Book Review: Welcome to the Splatter Club edited by K. Trap Jones

Title: Welcome to the Splatter Club

Author: edited by K. Trap Jones

Publisher: Blood Bound Books

Publication Date: Sept 1, 2020

Genres: Horror

Shelves: Female-fronted

With the exception of one infuriating piece of trash that I’ll get to in a moment, Welcome to the Splatter Club was a strong collection of extreme horror with some outstanding entries.

SPLATTER PARTY by John McNee was a great story to open with. It doesn’t seem like much at first, and takes a long time to really get to the meat of the horror, but once the curses begin to manifest . . . wow! And the final scene of discovery? Absolutely perfect.

GRINDER by Nikki Noir was one of my two favorites in the collection, a gruesome tale of power, greed, drugs, and sexual excess. It’s one of those stories where you know where it’s going, but not quite how, allowing it to both satisfy and surprise at the same time.

I HANG MY HAT AND THERE’S NO BLOOD by Robert Essig was a really weird one, another slow-burn story that had me wondering where it was headed, but the way it telegraphed one twist only to turn it into something else entirely was brilliant. Bleak, but brilliant.

CODE BLACK by Matthew Weber was my other favorite story in the collection, an exploration of small town prejudices and teenage bullying, with the all-too-human vengeance of the final even more chilling than the supernatural horrors that precede it. This one reminded me of a vintage Stephen King story, from back when he wasn’t afraid to end in darkness.

23 TO 46 by Paul Stansfield was more surreal than horrific – at least until the end – but it was a clever concept and well-done.

HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME is that infuriating piece of trash I mentioned earlier. I dreaded where it was heading as soon as the wife suggested a Thailand vacation, BUT FOR FUCK’S SAKE CAN WE JUST STOP WITH THE LAME FUCKING USE OF A TRANSGENDER TRAP AS A PLOT DEVICE, GET PAST THE FUCKING “I VOMITED BECAUSE A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN HAS A PENIS” BULLSHIT, AND NEVER FUCKING EVER AGAIN (NOT EVEN IN FICTION) USE TRANSPHOBIA TO FUCKING JUSTIFY MURDER!

NEUTERED by Chandler Morrison was a creepy bit of sci-fi horror that did some really interesting things with memories of abuse and self-loathing. I had to read it twice to wrap my head around it, but it was worth it.

THE WOMAN IN THE DITCH by Joshua Rex would have been a perfect story on which to end, another slow-burn tale with a subtle element of horror that’s perfectly teased early on, played with nicely, and then indulged in details that are as disgusting as they are beautiful. It’s one of those stories there the telling just fit the horror.

I really wish that one story hadn’t been there, or that I could excise it from my memory, because I feel like it drags down what was otherwise a strong collection. I’ll be honest, I very nearly abandoned Welcome to the Splatter Club at that point, but there were so many excellent stories that preceded it, I couldn’t in good conscience allow them to pass without comment, and I’m glad I gave the final few a read.

Rating: ♀ ♀ ♀ 1/3

My sincere thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Welcome to the Splatter Club edited by K. Trap Jones

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