These Wounds We Make by Gemma Amor is a killer collection of tales that range from the spooky and bizarre, to deeply unsettling and heartbreaking.
Shout out to Richard Martin and Horror Oasis for hosting #RicksReadAlong and choosing to include this collection!
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on These Wounds We Make by Gemma Amor
I absolutely loved this collection! Gemma covers some really difficult topics in this one and totally knocks it out of the park.
Per usual, here are my notes on each tale:
An amazing forward as always! I love that the author opens up here and discusses trauma before diving in to a few content warnings. Then there’s the best note around content warnings that I have seen:
“When it comes to survival, having full control over your emotions is key to moving forward, and I want you to have as much control over what you read as possible.“
Have You Seen My Dog? – Four Stars
Oofh. Equal parts terrifying and heartbreaking! This tale is about a woman who is approached at her work by a man asking if she has seen his dog. She is confused by the question and plans to ask follow-up questions to see if this man may have something medical going on. When he suddenly gets violent and then abruptly leaves, the police are called. Unfortunately this isn’t the last time she’ll see this man pop up…
While spooky in its own ghostly plot, this one is also haunting when thinking about the scars certain trauma can leave on survivors.
Pure Water – Five Stars
Ever been out hiking and think: hmm, maybe I should just drink from the stream… it’ll be fine… I know I have! This story hits on a very real fear of mine! Phew, this was brutal. And that ending!!
Justine – Four Stars
This one has content warnings around sexual assault. My goodness, the arc of this storyline and how it was organized to jump from one thing to another made it incredibly powerful. My heart hurts for this character and what she went through. I loved seeing her process things.
I Am Ghost – Four Stars
Once a year, on Halloween, Max performs a ritual to let the other being in his mind out for the night. This being is Ghost. But what will Ghost get up to while he’s in charge?
Man, the thought of sharing my head with someone else is absolutely terrifying to me. I have enough intrusive thoughts as it is! No thank you! This tale was so unsettling!
Rat Girl – Four Stars
When Timmy is moved to yet another town thanks to his father’s role in the army, he is surprised when he makes a friend so quickly. The same day they met, Timmy goes to Lees house to play video games. Lee quickly gets bored and then wants to show Timmy something in the basement…
Phew! I loved Timmy so much. His reactions to everything that happened will draw readers in. This poor kid.
My Best Friend – Five Stars
When two girls are out walking in the woods, they walk over something that they couldn’t have seen and the next thing they know, they’ve fallen into a deep hole and they’re injured…
This one starts off dark and only gets darker from there! What a tale!
This one also had one of my favorite illustrations:
Heart Of Stone – Five Stars
A man who only gets to see his daughter every now and then only lets his heart of stone melt when she is around. He will do anything to keep her innocent and with him forever.
This story was SO unsettling right from the start. It gave me goosebumps while reading. And that ending…
Cell Block B – Five Stars
When a man wakes up with no memory, he is shocked to find he is in a jail. He tries to remember what he did to end up there. Phew, this was brutal. Lots of body horror here! This is a dark tale that won’t be leaving my brain anytime soon.
A Birthday Cake For Brian – Five Stars
Wow!! While short, this one packs an insane punch!
The Strangler – Five Stars
My heart goes out to all of those that have suffered from postpartum depression.
The Crack In The Wall – Four Stars
When a crack opens up in this man’s wall, he simply spackles it over and repainted. But the next day, the crack is back, and it’s even wider now. Then liquid starts oozing out of it. Of course this man is determined to get the the cause… this one was so unsettling. My husband and I did major work on the center beam of our home and it caused some cracking in the walls. So this one spooked me more thinking about it happening here! Yikes!
How Not To Get Rid Of A Body – Four Stars
When a man blind with rage over his hatred of his neighbor decides he may kill the guy… his plan doesn’t go as he expected. This was a bit of a funny one with nice bits of gore!
Caleb – Four Stars
What a tale to end on! I loved the arc of how this progressed. This was another unsettling one. This man was clearly up to no good!
My Favorite Passages from These Wounds We Make
The course of a persons life doesn’t always run smooth.
I watch in fear as the top of the kids head starts to flip backwards like he’s a fucking pez dispenser…
No-one ever got clear skin eating brains are chowing down on human bones, I’ll tell you that now. Eat some broccoli dude. Drink some fucking green tea.
My Final Thoughts on These Wounds We Make
Per usual with Gemma’s work, I have to say that this is a collection of tales that horror fans won’t want to miss! I loved each of these tales, many of which made me feel unsettled and made me pause between each rather than reading straight through. I rarely have that happen, so that’s a major testament to this authors brilliant work!
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Thanks for reading!