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The One That Got Away: Women of Horror Anthology Volume 3 - Kandisha Press

The One That Got Away: Women of Horror Anthology Volume 3 - Kandisha Press (2021) Reviewed by Yvonne Miller

The One that Got Away’ is a deliciously dark and devilish anthology of women in horror. The third anthology published by Kandisha Press, this collection delivers stories that will have you looking over your shoulder, double checking your door is locked and even thinking twice about that blind date! The narratives contained within always deliver on that feeling of unease. There are chills aplenty with the intelligence that resonates with taking stock of a situation. If this anthology proves anything, it's that horror is no longer a man's game. Women can deliver the gore, fear and devastation. Buckle up, you’re in for a hell of a ride!

So many of these stories kept my black heart racing with their imagery, raw brutality and edginess. I’m going to talk about a few of the stories that really stood for me but let it be known that there wasn’t a bad tale contained within ‘The One That Got Away’. This is Kandisha’s strongest offering to date.

Bodiless by Faith Pierce was the first story that made me gasp with its ending. The story is about shadow women having no bodies. They live life in their ethereal form whilst their bodies lie under protection in an institution. This arrangement doesn’t change until the women meet a mate. Their bodies aren’t a gift for the waiting women, it is simply a present to their mate. Grace, the protagonist, fights off a group of men trying to defile her body. Another man scares them off only for Grace to have her body stolen by him instead. This is a raw story that highlights the many ways women have been objects to men, a possession to be owned. Its an emotion evoking story that will resonate with many readers.

Dear Meat by J Snow…. absolutely phenomenal. A wholly frightening dystopian story. This story was well developed and came across as a labour of love. So many themes running throughout its epicenter - ideas of predator and prey, class systems (to name a few?). J Snow is an author I need to read more of.

The Lady Crow by Lucy Rose. Meriweather is stuck in a loveless marriage. Her husband is on the abusive side. She meets a crow that will put a twist on things. A story of escape and resentment. Gritty and superbly executed.

Bramblewood by Meg Hafdahl. I’m convinced that this author is the Queen of tension. A story that I wanted more of. My fingers couldn’t turn the pages of this story fast enough. Tense and eerie. It put the final nail in my coffin!

Date Night Ablaze by Rowan Hill. Kate takes revenge on a blind date gone wrong. The atmosphere and buildup of the story really gave me the Kill Bill vibes. The clock is ticking. This was so good.

The Thrill of the Hunt by Villimey Mist. It's got to be said, this author has a unique and special narrative voice. I would go as far as to say she’s on par with the feelings I had when I originally read Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I will be picking up her work as a matter of urgency.

From Scratch by Sonora Taylor. I don’t think anyone does imagery better than Sonora. Some of the lines contained in this story had more than one lady-like snort escaping… “Brussels sprouts smells like broccoli died in a diaper.” The stories this author creates always stay with you.

Lure by Catherine McCarthy. Anyone that knows me, knows that I always fall in love with McCarthy’s storytelling. Although she writes about the macabre and the chilling, it reminds me of everything about home. It is rustic and original. I always picture hearing her stories around a firepit. Lure is addictive and penetrating.

Should Have Gone to Vegas by Janine Pipe. Pipe just keeps getting better and better. This is the author that has made me realise that horror is not just a man’s game. The profanity, the gore and darkness of her vision is superior. Pipe writes creature features with heart and depravity.

The One That Got Away is available to buy in paperback or ebook here

Yvonne Miller is a book fanatic with a passion for promoting indie and diverse writers. Can be found reviewing books at thecoycaterpillarreads.blog and on Twitter @coycaterpillar

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