I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Halloween Carnival Volume 4 by Kealan Patrick Burke, Ray Garton, Bev Vincent, C. A. Suleiman, Paul Melniczek, Brian James Freeman
Series: Halloween Carnival #4
Published by Random House Publishing Group on October 24, 2017
Genres: Collections & Anthologies, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror
Kealan Patrick Burke, Ray Garton, Bev Vincent, C. A. Suleiman, and Paul Melniczek treat readers to some spooky tricks with a hair-raising assemblage of tales gathered together by author, editor, and master of the macabre Brian James Freeman.
THE MANNEQUIN CHALLENGE by Kealan Patrick Burke For some, office parties are the highlight of the season. For others, they can paralyze with dread. Theo is determined not to let his anxiety stop him from attending—though maybe he’s right to be afraid.
ACROSS THE TRACKS by Ray Garton The candy’s always better on the other side of town, even if it means crossing paths with bullies. But a rich house with an unlocked door might just be too good to be true. . . .
THE HALLOWEEN TREE by Bev Vincent Every town has one: a house or a field or an old tree that just gives off a bad vibe. Of course, those feelings are just silly superstition, nothing to take seriously. Right?
PUMPKIN EATER by C. A. Suleiman Peter loves Halloween—almost as much as he hates his wife. Luckily, his favorite holiday presents an opportunity to fix his problem. After all, putting his wife in her place should be as easy as pie.
WHEN THE LEAVES FALL by Paul Melniczek Haverville always seemed like a typical town to me: a place where people work hard, and no one ever really leaves. Until the night I went to Graver’s Farm—and discovered what Haverwille was really hiding.
I have no words. This anthology in the Halloween Carnival series was terrible. Literally, the only story that was in any way particularly memorable was The Mannequin Challenge. Even that story wasn’t all that great.
The Mannequin Challenge was the best story in the book. Even then, it seemed like I’d read it before – definitely not in Volume 4 as unlike Volume 1, I’ve only read Volume 4 once. No, it seemed I’ve read this one before in another book – or perhaps a story similar to it. Honestly, I don’t understand the ending or how any of the people were able to just hold their positions through what was being done, but whatever.
Across the Tracks was just dumb. Straight out dumb. The ending made zero sense and honestly, there really wasn’t anything creepy or scary about the story at all. It was just dumb.
The Halloween Tree was another one that was just plain dumb. A bunch of kids who are scared of a tree because they think it’s going to grab them. And what they do when it does. Big deal. This one reminded me of something a kid would write. I have no idea why Brian James Freeman thought this was one of the stories that was the epitome of Halloween.
Pumpkin Eater was OK. It was better than some of the others, but it still wasn’t great. It did have a nice plot twist toward the end, which is the story’s only saving grace. Again, I don’t get why this was chosen, but maybe I just don’t have the same taste as the editor.
When the Leaves Fall was the longest story in the book and frankly, I just don’t understand what was going on. Everyone says to stay away from a particular farm, yet everyone is basically working for this farm? What? Why? How? Not a single one of those questions is answered. The main character even says none of his questions were answered. What kind of story does that? Seriously, just no. Especially when you take half the book to tell your tale!
I was highly disappointed in this second-to-last installment of the Halloween Carnival series and gave it 1 star.