Who's There?

A Collection of Stories

Fiction - Horror
190 Pages
Reviewed on 01/22/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Dimas Rio was born in Jakarta, Indonesia on December 28, 1985. His first novel, "Dinner with Saucer" was published in his birth home in 2006 and went on to be shortlisted in the "Talented Young Writer" category of the 2007 Khatulistiwa Literary Award in Indonesia. He has since written a short story series for Indonesia's prominent teen magazine that ran from 2006 to 2008. "Who's There? (A Collection of Stories)" is his second published book.

When not writing, he has a hobby of being lost. He spends his weekdays being lost in the sea of office paperworks, and spends his weekends being lost in procrastination. But his favorite state is being lost in a good book, an engaging conversation and cultural places that broaden the mind. And also B grade horror movies.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Who’s There? A Collection of Stories is a horror fiction and short story anthology penned by author Dimas Rio. Featuring five stories with very different themes and central characters, the collection overall can be characterized by its suspenseful atmosphere and cultural themes, as the stories are situated in and sometimes inspired by elements of Asian culture, specifically Indonesia. Suitable for mature readers due to some psychologically frightening concepts and a few moments of grotesque description, the stories concern themes of revenge, desperation, nightmares, hauntings and many supernatural, speculative elements. What results is a superb and culturally rich experience that is both cinematic and highly literary in its presentation.

Author Dimas Rio presents horror in its most tasteful sense, which results in some really nail-biting, psychological and truly thrilling stories that do not seek to simply gross their readers out. The works are produced with clever language usage that heightens atmosphere and informs character, allowing us to grow close to each protagonist in each tale, and therefore rooting for them when things take a turn for the worst. The Voice Canal is a particularly chilling tale whose echoes have remained with me since reading, and every tale makes full use of all five senses to explore the full physical experience of the horror and make it visceral and impactful to read. Overall, Who’s There? A Collection of Stories contains truly accomplished horror from a unique geographical location and cultural perspective and is a highly recommended read because of it.

Lit Amri

“Who’s there, crouching like the moon behind the gray clouds? Who’s there, writhing about like a pouncing thunderbolt?” Who’s There? by Dimas Rio is a collection of stories that bubble with fear of the supernatural and the challenges of life itself. Who’s There? is aptly the first story presented to the reader. It's only a week away from his wedding, and Adam's friends think he’s having pre-wedding jitters. Unfortunately, his problem is much worse and it’s gnawing at his mind and his soul. In The Wandering, a security guard on his evening shift finds several disturbing letters addressed to a mysterious person. Both are slow-burn, modern, psychological tales that will appeal to horror fans that prefer spooky suspense.

My favorite is At Dusk, told with a very straightforward approach. It's about a young high school magazine representative who goes to interview a mystery novel writer. Everything goes well until the old writer tells the student a ghost story- one that has a fatal result. On the other hand, I found The Voice Canal more melancholic than eerie; a university student misses his father so much that he starts to lose his grip on reality. The final tale, The Forest Protector, is about an abused wife leaving her home with her son and finding a life-changing epiphany regarding human lives along the way. All in all, Dimas Rio's relatable premises and focal characters give these Indonesian dark tales an entertaining Southeast Asian flavor of horror for fans of the genre.

Tiffany Ferrell

Who’s There? by Dimas Rio is a collection of eerie yet realistic stories. We meet a variety of characters from different places and backgrounds. The first story, that shares the same title as the entire book, is about a man named Adam who had a terrible fight with his fiancée right before the wedding. In a haze of confusion, he tries to figure out if his fiancée left him or if something more sinister is at hand. The only problem is that he cannot remember. Another favorite from this book is a shorter one called At Dusk. It’s about a high schooler who is given an assignment to interview a local celebrity. He gets more than he bargained for when he meets the elderly writer whose mind he has to pick. In The Wandering, we follow Badrun on his regular evening shift as security turns into a nightmare. Slowly we put together a picture that blows us away at the end. My third favorite story is The Voice Canal, which is simply about a college student having conversations with his dad, who happened to have passed away three months prior. It’s not the same creep factor as the other stories but it left me with a sense of hope and relief that death doesn’t separate us from those we love.

I really liked this collection of stories because they are unique and have a scare factor to them that is real and believable. Dimas Rio does an excellent job of whipping up the perfect mystery or murder in a way that doesn’t feel rushed, nor do they drag on as many I have come across. They had a realistic air that gives the reader a creeped-out factor on a personal level. Who’s There? has a mystery factor that keeps the reader on their toes as they try to peel through Adam’s scattered thoughts and memories to figure out what happened to his bride-to-be, Gita. Overall, I think Who’s There? is a perfect light read for those who like a mystery. I’d definitely recommend to my friends with similar tastes.