Author Steven Deighan
Thank you so much to author Steven Deighan for providing me with these collections in order to provide an honest review.
Submit Horror is an anthology of short horror stories, Feels Like Stephen King is a horror graphic novel, and The Party is a 3D horror comic book.
Anthologies and short stories can be really tricky. I don’t think I’ve ever read a short story collection where I liked every single one. There are always going to be stories that are weaker than some of the others and I think that anthologies highlight them because you may read them back to back and cannot help but compare.
In Submit Horror there were 3 stories that stood out to me as being the best of the bunch.
Coffee Stains was the first story that really caught my attention. It’s about a mysterious book that somehow causes a string of suicides. It’s creepy and ominous. I enjoy the psychological horror that this story brought to the collection.
Horror has so many sub-genres and Submit Horror touches on quite a few of them. Some of them just simply weren’t my taste but another reader may like them even more. The great thing about horror is that you can find exactly your preferred niche. What scares one person isn’t going to scare another.
The second story I really liked in this collection was The Picasso Project. An artist decides to take a huge risk and put himself in a very uncomfortable position to become successful.
It’s gothic and has some great visuals but isn’t disgusting like a couple of the other stories in the book. With this one Deighan found a balance between gross and intriguing.
The third one that really stood out to me is titled The Tent, it’s about a girl who follows her young cousin to investigate a creepy tent in the woods. What she finds inside of the tent leaves her permanently traumatized but it’s not at all what you’d expect.
I liked the real world trauma that this one described. Between these three stories you get three very different types of horror and what this book does well is give the reader a sampling of what the genre has to offer.
Overall, the writing style of the book was not to my taste though. Deighan can get overly descriptive and sets a scene more than I need. Other readers may enjoy getting lost in every detail of a location and how everything looks but it’s not for me. I think it slows it down.
Deighan’s graphic novel, Feels Like Stephen King, utilizes the graphic novel format quite well and uses the pictures to show the setting instead of describing it.
I think this was my favorite story out of all of the books, largely due to the style shift. It’s about a horror writer who is brought an interesting and vague proposal from someone he probably shouldn’t trust.
The end pays off the mystery really well and I quite liked the shocking reveal.
The Party was unfortunately my least favorite of the three books. I like the idea of it, it’s a 3D printed comic book complete with old school 3D glasses. Great concept but it just doesn’t quite work in practice.
It was very difficult to read, I ended up taking the glasses off and had to focus on just the red lettering in order to read it. After all that effort the story was extremely simplistic and just wasn’t fresh in any way besides the art.
I would really like to see this strategy work but in this case it was just a flashy distraction with no payoff.
Deighan seems to be a huge fan of horror and I think that helps his horror creativity. I would like to see what he does with a longer format if he decided on a sub-genre to really focus on.
These books are more of an introduction into horror than anything else. Kind of a sampler platter for you to pick at without having to commit to a full length novel.
Since all of the stories are quite short it’s easy to pick this one up when you don’t have a lot of time to sit down and read.
2.5/5 🤡🤡 scary clowns overall
Buy it here: Submit Horror