Book Review: The Gaki and Other Hungry Spirits – Author Stephen Mark Rainey

THE GAKI AND OTHER HUNGRY SPIRITS

by Stephen Mark Rainey
(Dark Regions Press)

Strange Shapes hiding in the shadows cast by the moonlight. Eerie noises drifting out of the forest and rising into the night. The sound of inhuman footsteps approaching from somewhere in the darkness. A pair of gleaming eyes peering in through your window at midnight.

This is the nightmarish, haunted world you will enter in this new collection of 17 tales – including six never before published – by Stephen Mark Rainey, long time editor of Deathrealm magazine and author of such acclaimed works as Balak, The Lebo Coven, Blue Devil Island, The Last Trumpet, and Other Gods. Enter willingly…and prepare yourself for a chilling journey through some of the most frightening literary landscapes you have ever experienced.

Table Of Contents
The Gaki
The Ghost Lens
Terror From The Middle Island (with Durant Haire)
Black Tom
Iron Heart
Forgiven
Festival Of The Jackal (Off Broadway)
A Tale Of The Terrible Dead
Abroyel
Megan
Demon Jar
The Spiders Of Galley Cove
Free Sample
This Old House
Sarcophagus
Field Dressing
Misfits -Or- A New Arrival At Paradise Lost
About The Author

I have been a fan of Stephen Mark Rainey for a very long time. Deathrealm was and is still one of my favorite magazines. I still have my old issues and look through them every once in a while. Deathrealm set the standard that very few achieve.

As good as Deathrealm was, I always thought his fiction was even better and was thrilled when I received “The Gaki & Other Hungry Spirits” from whom I feel is one of the finest publishers of fiction today…Dark Regions Press.

This outstanding collection brings together some of Mr. Rainey’s previously published works and six new tales.

These stories are varied, dark, frightening and very well written. The myriad styles and scope of these tales covers everything you could want in a horror fiction collection, I don’t think there is a weak story in the book.

As with every short fiction collection some stories stand out from the rest and for me the one story that literally left me gasping was “Sarcophagus”. I am severely claustrophobic ( I can’t even go in a regular MRI machine without freaking out) and reading this story was grueling. The descriptive prose Mr. Rainy uses had me sweating and shaking. Not sure if I could even read this story again. Ranks up there with Poe’s “The Premature Burial” as one of the most unsettling stories I have ever read.

Other standouts for me were;

“The Gaki” – I had read this story before, can’t remember where, but it remains as powerful as the first time I read it.

“Free Sample” – One of those stories where you hit yourself on the head and think what a great idea for a story. Really fantastic.

“The Spiders Of Galley Cove” – I love spider stories. If you have a fear of our eight legged friends I would steer clear of this one.

If you are looking for a short story fix you would be hard pressed to find a better group of stories out this year than “The Gaki & Other Hungry Spirits”.

Use the above links to pick up a copy, it will be worth you while and I highly recommend it.

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