Welcome to Anoka, Minnesota, a small city just outside of the Twin Cities dubbed “The Halloween Capital of the World” since 1937. Here before you lie several tales involving bone collectors, pagan witches, werewolves, skeletal bison, and cloned children. It is up to you to decipher between fact and fiction as the author has woven historical facts into his narratives. With his debut horror collection, Cheyenne and Arapaho author Shane Hawk explores themes of family, grief, loneliness, and identity through the lens of indigenous life.
While it is hard to choose favourites from this collection which spans so many real-world themes, societal marginalisation, stigma and indigenous horror themes, there were several stories that really resonated with me.
The opening story ‘Soilborne’ was dark tale that really plunged its claws into me. ‘Wounded’ was a journey into the darkness of a mind and family. ‘Transfigured’ was a striking Halloween story that proved the perfect ending to this collection of the dark, haunting and macabre.
Anoka was a fantastic collection of indigenous horror where Hawk delivered a host of genuine characters, masterful storytelling and a series of dark, weird and haunting horror in a well-written psychological horror collection.
Highly recommended read for fans of horror, dark fiction and psychological horror. A must read!
** This is my personal opinion and does not reflect any judging decisions **