Despairs and Delights by Lincoln Crisler

Title: Despairs and Delights
Author: Lincoln Crisler
Publisher: Artic Wolf Publishing
Genre: horror
Rating: 3 ½ grimaces
Reviewer: Ash
In this short collection of short stories, Lincoln Crisler explores everything from witchcraft to cannibalism to aliens. Each story is carefully crafted and while not entirely unique, all are interesting and enjoyable reads. Some of the stories reminded me of some I’ve read by other authors, but Crisler put his own spin on things, and by bringing in a lot of his own personal experiences, he managed to create realistic, emotional characters that resonate with the reader.
The stories are well written and short enough to read quickly, and the each one takes the reader to a new place. Perhaps sticky gray aliens wearing vinyl shorts aren’t the most original characters in the world, but Crisler’s handling of the surrounding situation made what could have been a corny alien story into a really cool read. I think the best story is the very first one. Two others that I really enjoyed are “Organic” and “Victory Feast”.
Crisler’s werewolf homage story, “Hitchhiker” is also a great one to read. I personally think that one should be expanded into either a novella, or even a novel. Julie and Jason are great characters, and I wanted to know more about both of them, or even what happens to Julie and her son.
Despairs and Delights is a quick, easy read full of interesting, engaging stories. Crisler’s characterization is fantastic, and you can’t help but get sucked into the story.
The one drawback is the formatting of the e-book. The type is HUGE and the double-spacing makes it hard to read onscreen comfortably. I either had to zoom way out and squint, or read literally a paragraph at a time. And forget trying to load it on an e-reader…that really screws up the formatting!

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