cover image Cabinet of Wrath

Cabinet of Wrath

Tara Campbell. Aqueduct, $12 trade paper (98p) ISBN 978-1-61976-210-7

Campbell (Midnight at the Organporium) delivers nine spooky stories of toys turned sinister that are sure to make readers reconsider the dolls, stuffed animals, and childhood playthings collecting dust in storage. In “Fairbanks,” an elderly woman playing around with voodoo believes that she’s successfully invited her husband’s spirit to inhabit her adult daughter’s old toys—but her daughter tries to convince her that she’s conjured more than just his ghost. Marie Antoinette’s daughter’s new doll becomes ever more demanding of treats in “Petite Marie.” And in “Spencer” a toy slowly fashions itself a new body from its neglectful owner’s body parts. Coupling a leisurely pace with horrifying tension, these eerie stories feel designed to be shared in the dark around a campfire. Though some of the shorter pieces end too abruptly, especially those dealing with heavy themes like immigration and rape, the imaginative scenarios and alluring voice never waver. Readers looking for bite-size horror will be delighted. (June)