My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Indie author Latashia Figueroa is a sly writer. In this volume, she offers three short horror stories, each of which seems rather tame as one begins to read. However, Ms. Figueroa is merely lulling the reader into a false sense of security. Despite foreshadowing, her stories set the reader up for a fall; she pulls back the veil she has placed cleverly to hide the menacing evil that was present from the outset. Reading these stories is an exciting experience for fans of horror, supernatural, and mystery stories. But Ms. Figueroa is also showing the reader how common human foibles can lead to unintended consequences of horrific scale.
The first story, “Wrapped in Small Flesh and Bone,” focuses on Robert and Linda, a young couple at their wits’ end over their problem with infertility. In a final, desperate attempt to conceive, they seek out the services of an urban witch whose supernatural powers have made their friend’s dreams come true. They and their friends soon learn, however, that there is a high price to pay for the blessings granted by dark forces. In “The Alternative,” a vampire-like being offers immortality to Lorna, a hedonistic young woman who hates both death and religion. Having just lost her pious mother to the ravages of cancer, she impulsively accepts before learning about the full implications of her choice. “The Retreat” takes on self-actualization programs led by charismatic gurus. Brad is a young man who has left his wife at home to go on a retreat that promises to give him the personal power he has always desired. However, he realizes that becoming a god involves more than activating all of his potential. The price for such power involves transcending basic moral prohibitions. Brad’s internal conflict over his spiritual leader’s requirements leads ineluctably to a final, deadly confrontation between the two.
All three stories showcase Ms. Figueroa’s talent for creating vivid imagery. She powers her stories with a concise, pithy writing style that allows her to build tension stealthily, bit by bit, without the intrusion of craft upon the reader’s experience. Her stories are as enjoyable to read as they are horrifying. This book is highly recommended for all lovers of horror, supernatural, and mystery stories.
From the author’s Amazon author page:
Latashia gives two good reasons for her love of horror: her childhood home was believed to be haunted and Stephen King often told her bedtime stories. Pet Sematary was the first.
She began a career in New York City’s fast paced fashion industry, ignoring the voice in her head that whispered, Writer. Though the job was exciting, it was not fulfilling, and when the company downsized she used the opportunity to return to her childhood love.
THIS WAY DARKNESS has received five star reviews from readers and fellow writers. Her short story, Out For A Hunt, is featured in Dark Futures Annual 1 Anthology. IVY’S ENVY, book one of the Want & Decay Trilogy, is available now.
Latashia attends writing classes often. She adores the arts, is a self-proclaimed wine snob, and has an addiction to riding roller coasters. She lives on the east coast with her very supportive husband.
Disclosure: This review is of a purchased copy of the ebook This Way Darkness: Three Tales of Terror by Latashia Figueroa. It is an expanded version of my Goodreads review. View all my Goodreads reviews.