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Side by Side Book Reviews: SHARDS by Ian Rogers

SHARDS by Ian Rogers


Ian Rogers is the author of one of the best short story collections for the genre. It's titled, EVERY HOUSE IS HAUNTED and if you don't have it, get it! And if you have it, read it! And if you've read it, read SHARDS, because the man has seriously leveled up (if that's even possible).

The foreboding first line, the hook, is your first clue that this will not end well but don't let that trick you into thinking you have any idea where Rogers want to take you. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

A group of friends rent a cabin for a little getaway. Things go horribly wrong.

There's nothing more to say about the plot because everything, literally everything compelling or delightfully delicious that I could tell you, would spoil reader's discovery and any potential blindsides. So in order to protect that, I will avoid anymore plot details and just expand more on my unique experience.

I enjoyed the fact that in less than 50 pages, Rogers unraveled a familiar plot trope at the seams and gave his audience something altogether fresh and unique. He sets the stage, arranges the characters in such a way that readers understand the dynamic in the friend group quickly through intentional reveals hidden in the subtext of dialog.
Quite suddenly, the antagonist arrives on scene; the causation of horror-a found, inanimate object. From here, Rogers shows off his wheelhouse. In very little words, Rogers just drops bombs. I don't know how else to explain it...he just sets up this mine field so that as the story progresses, readers trigger these mines-the horror is triggered and it just. keeps. coming.




By the last paragraph, eyes wide in terror, you're ready to read the whole thing over again to see how you even got there.

I fucking loved it. (I did read it twice)
Sadie Hartmann aka Mother Horror reviews horror for Cemetery Dance and
SCREAM Magazine. She is the co-owner of the horror fiction subscription
company, Night Worms. She lives in Tacoma, WA with her husband of 20+ years
where they enjoy perfect weather, street tacos and hanging out with their 3
kids. They have a Frenchie named Owen.


Shards by Ian Rogers was not at all what I was expecting. A group of college students rent out a secluded and run down cabin in the woods, they find a hidden door leading to the cellar and chaos ensues. I feel like I’ve read that before, right? WRONG. Ian Rogers takes what should be an overused and boring story and revitalizes it. He adds twists and turns and takes the story to places you would never expect. It is as much about what happens AFTER the incidents in the cabin as it is about the actual incident itself.

What is especially impressive about this book is that IT IS ONLY 35 PAGES LONG. What Rogers does in such a short amount of time is something some authors wish they could do in quadruple that amount of time. I feel like Rogers should teach a class on how to get readers emotionally invested from the jump. His plot moves quickly, not only because of the short amount of time he had to tell the story, but also because he was keeping the reader's attention. He creates characters that are real. Flawed. Human. He keeps your attention with the pace but keeps you invested emotionally with the characters.

This book hooked me immediately and genuinely made me uneasy. Shards is a book that I recommend to all horror lovers who have a few spare minutes. It is just perfection. *chef’s kiss*

I first heard about SHARDS on Twitter when a friend was saying it was free from Tor Books and how good it was. I had never heard of the author before but I figured i had nothing to lose so I grabbed a copy.

From the book’s description I was expecting your usual teenagers go to a spooky cabin in the woods story. The book does start off that way then suddenly it turns into so much more.

Five friends rent a cabin for a weekend and discover something totally unexpected. They each end up with an infectious obsession and their lives will never be the same again.

There’s plenty of spooky, bloody scenes for horror lovers and a twist at the end for fans of psychological thrillers. Rogers packs a lot into 35 pages and I loved every minute of it. I’ll definitely be reading more from this author.

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