Devils by Erik Henry Vick is a horror collection of deliciously disturbing and unsettling tales about many varieties of devil: revenge fantasies, kidnapping, murderous salesmen, and more. The collection is brilliantly composed through slow, creeping exposition and enough shuddering moments to keep readers awake at night.
The subtle writing style isn’t overdramatic or macabre, but the weight and power of Vick’s words infuse more than enough fear into every story. Taking the time to develop rich and unique characters is often lacking in short story writers, but Vick makes certain that readers are engaged and intrigued by each player that crosses the page.
At times, the terse and breathless writing feels a bit choppy, but it also helps to create a suspenseful mood. The narratives bridge reality and the occult with ease, with the same dark grace as Neil Gaiman or China Mieville. Readers will be quickly sucked into each story, and rarely distracted by unnecessary dialogue or “filler” plot development. The main downside is the quality of the cover, which isn’t as well-conceived as the writing inside.
Overall, Devils successfully taps into the dark thoughts that many might have locked away, making for a chilling and effective collection of horror fiction.