Author: Sharnta Bullard, Stephanie V. Canto, Josh Clayton, Gabriel Cleveland, Matthew S. Dentice, Rich Glinnen, Luke Hannon, Kit Laver, Jeannie Marschall, Mord McGhee, Aleksandar Mirkovic, Rachel Racette, James Rogers, Ross Rosenfeld, Gratia Serpento, Melvin Sterne, Ann McDowell Wagner, Jacob Ward, Emma Wells, Miles White, Jason Willard, Merdhin Wylde
Not Evil, Just Misunderstood…And Also Evil is an anthology of stories that look into the quirkier side of villiany. One of the contributors of the collection, Josh Clayton, has a Tomb Raider themed travel blog called In Lara’s Footsteps and a travel blog called A World on a Page and asked me to check out the collection.
This post also marks the very first time an anthology has been reviewed on my blog.
In some ways an anthology can be tricky to review as there are multiple authors involved coming up with different interpretations around a central theme, in this case looking at villainy in different ways and as a result there are always stories that will be enjoyed by certain readers more than others and that is true here for me as well, so coming up with a means to give the book an overall rating has been hard.
I decided that the best way would be to look at the individual stories I enjoyed the most. Of these, I really enjoyed them so I will give a shoutout to some of my favourites from the collection (in no particular order).
Treat Death Kindly
A really quirky story by Stephanie V. Canto that imagines a world where Death has lost his confidence and is living as a recluse, as a result no one can die. It is a fascinating concept and had me laughing in quite a few places.
City of Rot
City of Rot was written by Josh who first contacted me – the story is set in a mysterious ancient city ruled by a tyrant who is about to execute a man for attempting to assassinate him. The story has some cool links to ancient mythology and has a very good twist at the end over the setting of the story whcih I didn’t see coming.
Sawney Bean Stew in Sourdourgh Bread Bowl
This story by Kit Laver is great for anyone who reads food blogs, as it is a very funny, twisted and macabre take on a blog post with someone with very malicious intent.
This story by Emma Wells imagines the wife of Dracula who has gotten bored of her husbands lovemaking and decides to take matters into her own hands. I really enjoyed this story as it reminded me of a poetry collection I did at school called The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy.
In the collection it imagines the women behind real and fictional men throughout history (with poems such as Mrs. Midas and Mrs. Aesop in particular using the theme to great effect to lay into the fictional men in their lives). This short story is very much in that vein and almost belongs in that collection.
This story by Ross Rosenfield imagines some parents try desperately to stop their son from seeing two friends with very dark abilities that they disapprove of. If you have ever seen True Blood then this will definitely be up your alley and it also has a very dark twist at the end.
Overall the majority of the stories do hit on target and if you enjoy twisted and macabre tales featuring many classic evil monsters and themes (with a dark sense of humour) then this is a great anthology to read.
The collection is available on Amazon here and I would love to know down below what your favourite stories in the collection were.