The Broken Darkness

A Short Story Collection

Fiction - Horror
265 Pages
Reviewed on 01/20/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Theresa Braun has a Master's degree in English literature and lives in South Florida where she has taught literature and writing for over 20 years. Traveling, ghost hunting, and all things dark are her passions. In 2018 Unnerving released her horror novel Fountain Dead, a coming of age ghost story. Her short works have appeared in The Horror Zine, Sirens Call, Hardened Hearts, and Best Indie Speculative Fiction: November 2018, Double Barrel Horror (Volume 3) and Emporium of Superstition.

This collection is a compilation of her short works from 2016 to the present...

    Book Review

Reviewed by Melanie Kennedy for Readers' Favorite

The Broken Darkness by Theresa Braun is a collection of short horror stories guaranteed to raise the hair on your neck and make you think twice about the supernatural world around us. Whether you are a believer in the paranormal or not, Theresa’s stories teach us a valuable lesson – sometimes human beings can be the real monsters. Her thirteen dark tales explore themes such as love, forgiveness, hypocrisy, and psychopathy throughout America, all the way to picturesque Scotland, and further on to mystical Romania. Some stories investigate the folly of man, while others breathe a sense of hope into their unlucky characters. Their escapades include angels, vampires, aliens, and monsters, creating a plethora of stories that any horror fan would love to explore. Theresa writes thrilling and macabre stories exploring how frightening and emotional it is to deal with death and the possibility of things beyond our understanding.

I utterly loved Theresa Braun’s collection of short stories filled with terror. It’s a genre I particularly enjoy, and Theresa has expertly explored the line between horror's supernatural and emotional aspects. The Broken Darkness has your classic unbelievable stories but also explores the real horror of what people are willing to do to each other. Theresa has a keen sense of the psyche of humans and narrates frightening and gruesome stories. My favorite tale was Dying for an Invitation. Her romantic style of writing belied the plot twist at the end and showed what a great writer she is. This is a must-read for any horror fan or any short-story enthusiast looking to prickle their skin with anticipation.

Bryone Peters

The stories were very creepy. For this reason, The Broken Darkness: A Short Story Collection by Theresa Braun will bring joy to many horror story fanatics. The tales blend wicked romance with some sultry to evil paranormal situations. The book starts with a story where the main characters find themselves in a relationship where their parents died on the same day and under similar circumstances. It ends with a supernatural twist. Another revolves around a cell phone. The protagonist's life is destroyed soon after an accident because his recently deceased friend haunts and taunts him through his cell phone from beyond the grave. In Dying for An Invitation, the protagonist's grandmother disappears in mysterious circumstances. Despite the warnings, she nevertheless fails to heed them.

Jam-packed with new and riveting horror plots, The Broken Darkness by Theresa Braun will bring fear and guilty pleasure to the reader. The stories were spooky and will not disappoint fans of the horror genre. In While My Guitar Gently Weeps, the internal dialogue of the main protagonist is hilarious. The conversation between the protagonist and antagonist, which takes place in a bar, was enjoyable and ended up being my favorite part of the book. All the others were well-written and imaginative. The fact that these were short stories adds to horror fans' enjoyment. Each plot was well planned. Some are brief but still maintain their eeriness, while others are more complex and sophisticated.

Essien Asian

When you imagine real romance, what do you envisage? Is it the joy of a fairytale with a happy ending or the wicked realization that the end may not be picture-perfect? Put aside those thoughts when you navigate The Broken Darkness as Theresa Braun presents a collection of romantic short stories powered by the dark side of human nature. A magical mirror that acts as a portal between alternate realities, a mythical creature who delights in picking off victims on the train tracks, and an imaginary friend with an insatiable lust for a mate. These are just snippets of what awaits you as you immerse yourself in this world of dark romance.

Theresa Braun's short story collection is positively frightening. She writes about the macabre in a refreshingly different manner that still manages to test the boundaries of what the human mind is willing to accept. Her characters are as numerous as they are individually unique. She crafts them carefully, adding layers that require an adept mind to unfurl. What makes this collection such an enjoyable read is how she inserts an aura of innocence into blood-curdling accounts that would make even the most avid horror genre aficionados look over their shoulders, as if expecting to get violently snatched into this world of blood and gore. I love the sedate pace of most of the stories, making it easier to follow the plots. The Broken Darkness stands head and shoulders above the rest in its category. Braun's captivating collection deserves all the plaudits it receives.

K.C. Finn

The Broken Darkness is a work of fiction in the horror story, suspense, and psychological subgenres penned by Theresa Braun. It is best suited to mature teens and adult reading audiences due to its moderately violent and sexual content. This is a collection of chilling short stories which features thirteen tales that delve deep into the human psyche. Stepping beyond the simple extraneous battles against supernatural monsters that typify many horror stories, Braun explores the horrors we carry inside us every day and the duality of people who have the capacity for great good and great evil at the same time.

Theresa Braun brings a fresh, emotive, and genuinely terrifying approach to the horror genre, one which sets her apart as a unique new voice in modern gothic fiction. From the truly haunting topics of grief-stricken stories like Stillborn and Homecoming to the deeply psychological terror of my particular favorite of the set, Lost Time, there is something eerily relatable about the unusual events that take place in every tale, only a hair’s-breadth from reality. This stark realism is aided by Braun’s excellent prose, which floats like a natural dialogue-sounding narrative, but leaves room for touches of brilliant atmospheric description and sudden flashes of visual horror that break up the storytelling and arrest readers with moments that will stick in their minds long after they put the book down. I would not hesitate to recommend The Broken Darkness to horror fans everywhere and newcomers to horror stories seeking something sharply modern and highly accomplished.

Nicholus Schroeder

The Broken Darkness by Theresa Braun is thirteen short stories compiled in a worthy collection. Get ready to be teleported to haunted houses, tales of poltergeists, aliens, and more. Death hovers over the characters in each story, and while some may thwart its machinations, the few unfortunate souls that fail will meet a grisly end. From a vampire in Dying For an Invitation to a reported sighting of a demon in Legend Trippers, this book will have your heart racing. Each story is varied and touches on many diverse tropes like vampires and ghosts—can’t beat the classics—plus some tales with interesting plot twists and beasts.

The Broken Darkness revitalized my love for anthologies within the first hour of reading. The stories feel well-fleshed out and have the richness of a full-length book. Each has some weight to it, and in the end, I had the same feeling: I had just read something unique and meaningful. I quickly fell in love with Theresa Braun’s writing and liked how she is so diverse, with each story told differently and not just in the sense of POV. The writing quality was maintained throughout The Broken Darkness. Even her shorter stories were written with care and purpose, with a lot of depth. Braun knew what she wanted her stories to convey and it shows in her writing. Overall, this is a collection with no weak links, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to readers of the horror genre.