A Sliver of Darkness
A Sliver of Darkness by C.J. Tudor is a unique collection of horror short stories. From more mundane hauntings to demon sacrifices, Tudor makes you rethink the world around you.
All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.
Timeslips. Doomsday scenarios. Killer butterflies. C. J. Tudor’s novels are widely acclaimed for their dark, twisty suspense plots, but with A Sliver of Darkness, she pulls us even further into her dizzying imagination.
In Final Course, the world has descended into darkness, but a group of old friends make time for one last dinner party. In Runaway Blues, thwarted love, revenge, and something very nasty stowed in a hat box converge. In Gloria, a strange girl at a service station endears herself to a cold-hearted killer, but can a leopard _really_ change its spots? And in I’m Not Ted, a case of mistaken identity has unforeseen, fatal consequences.
Characters: 6 | Atmosphere: 7 | Writing: 6 | Plot: 7 | Intrigue: 7 | Logic: 8 | Enjoyment: 6
Total: 6.71 / 3 Stars
“She often dreamed of drowning.”
As with all short story collections, I’ve averaged out my individual ratings for each story and got this CAWPILE review. However, as with all short story collections, there were some incredible stories and some less than incredible stories. I do appreciate a short story collection all written by the same author, though, as it means the writing style is consistent. I like Tudor’s quick pacing, and the way the stories jump in feet first and keep going. Almost all of them had tangible characters and interesting plots.
“He should have become a politician. Should have been running this shitshow himself. He felt he had all the necessary qualities—he was a compulsive liar, he had absolutely no morals and would happily dump on anyone to progress his own career. Plus, he was handsome enough to get away with it all.”
Most short story collections seem like they are attempting some overall message, some theme. This is not the case with a Sliver of Darkness. Instead, we are simply exposed to dark and haunting stories with a diverse cast of characters and varying degrees of horror. The book was hard to put down, each story getting increasingly more interesting. Many short stories make me feel like they should have been longer, given more context, and more plot. This isn’t the case with these, all of them feeling fully fleshed out in an understood way. The pacing is quick, and none of the stories feel like they weigh you down with too many details and not enough action. Yet, they still give you just enough information to understand each of the stories’ worlds and how they function.
“Even now, after the storm had passed, the sky seemed to hold a vague apricot tinge, especially at sunset. Rather than visiting a different country, it felt like visiting another world. Which was just what Olivia needed right now. To escape reality. To forget her life.”
A Sliver of Darkness is easily one of my new favorite short story collections, and I can’t wait to see what more this author has to offer. I highly recommend End of The Liner and the Completion, if you were to pick this up and choose a story at random.
“Our longest resident, señora. Fifty years. And until you remember your sins, you will never leave.”
Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Read more reviews here.
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