Beneath the Surface

Beneath the Surface (Revised & Expanded)Beneath the Surface by Simon Strantzas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Strantzas’s debut collection marks the arrival of a refreshingly different voice in the horror field. But make no mistake, these are tone pieces, more concerned with atmosphere than plot cohesion. You won’t find any Twilight Zone twists or monster mashes here. Instead, you’ll find stories of encroaching darkness, physical and emotional corruption, and cosmic futility. However, the tone remains too consistent throughout the collection, resulting in an unfortunate sameness to the stories and too much repetition of certain themes. Strantzas’s overly formal prose style can also put too much distance between the story and the reader to achieve the desired emotional effect. But as a debut, this collection of horror tales is quite accomplished and far more creative in its imagined terrors than most. I’m eager to read Strantzas’s follow-up collections to see how his themes and style have expanded, and where his impressive imagination will take me next.

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