Library of Nightmares by Ray Scrivener

The Library of Nightmares is a collection of fourteen (though the description states thirteen) flash fiction horror tales. I was excited to see this short collection offered through Kindle Unlimited because I love flash fiction, and I love tales of horror and things that go bump in the night. My excitement faded after I read the first offering.

Scrivener’s collection starts with a quaint tale of body horror titled Monsters in the Flesh. Now, I say quaint because the story itself was predictable, reminded me of many television episodes, and was neither good nor bad. The second story, A Grave Mistake, possessed more potential and presented a fun graveyard tale. But again, it was predictable and reminiscent of so many other graveyard-inspired tales.

The remaining journey through Scrivener’s tales was the same “safe” journey, with none of the stories standing out from the rest. Scrivener’s writing style is a tad too distant, but that is to be expected with flash fiction. However, the grammatical errors, stylistic choices, and formatting left something to be desired. Another trip through the editing and proofreading process was needed.

Overall, The Library of Nightmares provided a safe journey through the wading pool of horror flash fiction. I am sure many will enjoy this collection, but for me, Scrivener played it too safe with many of the tales and didn’t make the theme their own. I would pick up another book by them and give them another chance because there is something in their voice, but it’s muffled in this collection.

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