These Wounds We Make is a reissue of Till the Score is Paid – which I reviewed here – whose publisher went out of business. This meant Till the Score is Paid only existed for purchase very briefly at the end of last year. With a new title and face lift, the collection has also received text revisions, new interior art, and two new stories to enhance its return to the public.
Though not as strong throughout as Cruel Works of Nature, this collection is thought-provoking and gritty. It also features several of Gemma’s best stories yet, like “The Strangler,” “Caleb,” and “Justine.” As for the two new stories – “The Crack in the Wall” and “How Not To Get Rid of a Body” – both are good additions, although lacking in that unique Gemma spark. “The Crack in the Wall” is weird and cool, and “How Not To Get Rid of a Body” had me thinking of Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness; I found it quite humorous and fitting for Halloween.
For the most part, These Wounds We Make focuses on psychological horror (whereas Cruel Works of Nature featured more monsters and Stephen King-esque premises). I actually find this kind of horror far more disturbing and emotional, and Gemma knocks the subgenre out of the park.
For a breakdown of the original set (Till the Score is Paid), you can read my review here.