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Book Reviews: The Best Horror Of The Year Volume Twelve, part 2

The Best Horror Of The Year Volume Twelve edited by Ellen Datlow, part 2

A Song for Wounded Mouths

3 band members filming a video in an abandoned house discover something unsettling left behind. This was okay and dark and hinted at abject pervesity and grim deeds and harbingers of terror lurking in unexpected places.

Best Lines:

“To ask him not to leave me int the way he was always leaving.”

“Didn't understand the people we would become.”

“Failed local rock band.”

“A place to run from.”

“A gutted abomination.”

“Back up emotional support.”

Birds Of Passage

A boy and his father take a camping trip. Tricky emotional situations ensue. This was okay but I've no idea what happened.

Best Lines:

“This was man talk.”

“Stoic deadness.”

“Whatever unknown horror lay in the space beyond my father's protection.”

The Puppet Motel

By Gemma Files. A condo is toxic, this is more than sick building syndrome. Much more. This was very good.

Best Lines:

“Cosily archaic furniture.”

“Guests routinely complained about it on Yelp.”

“Chronic over-promiser.”

“Tended to overreact to anything that felt like nagging.”

“The longer I was in that place, the more I wanted – with increasing desperation – to bne anywhere but.”

“Just exactly what made it so...utterly unliveable.”

“Thought that paying to squat semi-illegally in someone else's apartment entitled them to treat me like their maid.”

“Predate human habitation altogether,”

“A rescue that never comes.”

The Senior Girls Bayonet Drill Team

Teen girls get ready to take part in a blood sport. This is set in the future with hints of where they are and what the game is. There is no why. This was good.

Best Lines:

“Honored with a parade and flowers and one of the boys from the bus repair pool,”

“What we wanted to grow up and become.”

“When they left the field, it was always wet with the blood of the other team.”

“One of you gets killed, you'll bleed in the parking lot, not on my floor.”

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