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The Devil Took Her by Michael Botur - Book Tour & Review

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The Devil Took Her: Tales of Horror by Michael Botur

 

About the book:

 

Melanie’s increasingly disturbing journal entries have to be delusional ravings—if they’re not, there’s something terrible out there, snatching runaways in the night and spiriting them off to somewhere unspeakable.

 In his debut collection of horror stories, The Devil Took Her, short fiction writer Michael Botur, recognized in his native New Zealand as “one of the most original story writers of his generation,” offers twelve terrifying and bizarre tales that take us to the dark extremes of human imagination.

 A woman trapped in a coal cellar discovers that in order to live, part of her needs to die. A teen prankster’s vicious joke against her tutor brings revenge served cold. Cutting class turns terrifying for two high school introverts. A powerful-yet-paranoid publisher turns a young man’s magazine internship into a nightmare. And more . . .

 
My Review
The Devil Took Her is a collection of horror stories ranging from absurd to strange to downright creepy. And while a few of the stories sometimes read like their characters are a bit off their rockers (and some of them are a bit wild), there's definitely something for every horror fan within these pages. 
From a story about an urban explorer getting trapped to a high school student with a fake ID, and even a story about a man who just might come to regret dumping a German exchange student, there are some interesting and unique stories here. 
I think my favorite one is the titular story, The Devil Took Her. It's a fascinating story about a woman who goes missing, and her husband hires someone to look into her disappearance. But when the investigator finds her journal, the truth is definitely not what anyone could have ever imagined. I honestly would love to see this one fleshed out a bit more and turned into a full-length novel. I think that could be really intriguing and fun to read. 
Also, strangely enough, the story that bothered me the most (aka creeped me out more than anything else) wasn't the one I expected. I honestly thought story number one--The Writing on the Rat--would get under my skin, and while it did a little bit, the second story--The Day I Skipped School--was the one that really got to me. Something about that one (no spoilers!) just freaked me out more than anything else. Maybe because realistically, the one "character" in the story shouldn't be the size they are, and I think that's why it spooked me more than anything else. I blame seeing the movie Night of the Lepus when I was just a little kid. 
Overall, this was a fascinating collection of horror tales, and I would definitely say give it a go if you're a fan of short horror stories like I am. While not every story may be your cup of tea, you'll be sure to find something to enjoy. 
4 stars.

About the Author:
 Michael Botur, born 1984, is the author of five acclaimed short story collections, four novels, a poetry collection and a children's book. He has won awards for short fiction in the US, Australia and New Zealand. Botur has published journalism in most major newspapers and magazines in New Zealand. He lives in Whangarei with his two kids, who beg Daddy to tell them synopses of the scary stories he's writing. In 2021 Botur was the first New Zealand winner of the Australasian Horror Writers Association Short Story Award for Test of Death.

 

Media links:

https://nzshortstories.com/

https://twitter.com/MichaelBotur

https://www.facebook.com/MichaelBoturWriter/

 

 

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