Premise: When the sun is blotted out and darkness settles in, the most terrible of monstrosities can take hold. Creatures from other planets or the darkness within us can lay in waiting for the opportunity to strike and devour everything. Will we give into the darkness or grasp onto the last remnants of the fading light and continue to fight for existence?
Aliens, ancient creatures, and the dark hidden traits deep inside people are the foes faced through this anthology of the weird. Fading Light uncovers the things that dwell in the darkness and reveals the horrors they are capable of. It tells the stories of those monsters, but also the people that face them when it matters the most for their own sake and for the sake of humanity.
Themes: One grand theme stretching across the stories in Fading Light encompasses the various aspects for survival, from the everyday physical needs to the challenges on mental faculties that can sometimes be much more important in order to survive.
Our reactions to change, especially for the worst, are brought bubbling to the surface in Fading Light. How do different people react to situations that they never even conceived of?
Fear can be paralyzing to many, but for some the instinctive reaction is to fight. This fight or flight response is triggered as these characters face strange creatures and unspeakable terrors.
Pros: Fading Light is a splendid hat tip to H.P. Lovecraft. Many of the stories take similar strands from his stories and weave them into more modern tales that I am certain the horror master would approve of. Just about every piece in this anthology can stand on its own, even apart from the rest of the collection, as a well-written short story, which is something I think every contributing author should be proud of. More than anything, this collection felt fresh, with something more to contribute than other anthologies I have read. There is a consistency in thought through the anthology, though the mood changes from story to story.
Cons: If you are looking to Fading Light for a comparison to the language and style of Lovecraft, then this is probably the one place where it doesn’t compare. The style is much more modern, which can be a pro or a con depending on the reader. There was more profanity in the dialogue than I care for, which is something that I find unnecessary especially in horror writing. I think it adds a false sense of edginess that comes across as trying too hard. There were a couple of plot devices I felt were overused, especially the Sun being blocked out by some kind of cloud or gas or whatever. For those unfamiliar with weird tales of this ilk, Fading Light might be a little depressing.
Recommendations: As a collection of weird tales, Fading Light brings a fresh sense of uncomfortable giddiness to the realm of anthologies. As a tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, this was a wonderful homage without the need for mimicry. Though it had some repetitive elements and more modern language than Lovecraft, Fading Light made me uneasy in a way that only good horror can. Tim Marquitz shows us his ability to gather quality tales and weave them into something cohesive. Horror fans will most likely love Fading Light.
Tim Marquitz’s website
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I received an ebook copy from the publisher to write this honest review.