4 feather #bookreview of LOVABLY DEAD
by Lex Allen
Caution – Several of the stories in the “Lovably Dead” collection contain explicit language and adult situations.
Peripheral Vision – have you ever noticed a movement, just there, from the corner of your eye; but, when you turned to see it more clearly, it was gone? Most people have, and everyone shrugs it off as their mind playing tricks on them. There’s nothing to worry about, nothing at all; or is there?
Doctor Gavin’s Patient – among horror story characters and villains there are creatures that excite the sensual senses. These evil beings are sexier than vampires, cleaner and smarter than zombies and more human than werewolves, for one thing. Aside from that, I don’t think horror writers have given them the respect they deserve.
Reapers – one of my favorite, best remembered axioms states, “I don’t know what I don’t know.” It kind of sums up the inexplicable; things that go bump in the night without apparent cause. People die and the examining doctors don’t always know why; they won’t admit it, but they really don’t know. What happens to a dead person’s soul? Is there really such a thing as a soul? Can it be bartered for, sold or stolen? Well, I don’t know what I don’t know, which makes this a possibility.
Black Converse – won inclusion into a horror anthology that was never published a couple years ago, so I could hardly exclude the story here. I can’t recall the name of the story that triggered me to write this one, but it was long ago and far away; and, really, only one similar detail of that story comes through in this one. If you are a long time reader of horror stories, you might notice that one instance of similarity (at the very end).
The Solution – I know exactly where the idea for this story came from…Stephen King’s, “The Long Walk”; ‘nough said.
Lovably Dead – a writer friend made mention, a few months ago, of a publisher that was looking for unique zombie stories. She never got around to mentioning the publisher’s name and address, though. No harm done – I didn’t ask. I think you’ll find this one to be refreshingly unique. It’s a bit long in comparison to the others in this collection, but – it’s the title story!
If you like short stories with a blend of fantasy/horror, you will love this book. Lex Allen does a great job building his characters and scenes. You feel like you’re right in the mix of things. Out of the 5 stories, my favorites were Doctor Gavin’s Patient and Lovably Dead.
Doctor Gavin has a “voice” inside his head that the good Dr. has learned to live with. In comes a new patient seeking assistance. And of all things, a succubus. I loved the interplay between the three characters, as the succubus slowly wins her way over Dr. Gavin. And just when you think she wins, the “voice” comes to the rescue. Very imaginative.
In Lovably Dead, my favorite part was how Lex Allen made the zombie, Julian so likable by giving him child-like behavior and mannerisms. And knowing that Julian is the “zombie”, you except him to be the villain. But not so fast. There’s dear, darling Kate, the fiancee. The things she has to go through to exact her revenge. I liked the twist at the end, but felt sad for poor Julian.
It’s hard to give a rating and review on a collection of short stories. Some you may love, some not so much. That’s kinda my problem. I wasn’t too thrilled with The Solution. And Reapers was okay, but I had to go back and refresh my memory on what the story was about. Overall, I will give my 4 feathers.