IT CALLS FROM THE SKY
(An Eerie River Publishing Anthology)
Edited by A. Robertson-Webb and M. River
Published by Eerie River Publishing
Available: October 2020
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DRLFGBM/
Eerie River came to my attention with It Calls from the Forest: Volume 1, a book that was submitted to me during my time with Dead Head Reviews. In the past year, the It Calls from… series has arrived in three installments, all of which have been top notch. Quickly following behind those first two volumes of forest-themed collections, It Calls from the Sky takes us down a new path of horror. And like those releases before it, this anthology is not one to miss.
Featuring more than twenty stories, It Calls from the Sky is fairly thick, coming in longer than four hundred pages in print. I feel like the best stories came in the first half, but that’s not to say the second half left me disparaged. For now, let me note a few of my favorite entries: “Ascension” (by R. L. Mesa) came first, which left me anxious at all times, and curious to know what was waiting in the clouds. Its ending was bizarre, gory, and frightening. “Heads in the Cloud” (by Matthew Brady) came next, and was also very written and concluded by a twisted ending I had not expected. I enjoyed it so much that I went and bought his novelette, Love Birds, right after finishing this story (that book’s review can be found elsewhere on my website already). Jumping ahead a bit, there was “The Day the Angels Fell” (by McKenzie Richardson), which was a cool story that could easily be expanded into a terrifying and thrilling novel. “On a Wing and a Prayer” (by Tim Menders) also made my list with its interesting cosmic premise, even if the very ending felt too rushed. The last two I will mention came at the end of this anthology, and both struck me as stories that had developed worlds I would love to explore further: “Keep One in the Chamber” (by T. M. Brown) and “The Winged Plague” (by E. L. Giles) both did wonders on my spirit after several stories that left me unfulfilled. “Keep One in the Chamber” reads like a great introduction to a post-apocalyptic world that we should revisit very soon, and “The Winged Plague” gave me a Quiet Place vibe, even though your survival was based more on stillness than silence. There were, of course, other stories I enjoyed here, but these were the top tier results based on the notes I took while reading.
In all honesty, I went back and forth on how to score this anthology, because there are roughly nine stories that were lacking enough that I didn’t care about them when all was said and done. However, I did the math, and even removing those stories from the anthology left me around 280 pages of excellence. So, it’s hard to argue with that abundance of good-time reading. In fact, that’s a little longer than most of the anthologies sent my way for review. As such, It Calls from the Sky goes down as a definite recommendation for purchase, considering just how much there is to love (and fear) inside. I love this series of collections Eerie River has been putting out, and I will continue to scratch at their door for whatever they have up their sleeves next. I’ve learned a lot of new authors of merit thanks to ERP, so give them a follow if you aren’t on their backs already!
Highlights: Features more than twenty stories, a good portion of which are downright fantastic .. introduces an abundance of writers worth exploring further
Shadows: There were maybe nine stories that didn’t live up to expectation – they either did nothing for me at all, or were being hindered greatly by some flaw or another
For fans of: Horror anthologies .. discovering new writers of merit
Takeaway: Eerie River Publishing continues to impress with their quality anthologies, once again bringing to the page a slew of relatively unknown names that you should start sharing with others. This one is worth a physical purchase, because you’ll want to read its contents more than once.
Would I read these authors again? The majority of them, yes (some I have already purchased books from to read further)