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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Horror Review: Voices of the Damned by Barbie Wilde

Blasphemous and perverse, equal parts horrific and erotic, Voices of the Damned is as compelling as it is disturbing. While other authors may be equally adept at getting their hooks into the reader, Barbie Wilde has that rare literary talent to be able to twist the chains, to drive those hooks even deeper . . . and to make the reader cry out for more.

Sister Cilice serves as a fitting introduction, inspired as it is by her most famous role - the Female Cenobite in Hellbound: Hellraiser II. Here, Wilde explores the erotic, blasphemous descent of a masturbatory nun, and introduces us to the making of a Cenobite, painfully eager to take her place in Hell.
“Loved be pain. Sanctified be pain. Glorified be pain!” They are the only words that can still make her laugh.
Zulu Zombies is maybe the best zombie story I've ever come across, mixing a classic bit of historical horror with a very modern (and sexual spin) on the slow-moving monster. It's dark and twisted, with a great sense of atmosphere.

American Mutant is a gleefully chilling tale of power and corruption, secrets and lies, as a church charlatan comes face-to-face with true power . . . which he exploits to the world's horror. If you thought Damien and Regan were chilling, wait until you meet this kid.

The Alpdr├╝cke is a shorter tale, based in German folklore, with a very Twilight Zone type twist. They say the devil is in the details, and it's those seemingly innocuous details that make this work. Nightmarish and laced with dread.

Valeska is one of two stories new to the collection, an original twist on the vampire mythos that strips it of its spiritual elements, making it instead a cannibalistic matter of survival, pitting Sanguine vs Seminal in an age-old rivalry.
"Necrophilia is so good for the soul, even if you don’t have one."
The Cilicium Pandoric continues the story of Sister Cilice and introduces a feminist twist to the tale of the Cenobites as she requisitions a new Pandoric box, designed specifically to recruit the darkest and most depraved of female victims.

Gaia was one of the more surprising tales in the collection, with a pair of disaffected youths picking the wrong house (and the wrong woman) to rob. As much as they wanted to get inside that panic room, they probably wish the door had remained locked. Insanity has never been so much fun.

Polyp is pure Bizarro horror, a disgusting tale of infection, infiltration,and invasion from within - literally. I'm not sure I've ever read anything so horrible as the endoscopic camera being forced out of Vincent's anus quickly enough to burn the doctor's hands. Disgustingly imaginative.

Botophobia was the lone soft spot in the collection, a tale with some nice atmosphere and a few genuine chills, but one that's a little too predictable to be effective.

Writer’s Block was absolutely brilliant, a darkly twisted and shockingly humorous twist on the Misery of psychotic fans, but with a demonic twist. Probably the most genuinely terrifying tale in the collection.
Why suffer a life of misery and enslavement to a woman-hating God of the Christians when you could give yourself to a fallen angel?
The Cilicium Rebellion is the other new story here, a fitting conclusion to both the collection and the story of Sister Cilice. The nun has fallen, she's converted her new sisters, and now it's time for a war of the sexes deep within the bowels of Hell.

Barbie Wilde's most famous role may have revealed something dark within her soul, but its in Voices of the Damned that the darkness takes root, spreads its arms, and embraces a new audience. It's not just a collection that's shocking and obscene, however, but one that's imaginative, meaningful, and exceptionally well-written.

Hardcover, 224 pages
Expected publication: October 31st 2015 by Short, Scary Tales Publications

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ARC of this title from the author in exchange for review consideration.This does not in any way affect the honesty or sincerity of my honest review.

4 comments:

  1. Think I will pass. Crosses into an area I'd rather not read.

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  2. more sick than imaginative, I'd say :)

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  3. This is probably not for me, especially given your quick comments on Polyp, but it's pretty much what I expected from Barbie Wilde :)

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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  4. Sounds interesting, I will have to check this out. I am a huge fan of Clive Barker, and it seems Wilde is working on similar themes, where nothing is sacred and the horror is derived from the human body and its urges. I haven't read it, but I hope it will make me as uncomfortable as the descriptions, that's the experience I'm paying for after all.

    - Sam

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