[Review] Spook Lights II: Southern Gothic Horror

spook lights II

Aaand I’m back with a review of an another excellent read. Damn body kept me from doing much gushing on here the last couple weeks, but be prepared for more awesomeness (aka ALL the reviews)! And fittingly, these last 2 weeks of April are Spring into Horror, a themed readathon, and Spook Lights II would be a perfect choice for it. You can find the sign-ups and more info here.

I’ve always loved creepy tales that make for good reading to cozy up with under the blankets. But I only discovered Southern gothic horror a couple of years back when I found Tananarive Due’s works. Those made me fall pretty hard for the stuff, so I jumped at the chance to read Spook Lights II, and I’m glad I did.

Eden Royce’s second collection of Southern gothic horror tells the stories of powerful Black women of the South. For those of you who don’t do well with the brutal stuff, mostly these stories aren’t very gory, but instead the horror comes quietly creeping up on you while you’re reading. And then Royce is excellent at creating tightly packed narratives with endings that pack a punch.

As with any collection, some stories are better than others, but Spook Lights II is a remarkably strong collection overall. Let me try to awkwardly gush about some of my favorite stories without giving anything away.

Spook Lights II opens with “Carolina Blue,” bringing with it a strong sense of place with the crops and wet marshlands and oppressive heat. And it’s not just the rice that’s blue. The uncanny here is quite unexpected but I also loved this story for the atmosphere and tone it set for the rest of the collection.

“To-do list” was pretty epic, I mean I love lists, so that’s a sure way to get me excited. But that story is genius, from the seemingly mundane lists about grocery shopping to couples arguing, read it and tell me what you think!

Meanwhile in “Grandmother’s Bed,” a young woman contemplates her dying grandmother’s powerful role of head of family and her own position of possible successor. The solution to her problem is both ingenious and horribly creepy.

I very much enjoyed how many of these stories focused on women and their relationships with family, especially mothers and grandmothers. There’s a give and take of love but also obligation as well as roles and powers that are passed onto the next generation.

By the way, both Spook Lights and Spook Lights II are <3€ on Amazon Kindle at the moment! Naturally, I had to get the first Spook Lights collection, too. Those warm nights spent bundled up alone on the terrace late at night are coming up, and I want to be ready heh. (that’s how I do horror in summer 😀 )

add-to-goodreads

Disclaimer: I received a free e-version of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

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17 thoughts on “[Review] Spook Lights II: Southern Gothic Horror

    1. Haha do you look for the opposite then?😁 It really is the best thing and now I need to read more Tananrive Due! How about tropical gothic? There’s a Routledge title about it which I need to get to, but so intriguing.

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  1. Horror is the only genre I will not read, but your reviews let me experience it vicariously! No nightmares after a nice book review. Glad to hear you have more coming. Have you ever read Orleans by Sherri L. Smith? If not I think you will love it, I’ve just been rereading and hope to review it soon.

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    1. Ooh glad the review didn’t give you nightmares😊 We all have that genre. Oh it’s in my list but I haven’t read it yet. Happy to hear you loved it, looking forward to your thoughts!

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  2. I read your review on Spook Lights, and of course I researched the book, because I love diverse horror. I ended up contacting the author, and she was so nice she gave me both of her books in exchange for reviews. Reading them has been such a great experience for a horror lover like me. I simply wanted to thank you, because if it weren’t for your review, I wouldn’t‘ have had found out about the books. Diverse book bloggers are amazing!

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    1. How wonderful, thank you! And so glad you found a new favorite😊 I have her first collection in my tbr, and btw have you read the Vacancy anthology? Great as 📚👌

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