Tales from the Box, Volume 1 by Weston Kincaide

Publisher: Shattered Light Press

Date of publication: March 31st, 2023

Genre: Anthology, Fantasy, Paranormal

Trigger Warnings: Murder, Torment, Pedophile (suggestion), Gore, Blood, Suicide, Mass Suicide

Purchase Links: Kindle

Goodreads Synopsis:

Tales from the Box, Volume I, is the first solo collection of fantasy and supernatural horror from Amazon best-selling author Weston Kincade.

The stories inside delve into secret niches that skirt reality. Tales from the Box includes witty stories from Hell, music auditions with a flair for magic, one small town’s Halloween Minute Man, an etiquette consultant confronted by an audience of identical teens, and even a man who finds himself permanently drunk, sans alcohol. From surprising mystical finds at your local garage sale to odd games played in a zombie-filled world, this twenty-story collection is written to delight.

If you enjoy Twilight Zone, Stephen King, or M. Night Shyamalan, Tales from the Box has what you need, stories of fantasy and horror hidden in shadow until now.

First Line:

“Has anyone called maintenance? It seems like an eternity since the AC worked in here.” A middle-aged man peers over the walls of his cubicle, asking anyone within earshot.

Tales from the Box (No Complaints) by Weston Kincaide

I was hesitant to review this book because it is an anthology. I have a love/hate relationship with reviewing these types of books. But since I have read and reviewed for the author before, I decided to review Tales from the Box. I am glad I did because this book was great and had some gems in it!!

Since this is an anthology, I will write a mini review on each story. This is the best way to cover each story instead of giving a blanket review of the entire book. So here goes nothing!!

No Complaints—This is the first story in the book, and it sets the tone for the book. I giggled at where the author set the office and how useless it was for John to complain about the heat.

Not My Lucky Charms—I will not lie; I laughed a little while reading this story. As you can guess, this is about a leprechaun. But this leprechaun is evil and does the vilest things to a strip club owner. And his name was what made me laugh. The ending was a little weird, but it fit the story.

Prison Torment— This one was the sadder of the twenty stories. Sam worked at a prison and was well respected. That ended when he told Simon (a colleague?) his secret, and work became unbearable—with the inmates taunting him. It wasn’t until Sam met Kaleb that I realized what Sam’s secret was, and it wasn’t until it happened that I realized what Sam was planning on doing. What shocked me was what Kaleb did when he came back. It didn’t take a lot to shock me, but that did.

Three-Car World—This was an interesting short story. I didn’t get what was happening until almost the story’s end. It made sense when it was explained (about the Great Pitching and what was happening to the train). It also made sense what people were willing to do to save themselves.

H.E.L.L.—This was one of my least favorite stories. But, if this were real life, it would have made sense. Hell would need a lawyer and a PR specialist, and who better than one who was already going to Hell? I liked the twist the author put at the end of this story. But it didn’t resonate with me.

Audition Surprise—I liked this story. I loved the author took American Idol and put a sinister spin on it. That whole audition had me glued to the story. Of course, there was an evil undercurrent to everything. I couldn’t pinpoint who was controlling it until the end of the story. Then the author sprang it on me and why this person did what they did.

The Etiquette Consultant—What a creepy story. There were so many layers here, and I wished the author had time to peel them back. The star of this story was the etiquette consultant and his tutoring of clones. There was a creepy end to the story. I wasn’t sure what to make of the end of the story.

Hunger—This was an interesting story. It is set during a zombie apocalypse. Three survivors ran across a community that had an interesting pastime. I won’t get into it, but it was gruesome. The end surprised me because I didn’t see it coming.

Masks—So, I will never go to a yard sale again. After what Janice went through (and she did deserve some of it), I will never look at other people’s stuff and take it home. Of course, Janice did deserve it (she was nasty), but still. It was a great take on a particular Greek myth.

Out to Lunch—This story confused me a little at the beginning. The author eventually explained what happened, and I felt it was a good twist for this story!! I rooted for the three people (or beings) this story centered around.

Tick-Tock—This was a genuinely creepy story. It took a little bit to get into, but it was fantastic when it did. I loved the lore in this story, the vengeful ghost, and the courageous schoolteacher. What I wasn’t expecting was the massive twist at the end. It took me by surprise because of who was in charge.

PermaDrunk—So, this story made me laugh and cry. I laughed because what a way to become famous. But it was who was behind the guy’s condition and why that made me cry. And that person had an agenda, which included targeting the drunk’s friends. I was surprised at how this story turned out.

Native Calling—I loved this story!! At first, I didn’t understand what was happening, and I figured it would be another zombie story. Well, this isn’t a zombie story. Instead, it goes into Navajo myth and legend. I won’t get much more into it other than to say it was fantastic!!

Sibling Rivalry—I was so sad reading this story. The author took the monster under the bed and ran with it. But the little girl, Melanie, broke my heart. The end of the story doubly broke my heart because she didn’t mean anything.

House Hunting—I was surprised by this story. I thought it would go one way, but it was strangely wholesome. Plus, I like the fact that ghosts can go house hunting. It brought a smile to my face.

Changes—So, this was a different type of werewolf story. I felt for Benjamin because he was chosen to be a weregoat (yes, you read that right), and it didn’t quite go as expected. Of course, this story has a couple of terrifying and cute twists.

Outsiders—I didn’t understand this story and had to read it twice to understand what was happening. I felt a little silly because it made sense once I understood that all three main characters were part of different organizations. Oh, and I loved the comparison the author drew upon. I kept hearing that person’s voice in my head….haha.

Tech Support—Again, this is a story that I wasn’t too sure about. I loved the action and the fact that people got assassinated. Also, the paranormal angle was chef’s kiss. But I got lost in what was going on. And again, I had to read this story a couple of times. Once I figured out what was going on, it made the final reread much better.

Uncertain Futures—This was a great fantasy story, and I could see it being a great novel. I loved that the professor was insane enough to deal with the punishment for cheating. And what he made those students do was awful!!

Off-World Bounties—This is an exciting story in the time of Wyatt Earp. I liked the power play in the bounty and what was revealed.

Knock, Knock!—This was a poem, but it was a scary poem. I had to read it twice before catching up on what was happening. All I have to say is that Tanner was a bad boy.

Otherside—This was a sad story. I didn’t get what was going on until halfway through the middle. Then it hit me. I can’t tell you much more than what I said because it was depressing after that to read.

So, overall, I enjoyed this book. It was a perfect mix of horror, paranormal, suspense, and mystery. It did make me laugh in spots, and I did cry in others.

I recommend Tales from the Box, Volume 1 to anyone over 21. There is violence and language. There are no sexual situations. Also, see my trigger warnings.

Many thanks to Weston Kincaide for allowing me to read and review Tales from the Box, Volume 1. All opinions stated in this review are mine.

If you enjoyed reading this review of Tales from the Box, Volume 1, then you will enjoy reading these books:

Other books by Weston Kincaide:

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