Book Review: ABCs of Horror, by Anmol Rawat

I’ve read very few books in the genre of horror. But one aspect of the book that I feel makes a lot of difference is the ability of the author to get the reader to experience the scene, rather than just state it. That was what I was expecting when I took up Anmol’s collection of stories titled ABCs of Horror.

I’ve attempted the annual A to Z Challenge in April every year since it began in 2010. It’s fun, and brings a lot of talent to the fore. Anmol’s collection is a product of 2017 A to Z Challenge, which I wasn’t able to complete. I usually read other blogs religiously too, but couldn’t do that either, so these stories were new to me.

As the title indicates, it is a collection of 26 ghastly tales binding different forms of terror/horror together. The collection is an eclectic mix of settings, like haunted houses, voodoo, nightmares, etc. Each tale’s title begins with a different letter of the alphabet. As with short stories, there were a few favorites, which I’m highlighting.

I liked the story “In Lieu Of”. It narrates the tale of Holden and Grace, a couple who are having some problems in their marital life after events of the past. Holden finds a solution, and it seems to work. Or does it? The ending to the tale caught me off guard, and that’s why this story makes this list.

The story titled “Killer Doll” made me think of the movie Annabelle. I thought it’d end the same way, but no, there was a twist that I didn’t see coming. It added to the creepiness of the story.

A nightmare becomes an omen in the story, “Sinister”. The story is woven well, and keeps one hoping against the ending one knows will come. But yet again, the ending is not as I would have expected.

Perhaps the best story in the collection is “Ordinance”. It showed that bad things can happen to good people. The story made me imagine what horror might lie in wait for the girl. And the ending again adds to the horror.

There are two ways a horror story can go. One, as I said earlier, is to make the reader experience the story. The other is to add a twist at the end that brings the horror element to the story. Most of the stories in the book are in the latter style. The twists are not predictable, so for me, it worked. Not all stories wowed me, but that’s understandable, given that it is a collection. The writing style is simple, easy to follow, and that makes it easy for a reader. There are themes that repeat, like nightmares, but done differently each time. The stories are engaging, page-turners. But I didn’t exactly “feel” the horror. Night-time reading might help set the mood, I suppose. There were a few typos that I came across, but nothing major. I love the cover of the book too. I only wish the book was titled something else. ABCs of Horror doesn’t feel that exciting or creepy.

Would I read the book again? Yes. I think so. There are few stories that I loved, so maybe I would peruse those again. It’s a very decent debut collection of stories, for sure. I finished the collection quickly, and enjoyed the stories, so I’d say it’s good company for a few hours journey.


A Score Of 7 Out Of 10
Book Details
Title: ABCs of Horror
Author(s): Anmol Rawat Genre: Horror/Short Stories
ISBN/ASIN: B072TQ77JL Publisher: Self-published

No payment was taken for this review. The views expressed here are mine, and they remain uninfluenced and unbiased.


(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
2nd July 2017)

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: ABCs of Horror, by Anmol Rawat

  1. Thank you so much for this honest review! Much appreciated!
    I would like to add a few words for the stories you loved:
    In Lieu Of: This was one of the stories that allowed me to write in my usual romance tone, but I wanted it to be really really shocking. The idea came to me while I was roaming restlessly in my terrace at 3 am in the morning for the next letter. The original title was different, but I changed it to suit the tight schedule of A to Z Challenge 😉

    Killer Doll: I have done the most edits on this story upon constant remarks of Pikakshi (the editor). This was a story I was sure about writing. Dolls are nasty and creepy I believe.

    Sinister: For me, it is pure evil and one of my personal favorites from this collection.

    Ordinance: I think this is the most disturbing story of the book and the reason is exactly what you have written.

    Lastly, thank you again. I truly loved how you were honest in your feedback. It will help me for sure!

    Keep reading!

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