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Spirits Unwrapped

Spirits UnwrappedSpirits Unwrapped by Daniel Braum
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Whenever mummies are mentioned, you can be forgiven for thinking of dusty Egyptian tombs and a bandage-wrapped Boris Karloff limping out of a sarcophagus. After all, that’s how pop culture has depicted mummies for decades. However, editor Daniel Braum offers a different vision in this excellent anthology, tasking his authors with casting a wider net and delivering mummy stories that break through the tired, stale depictions. You won’t find any of the old cliches here.

Thanks to Braum’s discerning taste, there’s isn’t a bad story in the bunch. Choosing favorites is difficult, but if I had to choose three standouts they would be: “Private Grave Nine” by Karen Joy Fowler, a tale of obsession with rich depictions of characters on an archaeological dig; “Mummy Fever” by David Wellington, an absolutely charming story about a mysterious man on a museum-robbing mission in 1920s New York; and “The Hand of Annie Jones” by Casilda Ferrante, an award-worthy masterpiece about two desperate young women in 1800s Australia who engage with dangerous magic in an attempt at break free of their lives of servitude.

SPIRITS UNWRAPPED is well worth the time of any fan of horror, dark fantasy, and even science fiction, and it’s a must-read for anyone interested in mummy stories that are anything but run-of-the-mill.

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