Slice of Paradise: A Beach Vacation Horror Anthology edited by Ben Long and Andrew Robert is a collection of stories filled with sun, sand, and terrifying situations.
As an island girl from Maine, I may not have frequented tropical beaches, but I’ve sure got salt water in my blood. This collection was a hit for me!
Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher per request of an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Slice of Paradise: A Beach Vacation Horror Anthology edited by Ben Long and Andrew Robert
There’s two main things that ties each of these stories together… the beach and terror. I loved that many of these tales had an ambiguous ending, while others have some seriously non-happy endings.
My favorite stories from this collection include:
- The Guardian by Philip Fracassi
- Curse of the Cache by Alyson Hasson
- Beach Snakes by Aiden Merchant
- She Waits by Jack Harding
- The Fons Juventutis by Kay Hanifen
- That Look When They’re Leaving by Scott J. Moses
Secret Beach by Mark Towse
When a trip to the beach for this father/daughter duo turns dark, the father doesn’t give up, determined to save his daughter.
My goodness. We all know how terrifying it is when you brush up against something in the water, not knowing what it was. This takes that fear to an even more terrifying level! I loved seeing this fathers’ strength shine through when everything else was pulling him down. And that last line! What a great story to begin the collection!
Night Dive by Drew Starling
When a honeymoon turns into a longer stay, the couple spend a lot of time diving in the ocean. But when one snags them tickets for a night dive, they’re both a bit cautious. Are they actually ready for this?
The foreshadowing in this one was wonderful! I mean, just the hesitation initially that they were both feeling, but not discussing… then their worries about things going wrong. They should have stuck to diving in the daytime!
Paradise Lost by Sheri White
This story is the narration put on a recorder when a man went on vacation with his wife and son. Promising not to work, he can’t help but tell them he’ll join them in a bit, planning to record a few things before he goes outside. And then the screaming starts….
This story is brutal! The description of what caused the screaming made my stomach flip. And it only got worse from there!
I don’t know how much time had passed when the screaming started from the beach; I was totally absorbed in my dictation. The screaming was a terrible cacophony of noise, a chorus of terror and agony. I imagine Hell would be filled with that ghastly sound. I leapt off the bed and ran to the door, praying Eric and Cathy were all right.
Phosphorescence by Denver Grenell
When a night swim while on drugs turns into a cheap excuse to put his hands on her, this woman immediately changes the tone. But there’s something in the water looking out for her as well.
Argh, the nerve of this guy! I was so happy to see this woman immediately react and not let him just keep doing what he was doing. There were so many red flags here, I just wanted to scream at the character.
They Eat People, You Know? by Rowan Hill
When girls traveling around Australia are approached by two men, the atmosphere of the tale suddenly takes a tense turn….
This story will keep you on your toes! The scene diving into the shipwreck was my favorite! I couldn’t wait to find out what could be seen in every room!
Of Murder and Mermaids by Kelly Brocklehurst
A brutally dark flash fiction piece!
The Guardian by Philip Fracassi
Looking for adventure, a couple joins a trip to a local island that is privately owned. The tour guide tells them how exclusive it is and they all can’t wait to see it. When they get there, each couple spreads out across the beach. But then something occurs with one couple, leaving the others reeling.
Ugh, the scary element here is really one that gets under reader skin! Pun intended…
Astorgos by Ashlei Johnson
All these two women want to do is enjoy their day of vacation by visiting a lemon orchard and then returning to the hotel for a “nap.” But some otherworldly beings have other plans for them.
This one is action packed and so terrifying!
Misery Guts by Craig Wallwork
On a trip that will decide if their marriage will last or not, the husband complains of horrible stomach pain. When the wife learns what is causing the pain, many things fall into place for her.
This one will make your stomach flip! Yuck!
Curse of the Cache by Alyson Hasson
After a shipwreck, a couple ventures along the coastline to try to find the captain that left them. The end up finding an underground bunker filled with more than just gunpowder…
This one was nerve-wracking! I never could have guessed at what was coming next!
Beach Snakes by Aiden Merchant
When a couple on the verge of divorce take a vacation, they both have other plans rather than spending time together. But the locals have their eye on the husband after he hits on a girl on the beach…
Even before starting this one, I was nervous. I mean, with a title like “Beach Snakes,” I’m gonna be nervous! This one ruled!
She Waits by Jack Harding
Ah! All I will say about this one is that I freaking love flash fiction that draws you in and only lets you know what’s actually going on in the last line! This was perfect!
The Fons Juventutis by Kay Hanifen
When a maid makes a shocking discovery in one of the hotel rooms, she’s immediately alarmed by how her boss handles the situation. Sensing some really bad vibes, she goes home rather than taking her boss up on visiting the VIP section. The next day though, he friend and coworker is missing. Knowing something was wrong, she makes a plan to go look for her.
This one was so intense! The anxiety I felt was pretty immediate. This is one of those tales that is absolutely perfect as a short story, but one that I would love to get a longer story from!
Out of the Shadows, Into the Sun by Spencer Hamilton
This one starts out so calm, you almost forget you’re reading a horror story for a second. But once the flashbacks start… it’s full out terror.
I had first heard a version of this tale on the Horror Oasis YouTube channel. It was titled Vacations End. Give it a listen here:
Honeymoon by Simon J. Plant
Trying to take some time for themselves, one woman realizes that something is a little off at this resort.
My goodness the sense of dread with this one is intense! My heart broke for these two women at the end.
Zipline by Nick Kolakowski
A terrifying tale of a zipline experience gone very, very wrong!
This tale will definitely get readers hearts pumping! What an emotional journey we go on with this poor man.
That Look When They’re Leaving by Scott J. Moses
When news shared over a dinner party goes poorly, a man wanders out onto the beach to search for a man that abruptly left the party. But what he finds certainly isn’t what he was expecting.
My goodness, Scott has an incredible tale here. In just a short time, you’ll feel like you have gotten to know all of the characters over a much longer reading time. They just come to life that quickly. Such a heartbreaking and scary tale!
My Final Thoughts on Slice of Paradise
I had so much fun reading these stories in a cold winter month in New England! I’m certainly grateful that I won’t be venturing onto a sandy beach anytime soon.