Cast No Shadows by Curiosity Quills

Cast No Shadows by Curiosity QuillsTwenty-six authors provide their spin on one of the oldest stories known to humankind: the ghost story

This anthology contains 36 stories of various lengths and styles.

With an area as old as the ghost story, it is perhaps unsurprising that none of these stories breaks new ground. However, each author puts their own detail around the bones, preventing trope from becoming cliché.

And every famous trope can be found here: the ghost taken for human, the ghost who doesn’t realise it, helpful ghosts, evil ghosts, ghosts that interact, ghosts that seem to be merely recordings, and so on; along with the fog, chill, omens, and other trappings of the genre.

However – while some of the stories have creepy moments – there is a notable absence of gore and other visceral horror, making this collection on closer to traditional ghost stories than poltergeist shockers.

This broadness of protagonist, tone, tropes, and style will either strike readers as an advantage or a flaw: there is plenty of variety for those who seek it, but insufficient consistency for those who seek a particular feeling from a ghost story. Even those contributors who have more than one entry have provided works with more than trivial differences of approach.

The significant range of story lengths, from a couple of minutes to ten times that, is likely to have a similar effect depending on the reader’s preference for similar depth or variations.

The presence of a large number of shorter stories in an anthology of such numbers might also leave readers who usually read collections end-to-end rather than interspersed between other things with a slight sense of being overwhelmed with shifts of location and cast; perhaps making this a work less suited to reading in a single sitting.

Overall, I enjoyed this anthology. I recommend it to readers fond of creepy tales.

I received a free copy from one of the contributors in exchange for a fair review.

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