Review: Dangerous Games edited by Jonathan Oliver

DANGEROUS_GAMESPublished by: Rebellion (Solaris Books)
ISBN: 1781082685
ISBN 13: 9781781082683
Published: December 2014
Pages: 320
Format reviewed: eVersion from NetGalley
Publisher Site: Publisher Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Three out of Five

This anthology is about choices or options, how one decision can lead your life down an entirely different path, or how it could all come down to the roll of a die and whatever comes up changes everything. We see addiction to gaming, war treated as a game, and matters that deal with cards. This is a horror anthology mainly, so beware those who continue forwards (though there are a few others mixed up there also) as these will last with you throughout the night and long after – they’re written with a deft hand, and edited together with style.

The contents are as follows:

“Big Man” by Chuck Wendig

“The Yellow Door” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

“Die” by Lavie Tidhar

“Chrysalises” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

“South Mountain” by Paul Kearney

“The Game Changer” by Libby McGugan

“Distinguishing Characteristics” by Yoon Ha Lee

“Captain Zzapp!!!” by Gary Northfield

“Death Pool” by Melanie Tem

“The Bone Man’s Bride” by Hillary Monahan

“Honourable Mention” by Tade Thompson

“Loser” by Rebecca Levene

“Two Sit Down, One Stands Up” by Ivo Stourton

“Ready or Not” by Gary McMahon

“The Monogamy of Wild Beasts” by Robert Shearman

“The Stranger Cards” by Nik Vincent

“All Things Fall Apart and Are Built Again” by Helen Marshall

“Lefty Plays Bridge” by Pat Cadigan

These will unsettle you, and won’t hold back on the macabre. Throughout there is a diverse selection of writers, and they’re presented well in this anthology. Overall, these stories were gripping and obtuse, needing the reader to concentrate and make their own decisions as it wasn’t always spelled out clearly what exactly has happened, or what it all means.

I would recommend this anthology to horror fans; this is a very strong anthology of modern horror shorts, and each comes with a short paragraph from the editor with a bit of information or why he particularly likes this piece. In a way, I wish these pieces were at the end of each short as sometimes they were a bit spoilery.

I thank Rebellion for offering me a copy to review.

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