Standard Paperback, 110 pages. A collection of 20 stories from a multitude of writers and artists, all extremely well versed in the art of horror. Like Volume 1, The Nightmare Society: Volume 2 is intended for a more mature audience and is a bit darker than our Nightmare Soup series. Each story was selected for its merits in terror, and is accompanied by a nightmarish illustration from artists like Andy Sciazko and David Romero.
A collection like this is great because it introduces the reader to a variety of writing styles and perspectives, in addition to different types of art.
Nightmare Society returns with 20 more horror stories! While the first Volume felt like a great compilation of stories full of pop culture horror references and beautiful artworks, the sequel feels more original, creepier and full of unique stories. If you haven’t read our review of the Volume 1, please click here to read it as volume one has many hidden gems that will send shivers across your spine. Now, this review will tell you why Volume 2 is worth reading no matter what your opinion is about volume 1.
Nightmare Society Volume 2 starts off with a real story, which is debatable but I am sure that many of us have had strange situations beyond explanations. Such descriptions are found in two of the stories, which are creepily enough, based on true events. Other stories are also very interesting and makes you feel some weird sense of uneasiness after reading them. Stories are not full of fillers with random chit chat and the book makes use of every page properly to deliver the best horror value for the given book price. Many of the stories amaze and disturb you with the sheer amount of horrific details and surprises in them.
Volume 2 stories rely less on popular culture, and feel more original compared to the Volume 1 but are still as fun to read as Volume 1, except some stories feel like they have similar tone of torture and violent situations akin to the slasher horror movies. There are still some nice references to Hollywood movies, X-Files, possibility of aliens, Wendigo, premonitions like Final Destination movies, clowns and a story involving cars that reminded me of Silent Hill 1. There are stories which also explore the human relationships, emotions, love, life, and even soul. There’s even a story about a cat with a dark twist. Some stories like baby sitter, dark presence and gargoyles truly felt like psychological horror, and they were very enjoyable. I do hope that the authors include more such psychological horror stories in future books as the effect of fear is more on the reader as compared to slasher horror, but there are audiences for both, so, it seems that Nightmare Society books have tried to balance the different horror genre stories in their books which has resulted in a book that feels like a box full of surprises.
The book is not for children and definitely has a leaning towards slasher horror genre, as many original stories tend to describe some gruesome acts by a twisted killer or at times, creatures. If you enjoy slasher horror movies, then you will get the same type of effect or “amusement” by reading the book, as the description of torture or dismemberment is on par to the horror movies like SAW, novel/ShowTime’s Dexter or famous video games like Dead Space. It makes you glad that only 2 stories are based on real life events as some stories are truly disturbing and feel like a serious crime. Besides the usual warning, the authors should include the usual video game disclaimer that reads “We do not endorse or condone any act shown in the book and it’s a work of fiction” but then which horror slasher movies did that upfront? Jokes aside, the book has a very mature writing style that is perfect for this genre. The effect of descriptions is amplified by the creepy sketches / artworks at the end of each story which, shows the aftermath of the story, a creature, the antagonist or a creepy situation.
Overall, if you are a horror fan, then Nightmare Society Vol 2 will deliver a lot of value to you. The stories are well written and most of them have unpredictable twists or some weird characters which will amuse you as a horror fan. The sketches are truly scary to look at, especially thanks to the well described situations and intriguing characters that preside them. Some stories can be a bit too disturbing for non-horror fans but for the fans of slasher horror, it will be a treat to read. A must have in your horror books collection for some truly disturbing psychological horror stories and mysteries worth reading!
Illustrator Mr. Andy Sciazko ‘s Twitter
Spoiler-Free Horror Book Review: The Nightmare Society Vol. 1 “A collection of hauntingly beautiful tales!”
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