Goodreads.com Description: “Come one, come all! The Sideshow has come to town! This isn’t your usual freak show, we have wonders to show you that you will not find anyplace else. Marvel at the Human Illumine, lose yourself in the Amazing Mirror Maze. Come for the Last Show of the Day! We have it all. But be careful, not all is as it appears…danger may lurk in the shadows. There are some things that should be kept in the dark.”
Sideshow: How Dark Is Your Shadow? is a creepy anthology of twelve stories centered around freaky circuses and sideshows. The stories are crafted with a bit of classic “Twilight Zone” and dark horror movies.
Some of the stories had obvious messages. In “The Last Show of the Day” the underlying lesson was sometimes you might become the thing you despise, if you are careless. The “Missing Link” had the classic warning, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. Even the creepy “Anna” contained the message of the power of words.
Stories like “The Karma Carnivale”, a tale of the choices we make in life, had obvious outcomes. The name alone let you know something would go wrong. I loved how C.B. Doyle intertwined Indian (not Native American) mythology with the plot. This was one of the happier short stories.
My two favorite stories were “Tattoo” by Shawn Pfister and “The Human Illumine” by E.A. Irwin. Both of these tales were original, creative, and could easily be expanded into full-length novels. “Tattoo” was the ultimate story asking ‘what if’. It wasn’t a happily ever after, but a great story. “The Human Illumine” was like a paranormal “Silence of the Lambs”. I loved its imagery and the characters. The bad guy was a villain who was fixated on Tesla’s research. It was amazing and so intriguing.
Overall, the stories contained in Sideshow are well-written with interesting plots and characters. Some stories were so creepy I had to stop reading and cleanse my mind with a lighter book. If you enjoy your horror twisted, freaky, and demented, this is the book for you.
(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)