Book Review: Be Prepared to Die by Mark Souza (Look out Stephen King).

Mark Souza is an excellent writer.  Having already read two of his short stories, “Appliances Included” and “Second Honeymoon”, I didn’t hesitate to pick up this short story collection.  Of the seven tales, there was only one I didn’t particularly enjoy, but that’s down to personal taste.

In “The Comfort Shack” we have a father taking his wife and kids to an old fort to learn some history, and a tale of war and prostitution follows them into their present.  “Neath Lily Pond” brings us the disturbing case of a nanny tossing a child in a lake to drown.  The nanny has no memory of her appalling action and a local journalist decides to delve into the history of the lake. Turns out there have been many incidents of children drowning over the years.  Has someone placed a curse on the lake?  And if so, what child will be the next victim?

The corn maze story, “Cupid’s Maze” reminded me immediately of the landscape from the film Children of the Corn.   As soon as the protagonist noticed he hadn’t seen a car pass him by in an hour, I knew he and his fiancée were in for a night of terror.  “The Diary of Horatio White” changes things up. This tale, featuring zombies in the Civil War didn’t really capture my attention. Most of the story detailed the battle with a short supernatural ending.  Included among the seven stories are familiar gems: Appliances Included (chilling & possibly my favourite) and Second Honeymoon (dark comedy).   Lastly we meet Murphy, a man who never gets to enjoy any good fortune.  Despite getting lucky with a lady in red in a rundown bar, his good time is about to take a turn for the worst. “Murphy’s Law” can be a bitch sometimes.

If you’re looking for a happily ever after tale, stay clear of this book, but if you like your stories deliciously dark and terrifying, grab your copy now.  I’ve said it before and I’m mentioning it again, Souza is a gifted storyteller, and his tales of horror are intriguing and scary. I’m looking forward to choosing my next read from his work.  The nights are getting shorter, so it’s a perfect time to curl up on the couch, light a candle and immerse yourself in these spine-tingling tales. *****

Check it out on Amazon HERE

If you’ve been resistant to short stories in the past, try one of Souza’s!


About Emma

Buffy fan, avid reader, writer.
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10 Responses to Book Review: Be Prepared to Die by Mark Souza (Look out Stephen King).

  1. I’m usually not a big fan of short stories. They usually leave me going “Huh? What happened?” I usually just don’t GET the endings. It’s like they just stop with no closure. But having read “Appliances Not Included”, I’m sure I’ll enjoy these. So I just went and bought this book. 🙂

    • Emma says:

      So few people who visit this blog like short stories, 😦 I feel they are so handy to fit in with a coffee break at work or while you’re waiting for the dinner to cook, or like me eating dessert on the couch with one hand, kindle in the other 🙂
      Yay for buying the book. Hope you like it. Let me know which story you enjoy the most.

  2. I have heard of Mark Souza but can’t remember if I have read any of his works. I will definitely check this out. I am a big fan of horror short stories, read short story collections almost exclusively, so this is perfect for me.

    • Emma says:

      He’s a terrific writer. You’re one of the first I’ve heard say that about short story collections. Seems like most people like long novels where they can spend plenty of time with favourite characters.

  3. Megan says:

    Hmmm this sounds interesting. I generally don’t like short stories but it sounds like I’ll have to give this a read.

  4. I don’t mind short stories, but do prefer full length books. These sounds interesting though. I may give them a try.

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