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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Ekleipsis: How far would you go to obey your instincts? by Tamel Wino is a compilation of short stories in the horror genre, each reading independently. Wino provides five stories in total, all character-driven and each terrifying in its own way. The Other Son walks us through the seemingly mundane life of a man turning fifty who is shocked as he walks into his own home. Closing Costs places a sexy realtor between a husband and wife client with delicious detail. When in Doubt has a soldier bringing his work home and into another man's kitchen. The Has-Been is about a coach whose vices weigh heavily on his liver and also something quite heavy in his trunk, and All In gives a Mr. Stone the gamble of a lifetime.
Tamel Wino is able to shock with the opening story, The Other Son, with a twist that comes almost out of nowhere after the lead really just meanders through his day. I found myself trying to figure out where it might go and had an incredibly emotional reaction to its conclusion. Is that good or bad? Is that the intent? From a literary standpoint, it is exactly as it should be. But where the first story of the anthology is a slow, creaky climb to the top of the roller coaster, the following four are a stomach-in-throat thrill ride that begins straight off the curve. My favorite was All In on account of it feeling wonderfully tense with descriptions of a woman named Molly that were incredible. Can I say electrifying? I'm going to say electrifying. The horror shelf is an ambitious place for a debut author to start but if Ekleipsis is where Wino has set the bar, I am excited to see what comes next.