Anoka by Shane Hawk is a collection of indigenous horror that is sure to stick with readers. It’s haunting, it’s brutal, and it is doesn’t shy away from the difficult topics. It’s also absolutely beautiful.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Anoka by Shane Hawk
First things first, I need to call out that cover illustration is by Seweryn Jasiński, @vvilczy on Instagram. How brilliant is that werewolf?! I was so captivated by the eyes and limbs that it took me a very long time to even see the deer in front of it. I couldn’t wait to read the stories inside this and find out where the werewolf comes into play.
Shane Hawk has an amazing array of tales here, and each has a slightly different feel when it comes to tone, but they also blend wonderfully together. I loved each of these tales, all for very different reasons. But one of my favorite elements at play here is the endings that make me immediately go back and restart the story again now that I know the full context.
I really enjoyed that each story had an authors note at the back of the book where readers could learn more about the inspiration of each tale and get more information.
Here are my very quick notes about each story. I easily could have written loads more, but didn’t want to spoil anything!
Soilborne – 5 Stars
This one started out so normal. But that ending! This one punched me right in the gut.
Wounded – Five Stars
Heartbreaking! This one covered some really heavy topics. And poor Philip… who wouldn’t try to figure out a mysterious book? The scene of him discovering the book is going to stick with me. The ending got me in this one as well.
Orange – Five Stars
Oofh, my heart. Again with the killer ending!!
Imitate – Five Stars
Another absolutely terrifying and heartbreaking story! This one is truly haunting. Creepy kids is one of the scariest horror themes for me. And AGAIN, that ending!
Dead America – Five Stars
I don’t think a tale has freaked me out this much since I read The Red Spot by Alvin Schwartz back in elementary school. I seriously could have screamed. This tale was freaky but also had a beautiful and heartbreaking moral. This ending had me ready to yell, “WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!“
Transfigured- Five Stars
What a tale to end this collection! Another heartfelt tale and then an absolutely brutal ending. Phew!
My Favorite Passages from Anoka
The bags under my eyes sank heavy as if summoned by the vast, unnamed gods below.
He paced his living room and beat his chest with an open palm. He hoped to drum out some inspiration for his writing assignment.
My Final Thoughts on Anoka
Words just cannot express how much I loved this collection. While this was a debut collection, I already cannot wait to read more from Shane Hawk in the future. This is an author to keep your eye on for sure.
Do yourself a favor and snag this one today if you haven’t already! I would recommend this one to all horror readers, especially fans of gut-punch reads like Crossroads by Laurel Hightower.
Shout out to Shane for sending me a signed copy!
If you’d like a signed copy of your own, check out Shane’s website here.