I’ve been following Cameron Chaney on social media for a while now. At first it was mostly because of his enviable library, but I’ve come to really enjoy the content he puts out. His books reviews are honest, informative, and concise. I like his earnest and infectious excitement for “all things spooky,” as he says in his videos. And I’ve read enough of the work that he reviews to realize that he knows a good story when he comes across one. What I didn’t know was that he could write one as well.
I’m always a bit reluctant to read something written by people who are mostly known for their work in another medium. There’s an ingrained bias that you have to push against — and I was glad that I did so here. Chaney has written an effective gut-punch of a story, full of both heart and horror. It’s a story about a family that is haunted, in every sense of the word, by monsters, and how each member responds to that fact. The story is a compelling one, with characters that feel real and very quickly grow on you, and the threats they face feel menacing and immediate, which is always what you’re looking for in short fiction.
The only real issue that I had was that I felt the writing relied too heavily on metaphor at times. That being said, this is still a compact and concise story, with prose that is clear and sincere, and I wouldn’t hesitate to read this author’s work again.