Title: The Uncanny Valley – Tales from a Lost Town
Author: Gregory Miller
Illustrator: John York
Published: January 6th 2014 by West Arcadia Press (first published May 27th 2011)
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Short Stories, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror
Welcome to the Uncanny Valley where a public broadcasting affiliate requested their listeners to submit essays about a ‘specific historical, ritualistic, or personal event’ that described the culture of their own hometown. What results is a horrifying collection of 33 eerie tales told by the residents of Uncanny Valley just as they were sent in to the contest. Some of these tales were just plain creepy and a couple were delightful and humorous in a ghoulish way. What remains to be seen is whether the town actually existed…
I loved the brevity of the stories and the fact that they were told in the words of the actual residents from all ages and occupations. Each story takes you on a personal journey of events that are spine-chilling and mind boggling. I loved reading this collection of adult ghost stories, which was the sort we would tell around a campfire when we were children.
My favorite story was “Mrs. Karswell’s Garden,” which was the tale of a supernatural garden that gave refuge to a brother and sister from a family that abused them physically and mentally. It was a poignant tale about transitioning into an adult.
I found this book on my usual search for free Kindle books on Amazon and was blown away by the writing and storytelling. If you are a fan of Ray Bradbury you will love the way the stories build off of one another bringing you to an unexpected end. Gregory Miller is adept at building suspense and drawing you along on a masterful journey of which you will never forget. I had some strange dreams for awhile after reading this book.
(Image Credit: Gregory Miller)
I do want to mention the illustrator, John York, whose drawings helped to illustrate the peculiar happenings in the book. Even with my Kindle paperwhite I was able to discern the terror and dread depicted on the faces of many of the town’s people. The drawings added a sinister flair and increased my enjoyment in the stories.
While reading, I was reminded how fragile life truly is and how there is magic present in our lives if we choose to look hard enough. There is a humanistic quality to each of these stories ranging from accounts of bullying, vengeance, a haunting, murder, and even vampires. The Uncanny Valley asks you to deal with your fears by taking the well-known in your life and molding it into something to be feared. Disturbing and creepy, you will love this book!
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3.8
Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback: $6.99 US
Kindle: $.99 US
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