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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Asylum II - 13 More Tales of Terror is a short story collection by Matt Drabble centered on the horror genre. A perfect read for Halloween, the collection comprises a follow up to the original award winning Asylum anthology. Connecting all the stories is the backdrop of Blackwater Heights, the private hospital that was prevalent in the first Asylum collection. There is still darkness to be found at Blackwater, and its residents are ready to divulge more of their tales. Alongside them, two doctors in alleged positions of power over their patients are ready to take charge of the goings on, but will the chilling truths about their charges (and in some cases, themselves) send them running for the hills?
Matt Drabble has created a short story collection with a unique consistency to it, weaving the tales in and out of Blackwater Heights so that there is also an underlying narrative to the hospital itself. I particularly enjoyed the hard-nosed character of Hilary Meeker, determined and serious as she enters this world of mania and psychosis. As thrilling as the short stories were, sometimes I found myself even more excited to see what effect they were having on those back at Blackwater. My personal favourite from the tales was Fancy Dress, a cruel and twisting narrative with old country supernatural themes, but every story had its own unique merits. Overall, I’d recommend Asylum II - 13 More Tales of Terror to all fans of the horror genre as a riveting and unmissable anthology.