Gore Carnival Book 4

     Standing Ovation: Gore Carnival Book 4 - Various Authors 5/5 stars

      Here we are fiends. We have reached the end of the carnival and one thing that has impressed me so far is the talent that has graced these pages. Jaded Books Publishing has created an anthology that sets the bar pretty high. This is a company that has left behind the corpse of Fat Lip Press and has made a one helluva statement. If you're a new publisher this is how you get noticed. You don't need a gimmick just a stable of talented authors. I'm not going to lie to you. I was nervous going into book 4 due to the fact that it's been so damn good. There's no way they can keep the momentum going can they? Answer? Yes, they do. Not all of these stories take place in the circus but they are dark and sometimes quite funny. I have a sick sense of humor so I'm sure that some of these weren't meant to be funny.

      Black Swan Song kicks off the set and it's not a bad story. It features a freak show performer with a strange talent. Dutch Walden thankfully steps away from clowns for this and I cannot thank him enough. What I loved about this was that it doesn't end the way you think it would. I like this one because it's different and Walden is a writer that I look forward to reading more from. Standing Ovation isn't all that gory, but the authors featured here are presenting fresh ideas to a box set that could very easily wear out its welcome due to the subject matter. In Standing Ovation you have stories that feature a trip to hell, a strongman who truly hates his job and my absolute favorite story here which is Zombie Hooker: A Love Story. I liked this because it takes a stale genre and puts quite a spin on it. You're expecting a love story but what you actually get is far more interesting. I've read James H Longmore before and he's truly growing as a writer.

      Other high points here are Necrobeard and One Sunday In Hell. It's a nice break from the circus and gives us something different. These authors clearly took risks with their stories and they paid off in a big way. Standing Ovation is a nice end to a well thought out book. Once again, it flows well and allows you to experience other genres without going overboard. You aren't bogged down by gore or forced to sit through a bunch of clown stories. I don't mind them unless I'm reading story after story about clowns and how psychotic they can be. I've written my own clown story so I get it.

        So, should you throw down the 10 bucks and get the entire set? You should because this is a unique volume that delivers on all levels. You not only get a bunch of great stories but you also get to meet a few new authors that you're going to want to seek out. This is a launching pad for quite a few of them and what a way to kick off your writing career. There are a lot of horror anthologies on the market but Jaded has given us something more. A four book box set that reaches almost four hundred pages. There are a couple stories here and there that I didn't care for but it wasn't because they were terrible, they just weren't my style. We all have different tastes so I'm sure that there stories here I love and you don't. At the end of the day I highly recommend this set because of how unique these stories are. They don't offer too much in the way of gore, but they make up for it in story telling. I'm proud to be in this set and can't wait to see what Jaded Books Publishing has up their sleeves.