Nocturne: A Collection of Dark Tales by H.B. Diaz Review

Nocturne was written by H.B. Diaz it’s a collection of short stories and was published in December of 2020

Because this is a collection of short stories, this review won’t be in my usual format (What I liked, didn’t like, rating ect.).

I picked this book up on a whim when I saw a Twitter thread a few weeks ago where authors were promoting their independent books.  I grabbed a handful of books and intended to get to them when I could squeeze them in.  Thankfully, yesterday I finished a book and before I started Neuromancer (for our group read) I picked this one off the shelf.  Being 107 pages I figured it would be a quick read and something to cleanse the palate.  Kicked my feet up and started reading.  A few minutes later my wife walked into the room and asked what I was reading.  I turned the book to her and she asked if it was scary, and if so why do I have a big smile on my face.  So here I am reading a horror book, the hairs on the back of my neck sticking up, that uncomfortable feeling you get when you read good horror and I’m smiling because I love the writing.

Lately I’ve had bad luck with horror books.  This book broke my bad luck streak in a big way.  Some people may think writing a short story is easy… because it’s shorter.  Writing a short story effectively is an art form, it takes skill and craft.  To squeeze in a plot, characters with enough to leave the reader satisfied and wanting more at the same time is difficult. 

Years and years ago I fell in love with short stories.  I spent a fair amount of time studying them and reading as many as I could get my hands on.  I even made a few feeble attempts at writing my own.  As the years passed other things came up and I stopped reading them.  This book revived my love of short stories.  The stories are all great, some of them read almost as poetry.  The metaphors that are used and the writing is wonderful.  I was scared, uncomfortable and smiling all at the same time.

If you love horror and or short stories, give this book a try.  It’s free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription

I enjoyed all of the stories, there were no low points but my standouts were:

  1. The Malady of Mrs. Monroe
  2. The Pocket Watch
  3. The Ruins

It’s a short book, but one that I’ll read again.  Something tells me there are little details I missed in most of the stories that will reshape the way I read them the first and second time. 

My rating: 5 Yellow Pills in a Tiny Paper Cup out of 5

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Author: Steve

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