Hellscapes Vol II by Stephen Zimmer
Seventh Star Press
Shiver….. Stephen Zimmer has released another chilling volume of his Hellscapes series just before Halloween. First let me say Stephen Zimmer is a master of modern horror. As I slipped into his, often grotesque, worlds, I saw grim and bloody scenes and humans behaving inhumanely. Even victims were not guiltless. Yet, each tale held a small flame of ….what? Certainly not hope, but perhaps insight or clarity. And in that there is a sense of justice and perhaps redemption, though there may not be hope.
These six stories may seem tales of shock and horror, but they are more and should have a wider readership. I could see them as animated shorts or a feature length animated anthology. I could also see Hellscapes Vol. II as a graphic novel, with mostly blacks, grays, and reds in the vein of Sin City. That may be just my reaction to the book since it gave me the feel of a project I worked on with a graphic illustrator once. (He provided the illustrations and the story line; I did the writing. Unfortunately, creative differences stalled the project. It happens in that business more often than you’d think.) But this is what I saw in Hellscapes Vol. II, especially in “The Cavern,” an interesting little allegory about the residents of hell.
“The Riot” poses a look inside the mind of a brutal police officer and his equally brutal mates. It presents the worst side of law enforcement, but a side that does happen to exist. Here, however, justice is meted in a most unusual measure.
The next story, “Above as Below,” opens like a “Lost” episode and soon reveals the terror that lies in wait in that landscape. But it is the reason for one of the character’s own terror that emboldens the story.
“Spots Do Not Change” deals with promiscuity and, again, justice or karma enters with deliciousness.
Finally, “Weaving Webs” and “The Club” provide other visions of hell, and certainly not within Dante’s realm. The former deals with politicians, a worthy group to have an appearance in hell. The latter exposes a very different sort of nightclub.
Stephen Zimmer’s Hellscapes, Volume II is a Rod Sterlingeque twist of hell, deftly written, quirkily conceived, and offered with a dash of insight into humanity’s dark side, six allegories about the roads to hell and what happens thter. Well done!
Hellscapes, Volume II is now available in eBook format. Here are some direct links to the Kindle, Kobo, and iTunes versions, Nook should be live shortly.
You can get Hellscapes, Volume II for $2.99 at the following links:
About the author: Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker based in Lexington Kentucky. His work includes the cross-genre Rising Dawn Saga, the epic fantasy Fires in Eden series, the sword and sorcery Dark Sun Sawn Trilogy, featuring Rayden Valkyrie, the Harvey and Solomon Steampunk tales and the Hellscapes and Chronicles of Ave short story collections.
NOTE: This eBook was provided for an honest review and no compensation was provided.
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