[REVIEW] It Calls from the Forest – Volume II

Rating: 4 out of 5.


Edited by A. Robertson-Webb and M. River

Published by Eerie River Publishing

There is evil in the woods and it wants you dead.

I read Volume I of this series this past April; apparently, Eerie River received so many great submissions for their call-out that they released two volumes of It Calls from the Forest within months of each other! Seeing as I loved the first volume, I was certainly not complaining when they informed me of the news several months back. Now, I have the second installment and – while it doesn’t hit as many strong chords as the debut – it’s packed with worthy content. 

As I like to do with anthologies, I will just focus on the stories that were highlighted during my reading experience. What follows are the notes I jotted down as I went along (some of which are shorter/longer than others):

“I Speak for the Trees” by Donna J. W. Munro – This was an interesting and entertaining parody of the Lorax story (Dr. Seuss), with a gruesome ending that brought to mind that of The Stranger (by Steve Sted).

“The Thousand-Eyed Stag” by Syd Richardson – Great monster!

“The Bog Feeders” by Eryn Hiscock – I think there’s good potential here for a novel. A short story doesn’t do the premise justice.

“Those Things We Cannot See” by Lex Vranick – My notes just say that I really liked this one and need to look up the author (ha!).

“Atchafalaya” by A. S. Mackenzie – This was pretty good. I would like to read more of this monster.

“Hallowed Ground” by A. G. Hilton – There were some elements that confused me here, but the story felt like a good prologue for something bigger that would explore the ideas further, making them clearer.

“Spirit of the Forest” by Ville Merilainen – I enjoyed this one. It gave me that Thing vibe, being out in the snow and fighting a monster with fire.

“When Called” by David Kenney – Genuinely creepy and unnerving. This was probably a favorite for the collection!

“The Heralding” by Ian Ableson – This was a cool eco-horror story, enough so that I will be looking up the author.

Looking over my notes for all the stories involved here, I feel like this volume had a lot more entries I found “underdeveloped” or “boring” than I did the last time around. But, as you can see, I walked away with a list of new authors I would like to read more from in the future. I also came out of Volume II feeling like I’d enjoyed my time more there than with other anthologies. Eerie River does a good job in selecting the voices they feature, and I will continue to devour their anthologies for the foreseeable future. 

*I received a digital ARC from the publisher for review consideration.*

Review by Aiden Merchant (Author of Dead as Soon as Born)

www.aidenmerchant.com (Also on Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon)

contact@aidenmerchant.com (Contact for review consideration)

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