"Sometimes I think the only way you can tell if something has a soul is if they can still be sad." -'The Days of Flaming Motorcycles' by Catherynne M. Valente, from Dark Faith
That, right there, sums up the tone of Dark Faith, an anthology recently released by Apex. These are not stories to read before bed- they are insidious clusters of words that will keep you up all night.
The collection ranges from the dark and bitter to the wistful, but all the stories have one thing in common- they look at what makes us human and twist it into a flurry of weakness and strength, taking the human condition and churning out things that are so skewed, so painfully true, that it is impossible to look away.
There were some stories that were hard to read, topic matter-wise, in that hard to look in the mirror sort of way, but like with a particularly vicious traffic accident the reader is captured by a morbid sort of fascination that keeps the pages turning. It helps that each story is a gem of word smithing. There are some seriously talented writers in this anthology, and that in itself makes it worth the buy.
It is also one of the more unique anthologies I have hit in awhile. There is definitely a common theme, and in the first few stories seems a bit too pervasive to make anything stand out individually, but as you keep reading, you see that one basic theme mature and mutate off into directions I would never have expected.
It is definitely for those readers who are friendly towards the horror genre, but it was definitely enjoyable for a shameless scifi/fantasy addict such as myself. I have a deep love for the twisted and for stories that have the power to make me wince. That shows such skill on the part of the author, and this anthology definitely abounds with such talent.show more
by April Steenburgh