Thursday, October 17, 2019

Short Story Reviews: Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation by Mike Thorn

Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation (Short Sharp Shocks! #31)
Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation by Mike Thorn
Demain Publishing
Publication Date: September 27th, 2019
Ebook. 48 pages

About Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation:

"Dreams of Lake Drukka" and "Exhumation" explore the unearthing of horrific, long-buried family secrets. Journeying into the darkest recesses of the past, these stories depict the dire consequences of discovering the truth. 

Writing about this duology, author Mike Thorn says: “It was only in retrospect that I could see the connections between these two stories. When I revisited them for publication, it struck me that they work well as companion pieces. Both plots depict unfulfilled pacts with supernatural undercurrents, both include journeys to uncover unresolved familial trauma, and both pivot around the revelation of repressed memories. I wanted to explore the relationship between setting and atmosphere in these pieces, and to depict horror within internal and physical ‘sites of trauma.’ The characters are grappling with painful memories / experiences that have held them back, consciously or unconsciously. One story focuses on a character who is the agent of her own revelations, whereas the other story sees someone whose agency is quickly and brutally taken away."

Dreams of Lake Drukka: This felt like a really classic scary story that I had a lot of fun with. It follows two sisters as they head out to place of their past to reconcile with their mother's death. However, upon arriving at their destination things take a bit of an...unexpected turn.

I loved the eeriness of this setting and the way that the strained relationship between both sisters really matched the tense atmosphere. I think Thorn did a great job in conveying the family dynamics at play in this story, which ultimately builds up into something I could not have predicted. I can't tell you more about the story since it's a short one, but there are some rather extraordinary events that occur that didn't exactly make perfect sense, but that matched the idea of a shocking ending that I love in short stories.

Exhumation: "Exhumation" is a whole other ball game than "Dreams of Lake Drukka," and honestly, I'm still not sure how I feel about because I still have so many questions about it. If you like some dark, gory, and raw stories, then you're going to want to pick up "Exhumation." I appreciate that Thorn is willing to take risks and write a story that is likely to evoke strong reactions. It's a unique story that offers a lot to consider, though I do wish the writing was a bit smoother and easier to follow.

Overall, both stories offer intriguing tales of horror that are full of unpredictable moments. I definitely preferred "Dreams of Lake Drukka" for its atmosphere and writing flow, but "Exhumation" still managed to provide an oddly interesting plot that kept me reading. I've given this collection 3.75 stars (rounded up to four on Goodreads/Amazon)!

*I received a copy of Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my rating or enjoyment of the novel.*

1 comment:

  1. I agree, I thought Dreams of Lake Drukka was the stronger story, and Exhumation will definitely appeal to a certain type of reader😁