Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 1, ed. by Randy Chandler & Cherly Mullenax, narrated by Joe Hempel
Normally, I'm more of an atmospheric horror gal than a gore lover, however, I do believe there's room for both in the horror genre of today. I picked up this volume when it first came out, but it was the offer of the free audio, (in exchange for my honest review), that made it possible for me to read it now rather than some time in 2017. This was my first book narrated by Joe Hempel and I think he did a fine job, especially considering the often shocking subject matter.
There were a few "new to me" authors here and my favorite among them was The Behrg and his story, Reborn. THIS, this is the reason people don't leave babies on the steps of churches anymore. Reborn is my favorite type of short horror story-no messing around, BAM!! It hits you right in the face! The Behrg has been on my radar for awhile and now I have to finally acknowledge him. (You were right, Kimberly!)
The Most Important Miracle by Scott Emerson. Now, seriously, who the hell is this guy? From what kind of sick brain did this story emerge? More importantly, are there more stories in there?
There were a couple of tales from authors I am already familiar with that I really liked-Adam Howe's Cleanup On Aisle 3 was one of them. It's a BADASS turning of the tables type story that had me cringing and laughing at the same time.
Jeff Strand's contribution, Awakening, had me laughing so hard I almost fell out of my chair. Rarely are suicide pacts THIS funny!
Lastly, Jason Parent's Eleanor knocked my socks off. Boot-i-ful?? Yep, you bet! Sick, twisted and beautiful.
Overall, this was an above average collection that lost nothing in the translation to audio. Most of these tales are brutal, gory and shocking though, so prepare yourself before you go wading in. It gets deep and rather slimy the further you go.
Highly recommended to fans of hardcore horror!
*Thanks to Joe Hempel and Audiobook BOOM! for the free copy in exchange for my honest review.*