Trail XIII – the path to perdition

Book title – Trail XIII, the path to perdition

Publisher – The Hive publishers        Pages – 237    Language – English

Author – anthology by 13 authors

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Flipping the pages of ‘Trail XIII – the path to perdition’ feels like a journey down the lanes and by-lanes that define horror. There is intriguing suspense, bone-chilling gore and a psychologically inflicted and growing sense of horror as you turn page after page.
The book is an anthology by thirteen writers from around the globe. Between them, they manage to keep your interest riveted. The stories are short. Now, had they been drama or romance then these stories would not have been more than a five to seven-minute read. But, because they are horror with aspects of blood-curdling gore in some places, these stories, at times, require a lengthier reading time.
The book is well written. The writers have taken the liberty to explore multiple genres in the guise of horror and that is what makes this book cleanse your palate even as you continue to sample story after horrific story. Fantasy and ancient myths, family dramas in haunted houses, purgatory, forsaken friendships, granny’s tales to her grandchildren, the impurities of puritan societies, demons that lurk behind a person’s twisted thinking; this book has it all.
The stories have been carefully presented in an order which lets you first dip your toes into the water to test the temperature. It lets you get lulled into a sense of feeling – ‘ah, the water is warm. A swim will not be so chilling’. But, then just as you take a nose dive into the inviting depths, you feel instantly chilled. Your spine stiffens. Your muscles ice over. You start to feel this deep, unsettling tingling in your limbs that encompasses you till you are deep into a world that is more chilling than any waters you would have dived into. That’s how the book smacks you in the face!
Although all stories in the book have their merits, there are some that I truly loved reading.
1. Naani and the shadows by Ell P – This story is an extremely clever use of the prompt. The paradox between the scenes is brought out in a very vivid manner. On one hand, you have a sweet granny narrating a story to her grandkids and on the other hand, the story builds its atmosphere to dance a macabre truth around them. The horror here is created not by descriptions but via building an atmosphere that seeps it out, bit by bit.
2. Click, Click…bang, bang by Shankar Hosagoudar – This story is a very different premise and that’s why I found it a refreshing take on horror. The author has taken pains to superimpose two different timelines and has worked those around the premise of evil in a society masquerading as puritan when in reality it is driven by all things sinister and occult like.
3. Mother promise by Prachi Sharma – a deeply troubling premise that makes a person sit and think – ‘the mind is the biggest demon’. This is a story that brings psychological horror to the fore and slaps a reader in the face with it. The twin POV is the icing on the cake because it takes you into the minds of the characters. Just how far will a person go when captive to demonic thoughts?
4. Insidious thoughts by Angel Whelan – another story in which the protagonist is bound to the ministrations of her mind. She is bound to them to such an extent that even though at some point, as a reader, you start to understand her motives; you still want to continue reading because it would be a sin to leave the story half-finished. This is an engrossing and clever take on the prompt.
All in all, I recommend this book to all horror buffs.



About Sonal Singh

I believe that life is a repertoire of anecdotes. The various situations that we encounter, the many incidents of every day, the people we meet, our conversations with them; all make life a melange of tales. And, that is what I attempt to capture through my writing. My cooking is no different! It reflects my love for travel and my love for innovation. The kitchen is my happy place. So, even though by vocation I am a recruiter (, by passion I am a writer, home chef and a hodophile.

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One comment

  1. Thanks for the recommendation Sonal. Not a horror buff I will still try to read it.

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