Anathemas by David Annandale

porge_grewe's review against another edition

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Really solid collection of horror stories, wringing the potential out of the rich worlds of Warhammer AOS and 40,000. The stories represent a broad cross-section of horror genres on various scales, with psychological horror most heavily represented, but plagues ('Hab Fever Lockdown'), military crises ('Vox Daemonicus'), body horror ('Skin Man') and various others all making appearances as well. As with any such collection the quality varies and some stories are prone to the flat endings by which horror short stories are often plagues, but the best stories of the collection are so good that I would recommend this to any horror fan, especially as no knowledge of the worlds presented is actually needed if you don't mind ignoring some names of worlds (after all, most of the people represented in these stories don't know any more about them than you will!).

Particular praise goes to 'Runner' by Alan Bao, 'A Threnody for Kolchev' by Darius Hinks, and especially to Lora Gray, submitting the best story of the collection for the third Warhammer horror collection in a row, with the brutal, heartbreaking, and beautiful 'These Hands, These Wings'.

mladd28's review against another edition

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dark emotional mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? N/A
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? N/A
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A


arthurbdd's review against another edition

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Another somewhat hit-and-miss collection, with a list of contributors absurdly skewed towards men for this day and age. Full review:

paulopaperbooksonly's review against another edition

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It's almost poetic that my 1000th book read (accordingly to goodreads) it had to be a horror Black Library novel.

For people who like info dump - here is something for you:
In terms of Genres I've read 374 (Sci-Fi); 233 (Horror) and 232 (Fantasy)
In terms of Black Library I've read 231 novels. So it's interesting that the 1000th book it's Sci-Fi and Fantasy at the same time (40K and Sigmar) plus they are horror stories.

Are these horror stories? Not all of them. Some are dark but most are not horror.

Hab Fever Lockdown by Justin D. Hill - 40K story - e first tale is told in second perspective . Horrific. Why? I really dislike that kind of narration unless you are you playing a game OR that choose your own adventure. The story it's about Australian lockdown measures due to some covid cases... what? No? It's about a plague being release on a hive? Ah okay, it sure like it was in Australia draconian laws..."

Suffer the Vision by Jake Ozga - where is the horror? They should invite horror writers to write horro tales.

A Threnody for Kolchev by Darius Hinks - t's again, not an horror story , unless you just find out that there cities and surrounding areas in Terra. I thought it was just a planet-city (with some very big palaces). I believe I've read this somewhere else... Go there!

These Hands, These Wings by Lora Gray he next tale s is a interesting horror tale to tell by the fireplace- BUH! Finally a horror tale

Vox Daemonicus by James Forster - have you ever wanted to learn how Night Lords recruited more space marines? Yes? Then go here.

Skin Man by Tim Waggoner - Interesting story about revenge & retribution. Very cool but not that horrific - althought the depictions of the Skin Man were unsettling- but if you want more horrible depictions go Tim Curran.

A Deep and Steady Tread by David Annandale

The Thing in the Woods by Paul Kearney -This tale could easily, after changing some words, set in Sigmar World. But alas it's 40K. I must say it took me a while to understand that.

Mud and Mist by John Goodrich - The horrible tales of imperial guard guarding against tyranids. You've got yourself the commisar and the character level insanity and how far are you able to go to survive - temporarly? You want to learn that? Go here.

The Shadow Crown by CL Werner - I love CL Werner. But this tale didn't connect with me. Either because I don't know much about Sigmar World. I've added info in the book. I will return to it later on.

Runner by Alan Bao - Run Forest Run!. That's it. Imagine that you have to run 200 kilometres to warn another place of incoming miasma and plague... Now imagine your mind wondering of all the running and such. If you have ever wanted to make a really hazardous marathon times 5 - Oh you will be alone or ... Go here

Miracles by Nicholas Wolf - Have you ever wonder what would happen if you get mad, hallucinating and thinking you are seeing angels? Oh you've heard angels? Then go here.

Voices in the Glass by Richard Strachan - Have you ever gone to the Shadespire? No? Go there. (one of the weakest tales) I will be honest saying that I don't know much about this setting.

The Funeral by Darius Hinks - Ah very cool. Imagine you being so sure of yourself, so sure you are doing the right thing without any kind of repercussions . Now imagine that person you wrong - returns! Go there.

Overall, I would say that this is a good anthology of some sweet stories. BUT to be quite honest not all of them are horror.AT ALL.
The problem with horror is that it mixes with grimdark feeling of the 40K universe. So just by reading some passages - which I find truly horrific BUT they are not horror, disturbing, violent, psychological... Enfin, overall a good compilation. Some are good, some are not. To me, as previous said, the Sigmar tales are the ones I am not realy enjoying. Warhammer Fantasy was a very good place to tell dark gothic horror tales - Sigmar world is not. Sigmar are more focus on action, less on characters and ambience. I don't know much about it. Maybe I will enjoy it after reading some novels...

trackofwords's review against another edition

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A compelling collection of low-key tales highlighting the strange, sinister fringes of the 40k and Age of Sigmar universes. Across fourteen stories from thirteen authors, all but two of which are published here for the first time, it’s an exploration of characters driven by fear and desperation, ordinary people just trying to survive in the midst of terrible, horrifying worlds. These are stories to unsettle, that keep you wondering where they’re going and leave you feeling uncomfortable afterwards.

None of these tales tie in with existing stories or series in the range, so there’s no required reading or sense of needing to know anything before getting started, and while there’s Warhammer texture aplenty to reward long-term fans, there should be very little that readers new to the settings can’t follow – which is surely the point of Warhammer Horror! All told, whether you’re a regular Black Library reader or not there’s a lot to enjoy – if enjoy is the right word, for these sorts of stories – in this anthology.

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katie_konneker's review against another edition

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adventurous dark fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes