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Weird Dream Society edited by Julie C. Day - Book Review

Write on: Sun, 24 May 2020 by  in Natasha's Reviews Read 1375

A haunted desert, consciousness rotting away, statues that move after dark, woods that kidnap and devour, beings that can erase you from memory with only their touch – all of this and more is found in the 23 short stories of the Weird Dream Society anthology.

The blurb for Weird Dream Society describes the tales as “playful, whimsical, or dark, but always thoughtful and tinged with the inexplicably weird.” I agree with most of this, but I can’t think of many tales that I interpreted as playful or whimsical. The vast majority would be better described as bleak, though not entirely hopeless. What I appreciated about these strange, dark stories is that most of them, and all of my favorites, were not weird for the sake of being weird but rather delivered a point. There were only a few that missed the mark and, to me, seemed aimless.

This anthology is often an uncomfortable read, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an enjoyable one. If you know you’re not a fan of stories that make your skin crawl or questions that might not have satisfactory answers, this is not the book for you. That doesn’t mean that this anthology is only for fans of horror; I’m certainly not one and I really liked most of the stories. If you were intrigued by the premises listed in the intro of this review, I’m willing to bet that you will find at least a couple of stories here that you love.

Averaging my ratings for every individual story, Weird Dream Society is a 4 out of 5 star read for me. This anthology does not only contain great stories but also supports a great cause, with proceeds from the book going to support RAICES, an organization that “envisions a compassionate society where all people have the right to migrate, and human rights are guaranteed” and works towards this vision by providing legal services for immigrants and refugees. It’s worth mentioning that a number of the short stories in this book contain themes of immigration and/or otherness. Weird Dream Society will be published on May 26th, 2020, and I recommend you pick up a copy if you’re a fan of weird speculative fiction.

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Last modified on Sunday, 31 May 2020 03:00

Natasha's passion for reading was kindled by her parents and the local library that allowed her family to checkout 50 books at a time. She first fell in love with fantasy through Arthurian retellings whereas her love for science fiction began with Star Wars novels. Nowadays, she still spends her free time reading but also gaming, running a blog (natrosette), and obsessing over TV shows. Maybe if she spent as much time reading as she does looking for books to read, she'd actually make a dent in her TBR.