Zoo by Joe Scipione
Scipione brings us eight tales of animal horror. Each story unique and they are not your typical attack stories. They are better! I enjoyed all of them but two stuck with me so those are highlighted below. Well and Unbitten has scarred me for life. I’ve never had a fear of mosquitoes but this story changes things. I’ll just spend my summer indoors. Thanks! This story seriously made me feel uneasy and terrified for the characters. I could not imagine having to live like these people did. Those bugs are so small and annoying. Just imagine trying to track them all down and eliminate them to stay alive. In a big building too. I would go insane! Just bite me and let’s get this over with. This one will stick with me for a while! My other favorite was With My Family, in Our House. This one pulls you in quick. The demon-horses and the riders piqued my interest. I wanted to know what was happening when they stormed into the small town. Things changed and people were missing. When the answers are finally revealed, I was shocked. Great collection of short stories featuring fish, wasps, jellyfish, mosquitoes and more. Something new to fear is waiting inside the pages.
So, this is a book containing 8 tales of animal horror! But it's not what you expect, it's not just animal attacks, its so much more!! This book creeped me out, grossed me out, broke my heart and made me ITCH!!!! With every one of these stories, Joe builds up a pretty, often beautiful opening setting, taking us off guard, distracting us and lulling us into a false sense of security, and then he jumps right in with some gruesome, brutal and horrifying endings! These stories are all really well written and fantastic reads. My faves are 'With My Family, In Our House', 'Goal Hike', 'Hunting With Pepper' and 'Find The Nest' As with all anthology reviews, I'll write a few words for each story.... *HERRING RUN - This started with a well described peaceful atmosphere, that lulled me in, I could hear the running water and feel the sun on my face, then shit got weird!! It seems whatever your addiction, it could kill you in the end! *FIND THE NEST - A bizarre and gross tale of horror and desperation! Brutal! Made me squirm! *WELL AND UNBITTEN - An apocalyptic tale of life after 'The Bug'. Some really brutal effects, this was a sad one too! *SUMMERTIME LOVE STORY - This was an eerie, bizarre little love story! You might do anything for love, but maybe not that!! *HUNTING WITH PEPPER - Bill seems to be suffering a midlife crisis and so he decides he needs a new hobby, he settles on hunting, but not your typical hunting. And his trophy is not typical either! Tense and creepy!! *GOAL HIKE - Beating addiction on your own is tough, but this story of one man's attempt to do just that, may cause him to rethink! A very tense build up, absolutely real and terrifying! I need a stiff drink after that! *OBSESSION - Is the snake doing the charming here? Heartbreaking and creepy! *WITH MY FAMILY, IN OUR HOUSE - WOW!!!! This was outstanding! This is more of a novella than a short story, and it had me totally gripped the whole way through! Stunning! When a young girl loses her family to demon horses, she sets out to try and get them back... Full of suspense, emotion, supernatural elements, and nightmare inducing visuals, this story was so well written, the pacing was perfect, the intrigue and horror were palpable, and the characters were believable and very likeable. When family is everything......or is it? Loved this one so much! Overall, an extremely enjoyable read!! 5/5
Talk A Walk Through This Horrific Zoo
Joe Scipione’s collection of animal horror is not what I was expecting in the best way possible. My first impression was that this was going to be a bunch of stories that felt like an episode of “When Animals Attack!”, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out my first guess was wayyy off the mark. Sure there’s one story of animal attacks, but this bad boy is loaded with body horror, the supernatural, bleakness, Lovecraftian horror, post apocalyptic, and more, all centered around familiar creatures. I have to give a special amount to one story, it is the last one (and the longest one!) in the collection, “With My Family, In Our House”. This story alone is worth purchasing this book. It’s bleak as heck, it never gives away any hint of what’s going to happen, and how things played out in the end were a real kick in the rear. This one got to me. I had to sit and digest this story after finishing it. The rest of the collection is just as memorable with incredibly creative ways to use animals in new, horrific ways. “Hunting with Pepper” used falconry in such a cool way, and made me a little nervous about the woods outside my own home. “Find the Nest” gave me a new irrational fear, so thanks for that. I loved this concept and I really hope for a second installment. I’d love to see how Scipione can ruin other animals for me and mix them with even more sub genres of horror!