Jack's Magic Beans

Jack's Magic Beans - Brian Keene A small collection of early stories by post-splatter horror author Brian Keene, some of them having gone through later re-writes. These are pretty good short little screams....

Jack Magic Beans: Fits nicely into a common Keene theme; The end of the world through chaos, murder and gore. There's a nice twist though in which the survivors are immune due to...sorry, no spoilers. But it is a tight scary story with one problem. It stops abruptly, reading like the first chapter of a longer story. Still worth reading, four stars.

Without You: Short disturbing story with a twist I can't get out of my head. Makes you wonder about those things you promised your sweetheart in your early days. A graduate class on how to write short fiction. Five Stars.

I am an Exit and This is not an exit: Two related stories about serial killing. Not my favorite Keene but still scary. Feels like a preview of a longer novel idea and, inferred from the author's after word, probably is. Three Stars each.

'The King", In: YELLOW: My favorite of the five tales. Absolutely freaking genius. This is a loving tribute to Robert W. Chambers' masterpiece, The King in Yellow. BTW, I agree with what Keene said in the afterword. If you haven't read Chambers'The King in Yellow, you must. But you can enjoy this fine tribute without reading the original inspiration.

So there you go. A solid four stars in total for this nice but too short collection.