Route 15 – Highway to hell, an anthology publication by The Hive.
Genre: Horror fiction.
Publication date: 11th March 2020.
Length: 366 Pages
Format: Kindle Edition
What happens when 13 writers of horror are trapped in a bus on a stormy night?
They try to outdo one another with blood-curdling, spine-chilling tales.
Each horror tale is narrated such, it intrigues and terrifies you! WIll you survive the journey?
This book contains scenes of abuse, violence, death, rape, and swearing. It includes instances of children being harmed.
I wasn’t a fan of horror, ever. I would make sure I looked away when a horror film popped up while surfing the channels. So, of course, reading a horror novel was a complete no-no for me.
But, a couple of months ago, I came across a Facebook group – The Hive – that invited writers to test their horror-writing skills, or indulge in horror-writing fantasies they may have had in their life, and I totally fell for it.
Writing horror felt like a natural skill to me, as I came up with a mini tale of 100 words every week. And, now, I am a complete horror fan!
Route 13, Highway to hell, is the collective effort of 13 writers and The Hive. And, I am proud to share with you that a mini tale by yours truly also features in this book!
Although I now enjoy horror, I prefer psychological horror stories instead of those that have blood and gore, galore. I still have to develop the nerves to digest it all.
Here are the 13 stories and their writers:
- THE PURPLE GRAVE, by Jaya Pillai
- WELCOME, by Sarveswri Sai Krishna
- PASTEL OF THE PAST, by Priya U. Bajpai
- ILL-CONCEIVED, by Meha Sharma
- KILLING MURAKAMI, by Venkataraman Ganesan
- THE SILVER BEAST, by Srivalli Rekha
- OLD MACDONALD HAD A FARM, by Varadharajan Ramesh
- THE HAVELI, by Anshu Bhojnagarwala
- THE ARTIST, by Yatindra Tawde
- THE ADVENTURES OF A VIRGIN, by Tina Sequeira
- MACABRE MELODY, by Sreeparna Sen
- MEMORY OF A FACE, by Kanika G.
- THE CASE OF THE SEANCE, by Ell P
These stories are all connected together with the conversation that takes place between the 13 writers as they travel in the bus on Route 13, sharing their experiences with the supernatural.
Here are some of the stories that made me fear the dark:
WELCOME, by Sarveswari Sai Krishna, was one psychological horror story that really had me sweating nervously. It plays on your mind and is so fantastically narrated, it has you in its grips from the word go!
KILLING MURAKAMI, by Venkataraman Ganesan is another story, that is something you might not have come across in any horror story. It’s different, and keeps you guessing what’s around the corner as you turn the pages.
OLD MACDONALD HAD A FARM, by Varadharajan Ramesh – my favourite author – gives you the heebie-jeebies. This guy knows how to grab your attention, keep you riveted to the narrative, and finally, lose your sleep and peace of mind with the twists and turns in the story! Trust me, you will begin regarding nursery rhymes with doubt and fear after you are done reading this one.
MACABRE MELODY, by Sreeparna Sen, is simply terrifying. You just dive into the story as soon as it begins. The atmosphere she has created is certainly worth capturing on the screen!
And, THE CASE OF THE SEANCE, by Ell P, is scary till the last word.
Frankly, each and every story in this collection is so brilliantly narrated, you get a taste of every ingredient that goes into making a horror story.
Be it the development of the plot, creating the ambience needed for a horror tale, the characters that are black,white and grey, the accompanying histrionics of those characters, and not to forget, the props–the blood, the gore, the shrills and the thrills–every story offers these to you on a platter.
If you are a horror fiction fan, then these stories are for you. Short in length, but sure to leave their mark on your psyche long after you are done reading them, they succeed in bringing about a sense of dread, the kind the genre has been tailored to accomplish.
The short stories are followed by 13 mini tales (100 words tales) by other writers who participated in the weekly writing projects at The Hive.
4.5 stars out of 5.
If you are above 18 years of age, and a fan of horror, then just go, grab a copy and enjoy. It would be the best way to spend these long days of lockdown!