Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“You seek answers, but tell me, do you really know the questions yet?”
This is a seriously impressive collection of short stories from the one and only Jim Ody! If you’re a fan of a bit of scary or thrilling fiction, then I guarantee this is the collection for you, and you’re even getting the added bonus of Ody’s incredible style of writing that everyone needs to experience. I’m so happy to be joining the last day of the blog tour for this book – make sure you look back and check out all the reviews from these brilliant book bloggers!
About the book
Twelve twisted tales that touch on psychological/thriller, horror and YA, including:
A detective sent to a travelling circus to find a missing boy; A guy with a mysterious trunk must meet a stranger at a motel to survive; A doll turns up and becomes a little girl’s best friend. Then things turn strange; A surprise birthday party is memorable, if only the birthday boy survives; and a group of orphans find the world is about to end…
Just reading the first few sentences of the first story in this collection, The Reveal, brought back some great memories of reading The Crazy Season back in May! The intrigue and mystery surrounding the narrator in this one instantly hit me, and I was once again sucked into the author’s words as effortlessly as ever. The author’s personality seemed to shine through this story, combining subtle humour and unique tone of voice with the build up of suspense. He has also done a stellar job of forcing us to ask question after question, something which must be difficult when writing such a short story. As always, the ending completely shocks and impresses, something which I knew would be a common theme throughout this collection of stories. Even after finishing The Reveal, I just knew that Jim Ody was as much of a master of writing short fiction as he was at writing full-sized novels. I think this guy will forever impress me!
The only issue I normally have with shorter stories is that they usually fall short of expectations, or I feel that there is simply too much left to your imagination, leaving you eager for a full sized novel. This wasn’t the case for me here; the talent Jim Ody possesses when writing fiction of all kinds is just so powerful. Whatever each story is about, you can guarantee this author will put his all into making it as memorable (and as terrifying) as he possibly can, without making you feel like you need too much extra when a story finishes. Of course, there is an element of mystery and some killer cliff-hangers, but I feel like this is just part of the author’s immense talent. After each story finished and the next began, I loved that feeling of not knowing what we were getting into, and the surprise of what we were going to experience was just as amazing as the final few pages! I could write so much about each individual story, but I’ll just pick out a few bits that really stood out to me about the overall collection.
“I felt a sharp pain in my head, a flash, and a vision of blood. I grunted and grabbed my head, but just as quickly it disappeared.”
I loved everything about these stories, from the gripping beginnings to the unexpected endings, and every intricate detail in between. The mysterious people we meet and the strange, questionable objects leave your mind racing, and there were so many instances where I was kept on the edge of my seat reading late into the night. Probably not a great idea with how haunting a lot of these stories were! I’m a big fan of thrillers and horror stories in particular, and many of these stories are some of the best I’ve read. The quality of each page is so very high, even for shorter stories, and I continued to crave more and more as one story finished. I really enjoyed how odd and just downright weird some elements of these stories were, but after all, this author does describe himself as being a little odd! I feel this uniqueness really sets this author apart from any other of these genres, and I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if Ody becomes a household name in the near future. Watch your back, Stephen King…
The darkness of many of these stories is something that seems to stick with you, and the characters Ody has created in this collection feel like people you’ve known a lifetime. I really felt this in the story A Moth In The Jar, and this was probably one of my top three favourite stories in the whole collection. Another favourite, The I-Scream Van, was filled with creepy, yet addictive horror, something that instantly captured my attention and made me read at record speed. I just couldn’t get enough! Even though I loved these stories as shorter works of fiction, I felt that many of the ideas could be made into epic horror films or a more drawn out thriller series to appeal to a whole range of new people. Imagine that. Seeing the work of one of your new favourite authors on the screen 😄
“With little other option, I closed the door on her walk-in coffin, almost pretending I’d never seen inside. That’s when I heard a movement upstairs.”
A Doll Named Sasha really stuck in my head, and with this story being based on the author’s daughter and her toy bunny, this made it a little creepier for me! Other stories like Surprise Party were really impressive, even if they were a little strange, and I liked how quickly we get to the creepy/thrilling scenes. I think short horror stories can even be better than longer ones as you’re plunged straight into the strange goings on and dangerous events with very little time to dance around the inevitable! Second guessing characters and thinking up weird and wonderful conclusions to many of these stories became the norm, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience each story gave me. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about these stories or this collection, but I would probably be very keen to read another horror collection from Jim Ody! Again, a really enjoyable collection of stories of variable lengths to fit into any person’s schedule. I’ll certainly be reading these again!
Ody has created the ultimate collection of horror and thriller stories to satisfy anyone’s inner dark side, and it’s certainly become one of my favourite short story collections to date. Whether you’re after a story to scare you to your wits end or you want something to make you think with a shocking ending, you’ll find something in here to satisfy your tastes! This author has quickly become one that I absolutely love, and I appreciated everything from the author’s humour to the way his words captivate you and make it impossible for any other thoughts to enter your head. This collection is, once again, an incredible triumph for this author, and provides both fans and new readers with something to keep them wanting more. An amazing collection Jim, one you should be so so proud of!
A huge thanks to the author, Jim Ody, and Zoe at Zooloo’s Book Tours for my copy of this book and my place on the blog tour! You can purchase your own copy of Tales From The Coffee Pot on Amazon, available on Kindle and in paperback. Make sure you’re following the author over on Twitter and Instagram for more updates.