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Written in Blood: Bodies Full of Burning [ARC Review]

by Cat Voleur
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I was honored enough to be sent an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book for the column by Sliced Up Press.

This is a unique anthology in that is dedicated to horror themed around menopause. Yes, you read that correctly, and I ask you to bear with me on this review, because I’m going to be highly recommending the title for all audiences quite shortly.

You may think that this would be a challenging, perhaps uncomfortable read. I know that even as I was downloading my copy of the book I was having second thoughts about whether or not Slasher Radio would be a good venue to review this title. I would wager a guess that most of our readers have not experienced menopause, and slightly over half never will.

Reading the anthology set my fears to rest. While the overarching theme may not be relatable to everyone, the emotions and fears of the individual stories are. It contains some of the best body horror pieces I’ve ever read as the tales within deal with transformation, confusion, pain, and adjustment. There are stories that lean more into the psychological aspects of transition. And especially to the women who are reading this, there are one or two stories in here that are quite uplifting.

On the note of uplifting, my personal favorite story from the collection was ‘Here There Are Dragons’ by Megan M. Davies-Ostrom.

This may be the first time that my personal favorite piece of an anthology was not simply the one that scared me most, but the one that struck me as the most profound. That being said there were one or two that I also found to be quite chilling.

The stories all shared one thing in common (aside from theme) and that was that they were beautifully written. I tend to read anthologies slower than novels; preferring to spread out the short stories and savor them as individual pieces instead of just tearing through them. Keeping that in mind it took me several weeks to get through, but each of the stories took no more than a few minutes. They were gripping, immersive, and disturbing in the best of ways.

The anthology evokes empathy and hope without ever crossing the line into preachy. It contains a wide range of horror stories that I think would be enjoyable by anyone, and I can’t endorse it enough.

‘Bodies Full of Burning’ will be released next week on September 1st. You can pre-order your copy from Barnes and Noble here.

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