Unsafe Words by Loren Rhoads is the first full-length collection of the author’s award-winning short stories, which live on the boundaries between horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction.
This was my first time experiencing Rhoads’ writing, and for the most part, I enjoyed her stories.
Her imaginative stories are filled with the likes of ghosts, succubi, naiads, vampires, and human monsters, too. Rhoads is amazing at building a complete world for her stories to reside in, especially considering how brief these stories are.
Among my favorites are “Here Be Monsters,” a haunting story that pits a girl versus an evil entity that roams more than just a house. Another is “The Arms Dealer’s Daughter,” a sci-fi short that takes place on a planet full of varying life forms, and leaves a few questions answered ambiguously.
I also enjoyed “Valentine,” which had a bit of a Highlander feel about it, and “Never Bargained for You,” about a succubi set in the L.A. rock scene of the early 70s.
A few others, like “In the Pines,” about a missing girl, and “Grandfather Carp’s Dream,” about a fish trying to escape home, I enjoyed, but felt they ended a bit abruptly.
The collection of stories in this book also include a lot of graphic erotic horror, which I’m not a fan of, but there were enough other stories around those scenes that it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book as a whole.
Overall, Unsafe Words by Loren Rhoads is an creative collection of original stories and I’m giving the book a 4 out of 5 stars.
Disclaimer: I received an advance e-book copy for review purposes from NetGalley. I was not compensated in any other way. My opinion is honest, and as always, my own.
Disclaimer: This post uses Amazon affiliate links. It doesn’t add anything to your cost, should you choose to purchase something. Thanks!
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Tagged: anthology books, book review, horror books, Loren Rhoads, sci-fi books, Unsafe Words