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Side by Side Review: AWAKE: Tales of Terror by Lou Rera

Beth's Review...

This collection is a mere 201 pages, but Rera managed to pack 14 stories into this slim volume. The stories have a wide range of topics, but there are some interconnected stories, which is something I really like finding in a collection.


I didn’t dislike any of the stories (which is really unusual!), but I did have some stand-out favorites. I especially enjoyed “The Facts in the Case of Dr. Blackwell” and “Artist in Residence”. “The Facts in the Case of Dr. Blackwell” is a retelling of Poe’s short story “The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar”, which is included in the back of the book. Rera does a fantastic job rewriting the classic. I feel it came out even better than the original! “Artist in Residence” is a fresh take on a revenge story. Short, but definitely not sweet. This was my first Lou Rera book, but it won’t be my last!

Beth Griffith lives in Maryland with her husband, three children and a pathetically small herd of cats. She enjoys reading smut and gardening. You can watch saucy smut reviews, read salty book reviews and keep tabs on her questionable life choices on Instagram @mrsbeverlygibbs

Janelle's Review...
At first, I was drawn to the cover and so I immediately said “hell yes” when the author offered up a copy. Plus he’s a writer in the HWA which is solid gold in my book. What we have here is a stellar collection of stories. They are all sharply written, chilling, and downright clever. There’s not a dull one in the mix and I never found myself distracted.  Visitation Rights, The Facts in the Case of Dr. Blackwell, Awake, Clown on a Segway, The Cemetery, Reunion, Artist in Residence, and Scarecrow are my favorite stories but honestly, you can’t go wrong. I especially enjoyed Rera’s The Facts in the Case of Dr. Backwell because it's always fun to read a reimagined Poe story. His stories play around with murder, obsession, paranoia, supernaturalism, and revenge. Sounds amazing, right? Perfect score!

Janelle Janson @ She Reads with Cats


Tave's Review...

This was such a fun collection of stories! 
Each tale is unique and although some are quite short (a page or two) each one was creepy and terrifying! Usually, when I read a short story collection there's a story I skip because I get bored, but I didn't skip any here! There's a great variety of stories from modern-day terror to an Edgar Allan Poe retelling, which shows the author's range well.
I especially enjoyed Artist in Residence and The Scarecrow because they both were a little more twisted than I expected.
The perfect read to set by your bed and spook yourself with.


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1 comment

  • Many thanks for taking the time to read and review my work!

    • Lou Rera