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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Spider Season by Billy Hanson is a compilation of short stories and (surprise!) three screenplays. Hanson delivers each piece accompanied by a cover-style illustration and, with the screenplays, a personal note on how they came about. Ten tales of horror in total, all narrated independently and uniquely with strong and authentic voices, spirited along by extraordinarily well-developed characters that flesh out these short stories with a verve that some full-length novels don't capture as well. From the fantasy realm of Nylah's Magic to the board rooms and trains of modern-day Paris in Paris with the Lights Turned Low, Hanson unveils a short story series that is as thrilling as it is engrossing.
Spider Season is absolutely exceptional. I've been on a bit of a short story kick but have mostly avoided the horror genre, thankful, however, that I picked up this collection by Billy Hanson. The first thing that is evident when beginning to read is that Hanson is experienced in the craft of (short) storytelling. Light Sleeper and, especially, The Clearing are excellent heart-leaping points into the compilation, and it only gets even better from there. Foreboding and a heightened blood pressure build at a rapid but skillfully steadied rate, until the moment any number of antagonists—physical, spiritual, psychological, or all three—get their jump in. I feel like Hanson has so perfected his art that, honestly, I'm not certain my health could manage tales that were longer. One can only hold their breath in fear for so long... Highly recommended.