Paperback, 1st, 174 pages
Published September 20th 2020 by Automatism Press
A 3.5 star read
Unsafe Words by Loren Rhoads is a collection of her award-winning short stories, which have previously been published in magazines or books. The stories all vary greatly in topic and genre. There are some outright horror stories, but also dark fantasy and science fiction. It truly is an interesting collection, filled with monsters, such as; ghosts, succubi, vampires and more. But there are also human monsters, which I would not want to cross paths with.
I can only imagine how hard it is for an author to compile a short story collection. Not only are you trying to please the reader with one story, but several of them. I think it’s almost impossible to love every single story in one such collection. Therefore, I also had some stories in Unsafe Words that I loved, some that I liked, and some that I didn’t care for at all. I won’t tell you about every story in this book, but will point out some of the ones that truly spoke to me. I would also like to point out that there is a fair amount of sex scenes within the pages of this book. It doesn’t bother me, mainly because Rhoads made them essential to the stories, and they never felt forced.
The book starts with “Here There Be Monsters”, which also happens to be my favorite. I love this eerie tale of a haunting the protagonist found herself in. It is written beautifully, and the imaginary Rhoads brings across is alluring. She paints a real picture for her readers to imagine.
Another great short is “The Arms Dealer’s Daughter”. This one dives into science fiction, as it takes place on a different planet. It is such a great concept, and I wish it would’ve been longer.
“In the Pines”, is a very short story that packs a punch! This story is true horror, and was quite eerie. The whole concept of this story was well executed by Rhoads.
Overall, I would recommend this book, if you like variety in short story collections!