Sunday, October 19, 2014

Thirty Scary Tales by Rayne Hall - A Book Review

I am a fan of horror fiction.  So, when I saw a chance to read and review a collection of short stories called "Thirty Scary Tales" by Rayne Hall then I had to give it a try.

Now, while the title of the book is Thirty Scary Tales, they are not scary in the way that you might think.

There are not a lot of horrible monsters or an abundance of gore in these stories, which the writer warns you of in her introduction.  In fact, a lot of the fear is subliminal, playing on the phobias that people might have.  If you're afraid of birds, dogs, drowning, being stuck in tight places, or even plain old fashioned racism, then there is probably a story in here for you.  (But there's no clowns, so if you have coulrophobia you're safe to read it too)

The lack of gore and sex makes "Thirty Scary Tales" by Rayne Hall a suitable read for adults, but also for (mature) young teens who might like a good scare.

One of my favorite tales in this collection was "Greywalker."  When I first saw the title I thought, "This one has GOT to be about zombies," and I was not disappointed.  I was also not disappointed that it was not your traditional zombie tale.

My ABSOLUTE favorite story in this collection was "By Your Own Free Will."  In it a very brilliant young woman very much wants the man of her dreams to fall in love with her.  She is will to give ANYTHING to become the beauty queen she thinks he wants, even if that means giving away some of her brilliance.  While not exactly scary to me, it did strike a chord.  The theme of being less of yourself to please someone else, and the lengths women will go to to be "beautiful" is all around us in the world today.  Maybe we should be MORE frighted of it.

"Burning" was another tale that is scary simply because it hits VERY close to home.  It is a stark reminder that times where people are in danger just for being different (different skin, different religion) are not behind us.

Something else I loved about Thirty Scary Tales was that at the end of each story, Ms. Hall shares a personal tidbit about how that story came to be, what inspired her to write it.  As someone who enjoys writing myself I love it when other authors share where their ideas come from.

Now that I've raved about what I loved I feel like I have to mention the couple of things that I didn't like.

Most of the stories had very predictable endings. It might just be because I'm such a fan of the horror genre, but nothing came as a surprise to me at the end of the stories.  Most of the twists I saw coming from the beginning.

Also some of the stories seemed a little repetitive.  Not in content but in theme.  The stories "The Painted Staircase," "I Dived the Pandora," and "Terre Verte And Payne's Grey" are three that felt VERY similar to me in feel by the end of them.

However, those two cons are not enough to keep me from recommending this book who might want a light thrill read.  Out of Thirty Scary Tales, at least one of them is SURE to send a shiver down your spine.


A copy of this review is also being shared on


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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