cover image You Fed Us to The Roses

You Fed Us to The Roses

Carlie St. George. Robot Dinosaur, $6.99 E-book (227p) ISBN 978-1-949936-48-3

St. George debuts with a grim and enthralling collection of feminist horror shorts that may leave readers inclined to sleep with a light on. Throughout these 10 tales, St. George takes on familiar horror tropes—among them final girls and vengeful ghosts seeking retribution—but with a twist. The goal is not simply to frighten but to also invoke sympathy: these ghosts have suffered; these girls (most of the stories star teenage girls) are traumatized and tough. Sometimes the high concepts result in hard-to-follow narratives: “If We Survive the Night,” for example, presents a hellscape for murdered girls in which an angel tries to make them repent for their so-called sins while they reenact their own killings in a daily cycle. There’s a lot going on, and by the time readers get oriented to this horrific world, the story is already over. The more impactful tales are simpler and sometimes grounded on familiar foundations, like the standout “Such Lovely Teeth, Such Big Teeth,” a dark retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood.” Fans of Carmen Maria Machado or Angela Carter looking for fresh spooky season reading are sure to enjoy this haunting collection. (Self-published)