The Bottom Feeders by Aaron Polson

Review reprinted courtesy of MissWrite.net

The Bottom Feeders is a 14-story collection of dark and foreboding tales from author and teacher Aaron Polson.

You know those writers whose pen bewitches and enchants yet somehow it seems effortless? Aaron is one of those authors.

One of the things I like about Aaron’s writing is that on the surface, everything appears normal. It reminds me of those side-by-side comic strips where you have to compare the two and find the one thing that is out of place.

Aaron’s tales have that one thing that is askew, and he utilizes that one thing to entice readers; to challenge them to come a little closer, to peer a little more intently. And by the time the reader realizes things are not quite right, there is no turning back.

The important thing is – I don’t want to turn back. I can’t help but go deeper into the darkness Aaron has created.

Whether it is the pallid-skinned town folk living in the dying carcass of Broughton’s Hollow in In Hollow Fields; the scraping, slow-building chill a young boy experiences after an unexpected stranger appears in Shovel Man Comes Callin’; or the tainted and ravenous creatures whose obliteration of a group of friends in Grim Adaptations is just the beginning, these tales find their way under your skin and they don’t tickle so much as prickle and unnerve.

From In Hollow Fields:

“A flash, she lurched, found herself lying on her back, facing the stars. Faces surrounded her, grey, leering faces. They smiled, opened their mouths, and rats writhed out, crawling down dark limbs, pouring toward her –.”

The Bottom Feeders is not hit-you-over-the-head horror. It is whispers in the dark; a creeping sensation up the back of your neck; dark things that cannot — or will not — remain buried. Like a bristling sliver, the frightening things found in The Bottom Feeders always make their way to the surface, and unveil the hidden horrors that lie beneath the places one least expects them.

Aaron’s voice will instantly draw you in no matter what story you read. And that’s where the slope gets slippery — because once you are just about to get comfortable and lose yourself in Aaron’s writing, that is when he turns the tables on you with his deftly woven prose that is steeped in subtle (and often skin-chilling) horror that is lyrical and poetic.

The Bottom Feeders is a strong collection. Each of the 14 tales interlocks with the next, allowing the uneasiness of the reader to build to a terror-pitch that will have you wondering about the hidden horrors all around you.

To pick up a copy of The Bottom Feeders (for only $0.99!), head over to Amazon or Smashwords (for the Bonus Edition which Includes 4 tales not found in the free edition–two previously unpublished).

For more information on Aaron Polson, his writing and his latest publications, visit his website.

Thanks for the nightmares, Aaron! I enjoyed this collection immensely.

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