Horror · Poetry

Nightmare’s Eve by Stephen H. Provost

Now here is a collection you don’t read every day. Twisted tales that not only give you shivers but also make you rethink a thing or two.

A collection of 16 short stories and 10 poems that explore several themes going from space exploration, time travel to mythology and supernatural events that will make you sleep with the lights on.

If you found yourself stuck in a shoe sized-box for eight centuries, what would your plan be to escape? A parasite that enjoys your nightmares, how far would you go to get rid of it? If you had the choice between sparing or killing a creature, what would you choose? Is the darkness between reality and the dream world real? What if it’s out to get you?
First, I must say, the introduction is chilling to the bone and beautifully written. I got hooked on the book right from the beginning. There are certain short stories that spoke more to me than others, and some of them are:

• A Deal in the Dark is a reminder to be careful about what you wish for and to whom you make it to;
• Just the Ticket gives a whole new meaning to “The Devil is in the detail”. Like it happens in our daily life, read contracts with attention and read the small letters carefully. You never know when you’re being tricked, and the price of falling for it;
• Breaking the Cycle brings out the fear of closed spaces that took my breath away and made me stopped reading for a few moments. For claustrophobics, this one is a killer, literally.
• Nightmare’s Eve, good boys get gifts on Christmas, naughty boys get… a very different present-bringer. Where did the good Santa go? Was he ever good to begin with? He does look a bit pale there. A great, creative twist to your usually happy Christmas tale!

Certain poems kept replaying in my mind, even days after reading them the first time. Unwound, Upon Reflection, Merlin’s Lament, Lost at Sea, A Never-Setting Sun, talk about loss, the truth behind a mirrors reflection and the nostalgia of lost moments and memories. I found them to be touching and melancholic. I think Stephen Provost uses prose to explore his imagination and poetry to express feelings that he couldn’t express quite as well as writing about them. But then again, this is my own interpretation.

The style of writing is amazing. Stephen Provost is a master with words both in verse and in poetry; it’s like music written with words instead of music notes. It seems like there’s an influence of the gothic style in his writing in all his works which brings out a feeling of melancholy.
I recommend this novel to the fans of short-stories and of stories and poems that drift between genres.

4 Stars

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