Anthology: At Hell’s Gates by Various Authors

At Hell's Gates by Various Authors(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)

When evil overflows from the deepest, fiery pits, the battle will be At Hell’s Gates…Whether you are a zombie aficionado, or you feed on horror, there is something for everyone. We’ve summoned some of the top Zompoc authors, masters in horror, and even some new talent to strike fear into even the most jaded soul. Dare you look, let alone approach, the dreaded gates?

Each skillfully crafted vignette showcases previously created worlds in the individual author’s works. If you’ve ever yearned for more back story or ached to learn what happened to a peripheral character; your wait is over. But, as they say, “Be careful what you wish for”. Once it has been seen, you cannot go back. And once infected; there is no cure.

This collaboration is in honor of the brave men and women in our Armed Services who willingly lay down their lives for our freedom. Words could not possibly express our undying gratitude, so we have banded together, doing what we do best, to show our appreciation. All proceeds from the sale of this anthology will go to The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to serve wounded soldiers and their families. This is for you, those who have truly been…At Hell’s Gates.

[Full disclosure: I was contacted by one of the authors and received a free ebook from them in exchange for an honest review.]

I don’t normally post anything on Remembrance Day out of respect, but I thought this was the perfect book to review as all proceeds go to The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.  You can’t pick out a more worthy cause than that.

As you guys have probably picked up on by now, I’m not a big anthology fan.  Usually there’s one or two stories by authors I know and like and the rest aren’t very interesting or are pretty poorly written.  There have been a few exceptions, but I generally try to avoid reading anthologies for just those reasons.  I was a little skeptical reading this anthology because I’d never even heard of any of the authors, but the blurb intrigued me enough that I decided to give it a go.  This isn’t just zombie fiction, after all; it also includes stories with other horror elements like vampires and ghosts.

I have to say that I was just blown away by this anthology.  There were so many amazing stories in it that I find it hard to name all of my favourites.  And in all honesty, I don’t think I could name a story that I actively disliked.  There were some that I felt were ‘meh’ but none that I thought were bad and shouldn’t have been included.  All of the stories were well written and well-edited, so much so that I have added several new authors and books to my enormous to-read list.  Sharon Stevenson’s story Welcome to Hell and Seth by Jacqueline Druga in particular stood out to me.

At Hell’s Gates is a very well-edited anthology.  I think I caught maybe one typo in the whole thing, but it’s more than that.  The stories were very well put together so as to make the anthology flow.  There was a large variety of stories and the order was rotated so that you didn’t have two intelligent zombie stories one after another or a run of three quasi-military survival group stories.  Seeing as I read the whole anthology in one sitting, I particularly appreciated this attention to little details like making sure there was a wide variety of stories and that similar themes were spaced out well.

In this anthology there are intelligent zombies, traditional Voodoo zombies and modern Walking Dead-esque zombies.  There’s really something for everyone and even if you don’t like zombies, there are plenty of stories that focus on other horrifying creatures like vampires and ghosts.  And you certainly can’t deny that the anthology goes to a good cause.

So go out this Remembrance Day and get some excellent new reading material while supporting our troops.

I give this anthology 5/5 stars.

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