Length: 225 Pages
Publisher: Wicked Run Press
Release date: May 4, 2022
Synopsis: Addiction is the perpetual epidemic, where swarms of human moths flutter to the flames of hell. Because that warm blanket of a heroin high, that joyful intoxication of a pint of vodka, that electric energy from a line of cocaine, over time leaves you with a cold loneliness and a bitter heart. Relationships destroyed, bodies deteriorate, loved ones lost, yet the craving continues for that which is killing us—living, as the title suggests, like an Orphan of Bliss.
Kealan Patrick Burke Cassandra Khaw Josh Malerman
S.A. Cosby John FD Taff Christa Carmen
Gabino Iglesias Samantha Kolesnik Mark Matthews
Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review
When I saw tweets about Orphans of Bliss: Tales of Addiction Horror was pretty excited to see there would be a third, and final, fix of addiction horror to round out this series. Mark Matthews has done a hell of a job putting these three books together. In this installment, as the previous, we get more great writing. Many of the authors I’ve been a fan of for years, and a few that are new to me, but I’ll will be keeping my eye on them for more. Orphans of Bliss provides a varied range of addictions and writers who look at this topic from all sides. Orphans of Bliss was more than I expected, and I loved the places these stories took me.
You Wait For It, Like It Waits For You by Kealan Patrick Burke twisted my insides with vivid discriminations of the nightmare world of an addict. Many of the thoughts and actions of the protagonist felt on point. I’ve seen and heard this first hand. Believe me, it’s not fun or pleasant to view another person in a place this bad. How Kealan Patrick Burke gets his head in that kind of mindset is beyond me. It’s impressive as all hell, mad respect to you, sir.
One Last Blast by S.A. Crosby was a fun story filled with light back woods characters. S.A. Crosby gives us addicts and horror of a different nature, and boy did I enjoy it. The drug of choice here turns you in to a literal monster. Short, fun and packing a punch best describes One Last Blast.
Huddled Masses, Yearning to Breathe Free by John F.D. Taff was a hell of a tale, and he had me believing. How a person can behave this way is almost more than one can wrap their head around. That will make sense after you read it, there’ll be no spoilers here. Further, it had a claustrophobic atmosphere and a messy family dynamic, and I couldn’t stop reading once I started. The King of Pain strikes again!
Through the Looking Glass and Straight into Hell by Christa Carmen was a fantastic tale! The future is now, and scary as ever. In this story we get an addict wondering if she can finally stay clean. I loved the way this story flips from then to now, and back until the conclusion. At times it’s a struggle to keep what’s real from imagined. Props and well done! This was my favorite short, and a stand out piece of writing.
A Solid Black Lighthouse on a Pier in the Cryptic by Josh Malerman was highly entertaining and nothing short of pure enjoyment. I almost felt bad not feeling bad for the protagonist. A women who drinks far too much, and learns a valuable lesson the hard way. I can’t say enough, or more without spoiling this joy ride. Those who are a fan of Josh Malerman will love his latest work, and those who have yet to read him, this is as good a place as any to get started.
My Soul’s Bliss by Mark Matthews is as inspiring as it is heart breaking, one addict is fighting the good fight, while the other is losing, and yet another lost the battle completely. I love the way the story is told from the different characters perspective. As the plot unfolds we get a little more from each character until we can piece this puzzle together. I thought Luci was a great character, and her rambling and nonlinear thoughts were tough to wrap a non addicts head around. But, this is what makes her a great character and the story so engrossing.