Meann Ortiz reviews the stories in Unseen Moon.
Following last year’s magic and fantasy-inspired A Bottle of Storm Clouds, Palanca Award-winning writer Eliza Victoria’s new anthology Unseen Moon features five tales that explore darker themes with a touch of fantasy against the backdrop of familiar places and events that sound like they came straight out of news reports or the spooky stories you’ve heard but do not want to believe.
About the first story, “Needle Rain”:
In this story, Victoria delves into the minds and hearts of four longtime friends as they become involved in an accidental killing of one of their own—a suspense-filled look at how each of the characters unravel as fear and guilt take their toll.
What I find particularly compelling is how this story feels just a little unreal—its chilling sequence of events heightened by one character’s eerie dreams and visions—and yet everything begins with a perfectly normal get-together to work on a school project. It makes one question what you would do if it happened to you and your friends one dark and stormy night.
On “The Ghosts of Sinagtala”
This is one of the creepiest stories I’ve ever read. Siblings Ben and Emma visit Sinagtala, the old mansion they have inherited from their grandparents. It walks the line between the haunted house shenanigans that we’ve come to expect from “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” and the downright frightening paranormal manifestations showcased in “A Haunting.”
This is standard horror fare, really, but Victoria crafts it skillfully, intertwining the past and the present, reality and hallucinations, in a very cinematic writing style that wreaks havoc on the characters’ minds and fuels the readers’ imaginations.
If you’re a scaredy-cat like me, this is not recommended reading for when you’re alone in the house at night.
Visit GMA News Online to read the full review. Thanks Meann!