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Spook Lights II: Southern Gothic Horror

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Y’all gather round for thirteen more tales of Southern Gothic horror: Boys find evil in their favorite sweet treat, a perfume shop that makes more than scents, a hurricane carries a mother’s vengeance, a conjure woman lies dying, unable to name a successor… This is Gothic horror Southern style—shadowy rice fields, creatures that assume humanity at will—where even the mos Y’all gather round for thirteen more tales of Southern Gothic horror: Boys find evil in their favorite sweet treat, a perfume shop that makes more than scents, a hurricane carries a mother’s vengeance, a conjure woman lies dying, unable to name a successor… This is Gothic horror Southern style—shadowy rice fields, creatures that assume humanity at will—where even the most damaged and delicate have their power.


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Y’all gather round for thirteen more tales of Southern Gothic horror: Boys find evil in their favorite sweet treat, a perfume shop that makes more than scents, a hurricane carries a mother’s vengeance, a conjure woman lies dying, unable to name a successor… This is Gothic horror Southern style—shadowy rice fields, creatures that assume humanity at will—where even the mos Y’all gather round for thirteen more tales of Southern Gothic horror: Boys find evil in their favorite sweet treat, a perfume shop that makes more than scents, a hurricane carries a mother’s vengeance, a conjure woman lies dying, unable to name a successor… This is Gothic horror Southern style—shadowy rice fields, creatures that assume humanity at will—where even the most damaged and delicate have their power.

30 review for Spook Lights II: Southern Gothic Horror

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nuzo Onoh

    A Dark, Haunting, Beautiful and Chilling Collection! I'm an Eden Royce addict! I never discovered Southern Gothic Horror till I came across Ms Royce's work. Since reading Spook Lights, I've been waiting impatiently for a follow up by Ms Royce and Spook Lights 2 has not disappointed. I won't be a story spoiler except to say that the 13 (unlucky 13) stories that make up this collection, each bring their individual unease and chill. Some will leave you wishing for a different ending while others wil A Dark, Haunting, Beautiful and Chilling Collection! I'm an Eden Royce addict! I never discovered Southern Gothic Horror till I came across Ms Royce's work. Since reading Spook Lights, I've been waiting impatiently for a follow up by Ms Royce and Spook Lights 2 has not disappointed. I won't be a story spoiler except to say that the 13 (unlucky 13) stories that make up this collection, each bring their individual unease and chill. Some will leave you wishing for a different ending while others will make you wish they'll never end. As always, Ms Royce has written an elegant prose that gives her work its distinctive stamp. I'll let you discover your favourite story/stories in this beautiful collection. As for me, I had two favourites, Grandmother's Bed and Basque of the Red Death. Grandmother's Bed had me chuckling and gasping in phases and the end was definitely unexpected. Basque of the Red Death was Ms Royce's take on the famous Allan Poe tale, Masque of the Red Death. Perhaps, it should have been titled, Basque of the Black Death since the colour that brought death was black and the person that brewed the macabre magic was a black witch. You'll love the same decadence of the rich, the oppression of the weak and just retribution, which are themes in Allan Poe's story but with a very different and distinct twist in Ms Royce's story, which in my humble opinion, elevates it to the realm of a true modern classic! If you haven't read Spook Lights 2, then you're missing out on true bliss!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bina

    4.5/5 stars Review originally posted on my blog https://wocreads.wordpress.com/2017/0... I’ve always loved creepy tales that make for good reading to cozy up with under the blankets. But I only discovered Southern gothic horror a couple of years back when I found Tananarive Due’s works. Those made me fall pretty hard for the stuff, so I jumped at the chance to read Spook Lights II, and I’m glad I did. Eden Royce’s second collection of Southern gothic horror tells the stories of powerful Black women 4.5/5 stars Review originally posted on my blog https://wocreads.wordpress.com/2017/0... I’ve always loved creepy tales that make for good reading to cozy up with under the blankets. But I only discovered Southern gothic horror a couple of years back when I found Tananarive Due’s works. Those made me fall pretty hard for the stuff, so I jumped at the chance to read Spook Lights II, and I’m glad I did. Eden Royce’s second collection of Southern gothic horror tells the stories of powerful Black women of the South. For those of you who don’t do well with the brutal stuff, mostly these stories aren’t very gory, but instead the horror comes quietly creeping up on you while you’re reading. And then Royce is excellent at creating tightly packed narratives with endings that pack a punch. As with any collection, some stories are better than others, but Spook Lights II is a remarkably strong collection overall. Let me try to awkwardly gush about some of my favorite stories without giving anything away. Spook Lights II opens with “Carolina Blue,” bringing with it a strong sense of place with the crops and wet marshlands and oppressive heat. And it’s not just the rice that’s blue. The uncanny here is quite unexpected but I also loved this story for the atmosphere and tone it set for the rest of the collection. “To-do list” was pretty epic, I mean I love lists, so that’s a sure way to get me excited. But that story is genius, from the seemingly mundane lists about grocery shopping to couples arguing, read it and tell me what you think! Meanwhile in “Grandmother’s Bed,” a young woman contemplates her dying grandmother’s powerful role of head of family and her own position of possible successor. The solution to her problem is both ingenious and horribly creepy. I very much enjoyed how many of these stories focused on women and their relationships with family, especially mothers and grandmothers. There’s a give and take of love but also obligation as well as roles and powers that are passed onto the next generation.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anila Hoxha

    Eden Royce never fails to surprise me. I'm starting to love this southern gothic mythology. I'm sad I finished my two books, and now I don't have any interesting book to look forward to, but either way it was a fun scary experience.  Basque of the Red Death - I was mesmerized by this short story, because I didn’t really get what was going on, until the very end, and all I was left with was a grotesque macabre feeling that something happened, but I really didn’t know what, so my mind would race wit Eden Royce never fails to surprise me. I'm starting to love this southern gothic mythology. I'm sad I finished my two books, and now I don't have any interesting book to look forward to, but either way it was a fun scary experience.  Basque of the Red Death - I was mesmerized by this short story, because I didn’t really get what was going on, until the very end, and all I was left with was a grotesque macabre feeling that something happened, but I really didn’t know what, so my mind would race with different thoughts, one scarier than the other. To Do List- I personally love to do lists. That’s why this was an interesting read for me. The horror built up slowly, until the very end, where you realized everything. I was doing fine, until the last line. Don’t even think of letting this story in half. Read it until the very end! Grandmother’s Bed- This story is mentioned in all the reviews I’ve read, and I finally know why. Again, the author has a way of making a fairly normal story get scarier and scarier as I read, until the very end, where there is the big reveal, and it is shocking and disgusting too.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Thistle & Verse

    Another great collection. "Folk" is a sequel to her story "Sweetgrass Blood" that was published in Nightmare Magazine. "Carolina Blue" ad "Haints of Azaelia Hall" discuss how gentrification is displacing Gullah-Geechee people and show supernatural forces revolting against this. "The Mermaid Storm" was interesting, and if you want more folklore about them there's a story in Her Stories by Virginia Hamilton. Really liked "Chilly Bears - 10cents". There's a quiet desperation driving characters to r Another great collection. "Folk" is a sequel to her story "Sweetgrass Blood" that was published in Nightmare Magazine. "Carolina Blue" ad "Haints of Azaelia Hall" discuss how gentrification is displacing Gullah-Geechee people and show supernatural forces revolting against this. "The Mermaid Storm" was interesting, and if you want more folklore about them there's a story in Her Stories by Virginia Hamilton. Really liked "Chilly Bears - 10cents". There's a quiet desperation driving characters to recklessly pursue simple pleasures that's foreboding and tragic. Reminds me of a new release Bacchanal by Veronica Henry.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amy Shannon

    Better than the first I loved the first volume, but this one really set a tone for more than just a horror collection. I always read the sections in the front of the book, and when I read the Introduction, I knew it was going to be filled with grand stories that were more than just horror, it was about the human condition and the monsters within. I read each story twice, but I really found myself connected with "Grandmother's Bed". The words stuck with me. “I’ve seen our fall, Gran, and it will b Better than the first I loved the first volume, but this one really set a tone for more than just a horror collection. I always read the sections in the front of the book, and when I read the Introduction, I knew it was going to be filled with grand stories that were more than just horror, it was about the human condition and the monsters within. I read each story twice, but I really found myself connected with "Grandmother's Bed". The words stuck with me. “I’ve seen our fall, Gran, and it will be because we lose you. I can’t let that happen yet. To be honest, I’m not ready. None of us is.” Highly recommended collection. Read it more than once.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carmilla Voiez

    Eden Royce writes beautifully. Her descriptions are rich and evocative, and her tales magical and strange. Spook Lights 2, like the first anthology, is a collection of short, dark fairy tales. They are full of romantically portrayed powerful women of colour who can make the impossible possible – witches, priestesses and elementals. Extraordinary Gothic characters both contemporary and historical reveal deep truths about the past and present lives of people of colour in the Deep South, and the im Eden Royce writes beautifully. Her descriptions are rich and evocative, and her tales magical and strange. Spook Lights 2, like the first anthology, is a collection of short, dark fairy tales. They are full of romantically portrayed powerful women of colour who can make the impossible possible – witches, priestesses and elementals. Extraordinary Gothic characters both contemporary and historical reveal deep truths about the past and present lives of people of colour in the Deep South, and the importance of family.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    I may have said it before but louder for those in the back: Eden Royce is criminally under-read as an author. She is producing some of the most amazing, unique, and fascinating horror fiction today and she is a master of the short story form. I got a huge kick out of Spook Lights 1, and the stories in Spook Lights 2 are just as amazing. If you haven't read this collection yet, put it at the top of your TBR pile. I may have said it before but louder for those in the back: Eden Royce is criminally under-read as an author. She is producing some of the most amazing, unique, and fascinating horror fiction today and she is a master of the short story form. I got a huge kick out of Spook Lights 1, and the stories in Spook Lights 2 are just as amazing. If you haven't read this collection yet, put it at the top of your TBR pile.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nakia

    Even better than the first. I enjoyed the majority of Royce's second collection of short stories and feel like it's worth the effort to go through them again in the future when they've had time to sink in. I especially liked the way she wove the setting of the South Carolina marshes throughout, sprinkling the essence of a part of the south I'm unfamiliar with in the book. I look forward to reading something else by her in the future. Even better than the first. I enjoyed the majority of Royce's second collection of short stories and feel like it's worth the effort to go through them again in the future when they've had time to sink in. I especially liked the way she wove the setting of the South Carolina marshes throughout, sprinkling the essence of a part of the south I'm unfamiliar with in the book. I look forward to reading something else by her in the future.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anya

    And then I read the second volume! I loved this one even more than the first because it was much more fantasy horror with a lot of inspiration from classic fairy tales. It was so fun. My favorite stories in this volume are: Carolina Blue, The Strange Dowry of Spinster Pumpkin, Basque of the Red Death, To-Do List, Dating Pool, Chilly Bears - 10 Cents, and The Mermaid Storm.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Denise Tapscott

    Eden Royce has done another fabulous job with this collection of short stories. She captures the vibe and pulse of the south. Each story is stirring and thought provoking. I hope she's working on a third one! Eden Royce has done another fabulous job with this collection of short stories. She captures the vibe and pulse of the south. Each story is stirring and thought provoking. I hope she's working on a third one!

  11. 4 out of 5

    David Watson

    Spook Lights II: Southern Gothic Horror by Eden Royce is not your traditional horror anthology. This is a book of 13 tales that have the feeling of being passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation in the deep south. The feeling I got is that they’re the type of tales a friend might tell when they invite you over to their Southern mansion to listen to horrifying tales as you sip brandy by a roaring fire. Every geographical region has its own set of stories that gets told by the pe Spook Lights II: Southern Gothic Horror by Eden Royce is not your traditional horror anthology. This is a book of 13 tales that have the feeling of being passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation in the deep south. The feeling I got is that they’re the type of tales a friend might tell when they invite you over to their Southern mansion to listen to horrifying tales as you sip brandy by a roaring fire. Every geographical region has its own set of stories that gets told by the people who live there. In Eden Royce’s book, she gives us a set of southern horror tales that make you feel like you live there. In this book, you will find horror tales set in the deep South that include magic, vengeance, and creatures who will eat you alive. One of my favorite stories in this book was Grandmother’s Bed. In the beginning of the story, I thought it was about a woman who was fearing taking over her grandmother’s place in the family after she died. While it is about that it also gets into the family’s history in their neighborhood and the power they have over others. I enjoyed how this story was told and how it felt like it could be about any Southern family. Another good one was The To Do List. This one is about a woman who keeps lists on what she has to do all over her apartment. When the woman’s boyfriend moves in, he buys her an organizer to keep her lists in. After awhile he misses seeing the lists and knowing what she is up to. He decides to take a look in the organizer and realizes that his girlfriend is planning something sinister. This story had a little mystery to it that I enjoyed and it teaches you that knowing too much about your loved one could be dangerous. I also enjoyed The Strange Dowry Of Spinster Pumpkin. This story is about a woman who has been taking care of her sick mother for a long time. She feels resentment for having to do it, but she does what she needs to do. One day the woman’s mother congratulates her on her upcoming marriage, the daughter doesn’t understand what the mother is talking about but soon discovers that her sick mother will be dying and leaving the daughter with an odd parting gift. I loved how the mother-daughter relationship is shown in this story. While the daughter has a lot of anger towards her mother, she still shows love through all that she does. You see her personality change when she realizes she will lose her mother. I think there are a lot of people who have relationships like this one, love isn’t always pretty. Spook Lights II has some great horror stories in a setting that adds a different dimension to each tale. Eden Royce makes the deep South come alive as a place with a dark mythology to it. Not only do you get a history lesson in what living in the South is like, you also get to experience the tales of horror that are told here. Even the language used throughout the book adds to the feel of each story. If you have an interest in Southern folklore this is a book you shouldn’t pass up.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Ahhhh!!! SO GOOD!! These stories are rich and heavy and vivid with description. Great read.recommend to all.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I'm going to start this review of Eden Royce's Spook Lights II with a quote from my review of the first Spook Lights collection, as it applies to this Volume at least as much as the first: "Eden Royce does southern gothic to perfection... In every one of her stories, you could feel the heat of the south; she brought the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes to life." Spook Lights II is possibly even better than its predecessor, if that's possible. There's not a single weak story in the whole collecti I'm going to start this review of Eden Royce's Spook Lights II with a quote from my review of the first Spook Lights collection, as it applies to this Volume at least as much as the first: "Eden Royce does southern gothic to perfection... In every one of her stories, you could feel the heat of the south; she brought the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes to life." Spook Lights II is possibly even better than its predecessor, if that's possible. There's not a single weak story in the whole collection. In "Carolina Blue," a family has a few tricks up their sleeve when they're targeted by an unscrupulous buyer who wants them to sell their rice farm. "Voodooesque" is a period piece where a serial killer gets his just desserts at the hands of two mysterious women. "Basque of the Red Death" is also a tale set in the past; a brothel madam has a plan to deal with violent men. This story is one of the most strange and beautiful in the collection. "The Dating Pool" involves two fire djinnis and a man whom both find delicious. The magical "The Mermaid Storm" tells the story of a young girl who discovers her destiny lies beyond the carnival where she has grown up a sideshow exhibit. I urge everyone to read Eden Royce's two collections if you've missed out on them so far. Royce is writing some of the best southern gothic out there today, and these dark, bewitching tales deserve a chance to enchant you.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katara Johnson

    Wow!! Another book of horror tales by Eden Royce! What I love about this are stories,and powers that one doesn't usually read,hear or know about in horror or paranormal but it is part of American history!! Keep up the good work Eden!! Wow!! Another book of horror tales by Eden Royce! What I love about this are stories,and powers that one doesn't usually read,hear or know about in horror or paranormal but it is part of American history!! Keep up the good work Eden!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Corrin

  16. 4 out of 5

    Veronica Henry

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kirisis Dhole

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ryann Fletcher

  19. 5 out of 5

    sorahya

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rasheedah Prioleau

  21. 5 out of 5

    Annalisa

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kerri Forrest

  23. 5 out of 5

    India N

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ed Sullivan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jennie Yager

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Dawn

  28. 5 out of 5

    K.C. Alpinus

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karen Carter

  30. 4 out of 5

    E.F.

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