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Left In The Dark
by John Gordon
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Rating:
Reviewed by: Marie Jones

Author John Gordon serves up a sampler of truly chilling and often utterly horrifying tales of the supernatural world colliding with everyday life in Left In The Dark, a collection of stories that target young adult readers, but provide deep, dark frights to readers of any age. Gordon, a well-respected writer in the fantasy field, has put together a career-spanning collection of stories that reflect his amazing skill and talent, honed over four decades and better than ever.

Gordon's sophisticated grasp of English, his own British sensibilities, and his masterful imagination all create a strange brew of stories that speak of all the angst and anxieties of young adulthood. There are stories of being an outcast, of being young and pregnant, of first loves and first deaths, of generation gaps and illness and abuse, all touched by the supernatural. Some of the stories are subtle, some direct and hard-hitting. Others leave you spellbound and gut-punched by the author's ability to weave powerful emotion with elements of horror, shock, and suspense.

Some of the most haunting and unforgettable stories include "The Burning Baby," about a pregnant teen's revenge; the spooky and tragic "Never Grow Up;" the creepy and bone-chilling "Under the Ice;" and the menacing and grotesque "Bone Meal," about a father's strange way of dealing with wayward young men.

Left In The Dark is the perfect way to scare yourself silly, and yet even though the supernatural does play a major role in these stories, other elements and themes rise to the surface, creating a collection that is more about human fears and failures than ghosts and dead bodies and creatures. The greater fears come from the people that walk these twilight landscapes, fears that many young adults can relate to, adding a richness and depth to the writing that is not normally associated with "supernatural horror."


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