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When Grey Matter Press first announced their upcoming book SAVAGE BEASTS my first though was ‘great title’, but it wasn’t until I read the blurb that I knew this would be a really different and unique project.  I couldn’t imagine how the authors would write stories inspired by music but that’s exactly what was done and SAVAGE BEASTS is another great project from Grey Matter Press.  The collection of stories are inspired by music, a song, a group/artist or any combination, sometimes an entire genre is what inspires the authors.  After reading the first story and the author notes I was thrilled to see where their ideas came from or what the driving force was.  I spent the rest of the book reading the stories and trying to find the authors inspiration before reading the notes that followed.  I loved reading the stories and looking for the answers and I was only able to guess correctly once, one out of eleven but hey I did guess one.  SAVAGE BEAST is filled with many great stories and I have decided to only talk about a few, leaving the rest for you to discover on your own.

Going Home by Karen Runge is a twisted tale about a couple who do go home to take care of business.  In this case it’s the business of dealing with their less than ideal upbringing dealt them by mothers who fall shot of the mark.  The characters are a perfect match, equally damaged and able to understand where the other is coming from.  Karen’s writing is smooth and seamless, the story moves effortlessly and keeps you engaged, what more can any reader ask.

That Song You Can’t Get Out of Your Head is a fantastic story of a musician who is OK at best and is given something special that propels him to new levels of success.  But with every gift comes a price and the price is considerable.  J.D. Taff weaves an excellent tale and keeps the horror well-hidden until the final reveal.  The story is fast paced and was over far too soon, I found myself flipping pages at a furious pace and was captivated with the story.  It’s always a pleasure to read ‘The King of Pain’ and once again I was well entertained, thank you sir.

An American Ghost in Zurich by Daniel Braum is the kind of story that pushes your mind to the edge.  It’s a great story of past and present, a story that twists your mind while you try to understand the great complexity that unfolds before your eyes.  Daniel has a great imagination and takes us on a fantastic journey mixing in science to make it all feel real enough to touch.  This is the kind of story that makes me love the possibilities of technology.

The final story is Die Musik Des Teufels by T. Fox dunham is a great story about a father who is a musician and will do almost anything to save his dying son.  He has learned a dark family secret buried and hidden until his cousin shares the dark tale.  The power of music is used in a most unexpected way as our character plays the song.  This story is fun, creative, dark and of course a bit twisted but nothing less would be acceptable within the pages of a book from Grey Matter Press.  The trick of using a song that when played promises some magical outcome is a great premise.  But not all is as it seems when the music plays.

Rating 4.5/5


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