ARC – The Devourer Below, by various authors – A Review.

Hello friends and fellow bookworms! I’m here today to bring you my review of The Devourer Below, which is a horror anthology written by Josh Reynolds; Evan Dicken; Davide Mana; Georgina Kamsika; Thomas Parrott; David Annandale; and Cath Lauria.

The Devourer Below was published on the 6th July (so I’m a bit late with my review but life has gotten on top of me) and is being published by Aconyte Books. Also a big thanks to NetGalley and Aconyte Books for the free ARC to read and review!

I’ve rated and reviewed each individual story below, but my overall rating of this one is 3.5 stars.

Running The Night Whiskey by Evan Dicken – 3 stars.

I did enjoy this one, even though it was a bit slow to get started and to get to the main point of the story. That being said, I understand why it was a bit slower, it was the first story in the anthology and it needed to set the scene more so and introduce us. I would have preferred a bigger focus on the ghouls and their backstory and less on our characters getting chased etc. My favourite part of this story though was how it constantly alluded to something bigger going on, as if our characters were just pawns in a game.

Shadows of Dawning by Georgina Kamsika – 4 stars.

This was one of my favourite stories from the anthology, more so for the way the emotions were portrayed. You could feel Lita’s emotions through the pages, and her relationship with Priya was beautifully written. Whilst I didn’t enjoy the actual story so much, I felt the way the characters were written and how they expressed themselves made this an enjoyable read.

The Hounds Below by Josh Reynolds – 5 stars.

This was my one of my two FAVOURITES of the entire set of stories! It was a really simple idea, one that I’d seen done a thousand times before but the author just seemed to have this ability to make it feel so much creepier and set you on edge whilst you were reading it. And the ending, I did not see coming at all – I actually thought I’d guessed what would happen but I couldn’t have been more wrong!

Labyrinth by Thomas Parrott – 5 stars.

This one was my other favourite of the stories, anything with a Greek mythology vibe I am instantly going to love! From the start this story had a secretive feeling to it, which was enhanced throughout the story, and at the end when we were left with more questions than answers. The whole story linked so well together, especially with how the Greek mythology merged with the idea of The Devourer. Everything about this story was just so well done.

All My Friends Are Monsters by Davide Mana – 3 stars.

I didn’t quite get the same feeling from this as I got from the others, it didn’t feel (for me at least) as if they got the same brief as the rest of the writers, it didn’t seem to fit as well with the other stories. It was a very well written story and it read brilliantly, it just didn’t fit with the others and the overall feel of the book.

The Darkling Woods by Cath Lauria – 2 stars.

I can’t really say much about this one except it felt as though it didn’t have a plot, it didn’t wow me or make me scared or make me jump or thrill me like the other stories did. It also ended quite abruptly without tying up the lose ends which I found frustrating.

Professor Warren’s Investiture by David Annandale – 1 star.

From the start, I knew exactly how this one would end, it was so predictable. I found the story to be overly simplistic and without any additions to the story to bring that wow factor, it fell quite flat. It made an impression on me, but it was the wrong one, sadly.

Sins in the Blood by Thomas Parrott – 5 stars.

This was a great way to finish of the series, it felt as if it brought a natural ending to the collection of stories. It also helped that the story itself was brilliant, it built up the tension and atmosphere so well! I didn’t know it was going to end, it kept me guessing from start to finish, which was good because the characters were really likable so you were rooting for them but you weren’t sure if they would survive… It was a really simple idea but excellently executed.