It is a different beast, someone had said. And it is. A beast that pounces on unsuspecting hearts, rips them out of their protective cages and proceeds to shred it to pieces. A beast that isn’t scared of shedding blood whether innocent or evil, or shies from mentions of spilling innards or popping eyeballs. Readers, when you choose to walk down this trail of mayhem, do it at your own discretion. I can promise you this; you won’t come back unscathed from treading this path to perdition.
I embarked upon this journey by the Hive believing it to be similar to their earlier offering, Route 13 – Highway to Hell. Boy I couldn’t be more wrong. Route 13 is as tame compared to Trail XIII as Frooti is to Vodka. The gory fare that’s on offer in Trail XIII packs a rather powerful punch.
It consists of thirteen stories by thirteen different writers in different genres. The stories differ in their genres from the thrill of psychological horror to the mindless mayhem of splatterpunk but they unanimously keep your attention riveted to the words at hand. Being more of a fan of atmospheric horror and weird fiction, I absolutely loved Look Into My Eyes by Anshu Bhojnagarwala, The Voice by Priya Bajpai, Mother Promise by Prachi Sharma and Insidious Thoughts by Angel Whelan. I liked Summer Solstice by Srivalli and Naani and the Shadows by Ell P but I somehow felt the latter ended a little abruptly. I would have loved to know more of the dashing Naani.
Special mention to The Dante House by Varadhrajan Ramesh and Legend of Truth by Monica Singh. These two blew my mind and left me a shuddering mess. Click Click, Bang Bang is another tale worthy of a special mention for the way it brings the two timelines of its story together and for its sheer imagination.
The other stories are no less horrifying but their horror quotient lies more in the realm of blood and gore. I’m sure fans of this kind of horror would enjoy the gruesome tales while walking their chosen path to perdition with Trail XIII.
A big shout out to the Hive Publishers from whom I received the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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