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The Devil’s Due: Nothing Is Ever As It Seems (full reviews here)
“When I first picked up this anthology, I had the idea that the theme was obvious: bad people getting their just deserts. I’m a fan of the karma come home to play genre, and so many of these stories really hit that mark for me, and adding in real demonology and lore just makes it all the sweeter… but the anthology actually has a different message and that message is shouted with every single tale: if you mess with dark forces you will always suffer for it.
Good intentions? Too bad. Innocent mistake? So sad. If you play a game with demons, devils, or other dark forces, you’re not going to come out of it on top. This isn’t an anthology of redemption or lessons being learned, except perhaps for the reader. A few stories left me feeling satisfied, others crushed, but not a one of them really leaves you feeling happy—and that’s great, that’s not the theme here!
If you enjoy stories about demonic contracts, this anthology is for you. If you want daring, last minute escapes, happy endings, blissful peace… you won’t like this anthology. And not every story is going to leave you feeling the same. Sometimes it’s like being torn from emotion to emotion, sometimes you feel sick to your stomach, sometimes you feel scared. It’s not always sneering at the misfortunes of others who have done wrong, it’s quite often forcing you to realize that these things can happen to anyone, even those who didn’t think they were involved, those who learned their lesson, or those who were simply in the wrong place…” – Rob W. (4/5 stars)
The Devil’s Due is an “unlucky 13” stories about people who make Faustian bargains (sometimes unwittingly) with the devil or one of his infernal agents. It’s a familiar literary trope, but the authors in this anthology breathe new life into it, sometimes by recasting a story in an unexpected setting. Bobby Nash’s story “Dante’s Teeth” is set in the Old West, and it’s an excellent Western as well as a horror story. “Genevieve and the Owl” by Mark Allan Gunnells takes the form of a dark fairy tale, and as a lover of folk horror I found the story fascinating. “Mary’s Secret” by Winfield Strock III (an author who is new to me) gives us a story of Victorian-era spiritualism and a historical setting in the form of a secret letter written by Mary Todd Lincoln in 1882. And one of my favorite horror themes, the cursed book, ends the anthology with Adam Messer’s “The Known and True History of the Djin.” Highly recommended for all lovers of horror literature. – Darrell Grizzell (5/5 stars)
The Devil’s Due: Nothing Is Ever As It Seems: Horror dark spec fiction anthology (The Devil’s Due: Horror dark spec fiction anthology Book 1) is a great anthology written by a lot of different author. I really liked reading this and I recommend this to all. I read a complimentary Advanced Reader Copy of this book & am voluntarily leaving an honest and unbiased review. – Scarolet Ellis (5/5 stars)
I really enjoyed the stories I read in this anthology. They really did a great job capturing my interest and holding my attention and I especially enjoyed reading “Genevieve and the Owl” by Mark Allan Gunnells. It has a very sympathetic protagonist and in my humble opinion, sets up a perfectly creepy atmosphere in the woods although more horrifying is the protagonist’s home life. The story on the whole was very satisfying and I highly recommend it. I also really enjoyed the first story “The Resurrection and the Life” which finds it’s protagonist in a very desperate situation and one he won’t be easily able to get out of. All in all, if you enjoy stories about making deals with the devil, than this is the anthology for you. – Stephanie Schwartz (5/5 stars)