Review: Voices of the Damned by Barbie Wilde
Before I begin my review I would like to apologize to Barbie Wilde for posting this so late. It should’ve been done sooner but we got caught up with this year’s Kickstarter Fundraiser. Again my apologies.
Now onto the review.
As many of you know I love short story compilations with a passion. Some of my most favorite stories are written in the short form. I think if an author can emotionally connect with a reader in a short amount of time then that shows the signs of great writer. Which brings me to Barbie Wilde’s short story collection Voices of the Damned.
I’ll be honest I’ve never read any of Barbie Wilde’s previous work such as her very popular novel The Venus Complex, so I didn’t know what to expect when I sat down to read this book. But after reading it I was pleasantly surprised. She definitely has a wonderful grasp of the horror genre and what it takes to scare and gross out the reader.
This book is filled with all kinds of nastiness that really makes the reader grimace at the page. While I didn’t enjoy this collection as much as I enjoyed Paul Kane’s Monsters, there are still enough chills and spills in this to highly recommend it. These stories have a more surrealistic quality and the author writes them with a razor-sharp wit and throws in good dose of dark humor to keep the mood light.
The best stories were probably the Sister Cilice Trilogy which is a wonderful edition to the Hellraiser mythos. The second part of this saga called The Cilicium Pandoric was probably the best out of the three. Any story that includes the insane Toymaker is always going to be in my cool book. Jose and I both agreed that this story had a very ‘Scarlet Gospels‘ feel to it. The Hell here is obviously closer to what fans love about the Hellraiser series but still Wilde is able to bring something fresh and new to the table. Very well done.
American Mutant was also a keeper. If you can’t stand the hypocritical nature of religion and how they’re nothing but loathsome charlatans then this is the story for you. It had a good mean streak to it that I really enjoyed.
The monster story Polyp really touched on the fear of having a colonoscopy. This was probably the craziest tale out of the bunch and almost certainly the grossest. The monster feeds on its victims colons for a source of nutrition. I could literally smell the blood and bile coming off the page.
And finally Botophobia was a nice homage to the original sci-fi classic Invaders from Mars. I liked the paranoid feeling the lead character felt throughout the story. And the ending was very creepy and bizarre.
The rest of the stories have their own charm but these were my personal favorites. The book ends with a very nice afterword by the very talented and sexy Soska Twins who’ve directed such horror films as American Mary and See No Evil 2. I personally believe these women need to work on a project together.
While I do give the book a positive review and I recommend it to any fan of the genre I was must say I did have some problems with some of the novel’s content. Personally, I thought there was a little too much rape in the book for me. This is nothing against Barbie at all, this just a personal taste of mine. But to be fair to the author the stories are over the top and a lot of these moments are given reasons for being in their respective stories. She’s not just throwing it in there for shock value. It’s certainly powerful stuff but just not my cup of tea.
But overall this book gets a thumb up from me. Its fun and really out there and that’s what makes it unique. Think sci-fi splatter punk and you’ll have a blast. I know I did.
Also checkout our interview that we did with Barbie Wilde back in October of last year.