*This book was sent to me for review purposes by the author. All opinions are my own.
I was so excited when Calvin Demmer reached out to me about reviewing his newest release, Dark Celebrations. I have also reviewed his other book, The Sea was a Fair Master. Both books are collections of short stories. Novellas and short stories are my favorite ways to consume horror. I tend to have a shorter attention span when it comes to horror so I’m guaranteed to be more invested in a shorter format over something more drawn out. Since this is a collection of short stories and a new release, I’m going to keep this review spoiler free. Let’s get into the synopsis and then my thoughts!
Each year, people all over the world celebrate special festivals and days, shining light on what they wish to remember and revere. But sometimes, inhabitants of the dark arrive with the desire to disturb proceedings. Dark Celebrations is a collection of twelve short stories… and the holidays will never be the same.
Demmer writes the kind of horror I love the most. It’s not too scary or gory and there’s always an edge of humor… but maybe I’m just weird for finding the stories funny. It’s no secret that I’m not a big fan of scary stories and I rarely review them. They tend to make me anxious and I especially hate gore. With that being said, I’m always happy to read Demmer’s work because it’s more on the lighthearted side of the spooky spectrum.
However, please don’t misunderstand me, all twelve of these stories are extremely creepy. I really enjoyed each one of them but if I had to choose favorites, “Happy Dark Year” and “Dying Valentine” would win. They both had twists that I didn’t expect and I loved that.
I also loved that each story revolved around a specific holiday. Oddly enough, this made me feel nostalgic. As a kid, I had a book called The Ghost Sitter by Peni R. Griffin. It was about a little girl that died on the 4th of July in a fireworks explosion and came back as a ghost. I read that book a ridiculous amount of times and I always thought it was such an interesting scary story because it took place during the summer instead of around Halloween. This collection of short stories gave me those same feelings but of course, they’re written for an older audience.
Clearly, I recommend Dark Celebrations. It’s a dark collection but not too dark. I think it’s perfect for anyone wanting to get their mind off the current state of the world and if you buy it, you’ll be helping out an indie author. Let me know if this book sounds like one you’d like! Thanks for reading and have a great day!