE WHO WON – Ali Seay
Per usual, here are my notes on each tale included in the collection:
THE GRUKKEN – Sarah Budd
Deep in the woods lives a being that gobbles up people who have crossed its path. When a mother determined to become a wolf instead of a timid lamb finds out who has been bullying her son, she’s ready to ask the Grukken for a favor.
This one was heartbreaking at the beginning. No one should have to put up with bullying. But when this mom steps in, the tale takes an eerie turn.
YOU’RE DYING UP THERE – Somer Canon
In this tale, we learn that a murderer has set their sights on the stand up poets at a little coffee shop. I love Somer Canon’s writing and this one certainly didn’t shy away from the dark and brutal elements.
My favorite passage from this tale:
The biggest pain in the ass about hindsight is realizing how clueless you are, walking through life, bumping into everything, and always avoiding catastrophe by millimeters. Well, you don’t always avoid it. Sometimes it hits you dead on. Sometimes it hits you more than once.
HOW TO POSE THE DEAD – Holly Rae Garcia
When a typical Karen pushes this photographer over the edge, the family portrait shoot takes a brutal turn.
I do photography on the side and I’m so grateful I’ve never had a bad client! But I can certainly relate to the frustration of people totally disregarding the time. That is something that drives me nuts in both my professional and personal life. When that happened, I was already on edge with this story.
HOOKING UP – Laurel Hightower
When a woman at a bar sets her sights on a couple to see what the uncomfortable woman will do, she isn’t pleased with the outcome. Meanwhile a man has set his sights on her and no matter how rude she is, he won’t let up. Soon, this night ends in a bloodbath.
This was brutal! Any person reading this who has had someone at a bar pester them will have their blood boiling while reading.
My favorite passage from this tale:
He follows me. Not like a puppy, because puppies are fucking cute and who wouldn’t want one ambling after them, all big paws and ears? No, this guy follows me like a strip of toilet paper, soiled and embarrassing and bizarrely hard to shake.
PREDATOR – Sarah Jane Huntington
When a woman decides that she has had enough of the workplace bullies, she makes a plan to dispose of them.
My goodness, the thought this woman put into her plan… so brutal and so smart! I’d love to see what this woman does next.
THE COLLECTOR – R. J. Joseph
This started to innocent and then got insanely brutal.
This one wasn’t for me once things took a turn. Fans of the sexually dark will love this.
#THEVACATIONERS – Kenzie Jennings
When three women go on vacation, it seems like they’re looking for some sun and relaxation. But they’re actually there for much different purposes.
I was definitely expecting one thing to happen here, and the story did not flow that path. It was so much more intense than I had guessed!
PRO KNIFE – Vivian Kasley
When a girl is faced with making a very difficult choice, she heads to a clinic. On the way back out, she’s confronted for the second time by a protestor… Later on, she returns again, ready to face the protestor one last time.
The first half of this one is gut wrenching and heartbreaking. The second half is brutal and such sweet revenge. If you’ve ever faced protestors going into a family planning, this one will make you want to cheer.
LEFTY – Mai Kil
Another that seemingly starts innocent then takes a turn that made this one not a story for me. Another that fans of sexually dark tales will enjoy.
LEGEND OF THE NAMELESS ISLAND – Red Lagoe
When a girl heads off with a mysterious boy, leaving her friends behind. She meets a brutal end… years later the friends return to the island, but as they’re drawn back to the shore, they’re about to learn what was waiting for them.
This one is so upsetting. How many girls have been in the position where a friend leaves to go after a guy they just met? I know I had many times in college to the point where I fought her every time and then ended up telling my friend I would no longer go out with her because I sat up the rest of the night worrying I would get a call from the cops saying she was found dead. I could have easily been labeled the coward like one of the girls in this tale.
BUS STOP – Julia C. Lewis
When she’s pushed too far by not being listened to, this momma wolf goes after the nasty mothers of the girls who had been terrorizing her daughter.
Such wonderful brutal revenge!
CAMP HARMONY – Anne M. Marble
When bored girls make up new scary stories to tell at camp when the old stories got stale, they end up bringing a new murderous camp legend to life.
This one was so spooky! I loved the path of the narrative and how we circled back to where the story first began before things got super intense.
TUPPERWARE PARTY – Villemey Mist
When attending a Tupperware party, the guests show up for free food and drink and prepare themselves for the sales pitch. Little do they know, they should have been preparing for much more than that…
This tale certainly displays the brutality of the phrase “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Brutal!
RAILROAD – Briana Morgan
When bullying leads to a young girl making a life ending decision, her surviving sister wants revenge.
This one ruled as a short story but I could also see it being expanded to a novella! Love the revenge!
THE TOE SCENE (EXTRACT – THE MUDER GIRLS) – Christine Morgan
When Steve wakes up super groggy, he soon discovers that he’s been kidnapped by a bunch of women. He should be scared, but instead he’s just pissed. But they’re about to make sure he’s afraid.
Being inside Steve’s head for this tale was a brilliant way to bring readers along. Boy did I hate Steve. This one made my toes hurt!
THE BUTCHER ON BLUE JAY WAY – Haley Newlin
When a group of sex workers are invited in for wine and a meal, everything seems too good to be true. But then they make a shocking discovery.
Oh. My. Gosh. This was intense! My heart was pounding while reading!
I HATE SLASHERS – Cynthia Pelayo
On a video conference call, this woman greets her growing community and praises them for their work so far. But what do they do? I can’t wait for readers to find out!
If you are someone that gets irked by the standard slasher tropes or the perfect life that social media influencers try to portray and how unfair it is that they make so much money for nothing, you’re going to love this!
THE CRIMSON BRIDE – Mocha Pennington
Oh no! Something happened with my ebook copy and I could only see one page of this. I’ll have to check it out when my purchase comes in!
A HELPING HAND FROM PETER PAN – Stephanie Rabig
When the ghost of a twelve year old realizes she can help people by possessing them to get revenge, she makes that the work of her afterlife.
This was terrifying! At first I was rooting for the ghost, but then it became clear that she wasn’t thinking this through or taking precautions to make sure the people she was helping would be okay afterward. Phew. Imagine a twelve year old girl possessing you to take care of something? No thank you.
THE ONE WHO WON – Ali Seay
On the five year anniversary of Nicks death, a group of friends go to a cabin for a weekend away. Nicks girlfriend, while she keeps saying she doesn’t want to talk about Nicks death, has other plans in mind.
Oh man, when this one goes from normal to brutal… it really goes there. A perfect slasher centered around revenge.
SPELLBOUND – Antonia Rachel Ward
When a night of breaking and entering goes very, very wrong, the girls try to escape the area as they start being brutally murdered one by one.
This one was unfortunately quite triggering for me. Tread lightly here if you are triggered by elements of cheating and/or suicide.
My Final Thoughts on SLASH-HER
If you’re a fan of slashers, this is certainly an anthology to keep an eye out for!
SLASH-HER is expected to launch from Kandisha Press in March 2022.