Book Review of “Anoka” by Shane Hawk

Book Review of Anoka by Shane Hawk

If you are a fan of short horror collections, then look no further. Anoka by Shane Hawk is one of the better collections that I have read in quite a while. Mixing modern day horror with Indigenous lore makes these tales uniquely satisfying for those looking for something new in horror.

Author Shane Hawk

Excerpt: “Welcome to Anoka, Minnesota, a small city just outside of the twin cities dubbed “The Halloween Capital of the World” since 1973. Here before you lie several tales involving bone collectors, pagan witches, werewolves, skeletal bison, and cloned children. It is up to you to decipher between fact and fiction as the author has woven historical facts into his narratives. With his debut horror collection, Cheyenne and Arapaho author, Shane Hawk, explores themes of family, grief, loneliness, and edentity through the lens of indigenous life.”

My three favorite stories in this collection would be, “wounded,” “Imitate,” and “Dead America.” These stories are thickly woven into the indigenous culture, inviting the reader into a new world and perspective from which to recieve supernatural twists.

“Wounded,” while well written and traumatic in nature, revolves around a book (no wonder why I love this tale.) But this is no ordinary spell book or grimoire; this book has a malevolent spirit of its own. Once he decides what’s real and what isn’t, the protagonist Phillip is forced to do battle with a book from hell.

“Imitate” was just creepy. Like, haunted kids kind of creepy. What begins as a normal routine in which the father reads a bed time story to his son turns into a trip down the rabbit hole. The story ends leaving me with an eerie feeling of fantasy mixed with a bit of horror.

“Dead America” is about a native writer that is thought to have sold out his people due to writing or stealing their stories. After the death of his grandfather, he succumbs to a recurring nightmare in which a spider comes to him and lays hundreds of eggs in his belly. The story culminates with his grandfather visitng him to tell him to stop ‘spinning his web of lies.”

“Anoka” is a great read and short collection that can be finisehd in a couple of days (I’m a slow reader.) I highly recommend it to any lover of the supernatural, indigenous fiction lovers, or those looking for something fresh.

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On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

Mad Men

  • Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller which causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must read before it does get banned! Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in the Mad Men anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all man and woman. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults. The Mad Men anthology published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.

Ghost Children

  • The ghost children in “The Lost Ghost” and “The Wind in the Rose-Bush” are not restricted ghosts, and this is how these ghosts differ from the other ghosts of writers of Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman time such as Henry James, Sarah Jewett or Ambrose Bierce. These apparitions may seem cute, but think twice as these ghost children will leave you with goose bumps. This double feature of Mary E. Wilkins short fiction is creepy enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on.

Published by Willy Martinez

Willy Martinez is a creative writer, Integrated Marketing Specialist, and Boxing coach. Since being honorably discharged from the Marines in 2004, he has pursued his passion for telling stories, whether they be through film, graphic design, and writing for digital art.

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