Disclosure: I received an advance copy of “KSHM Project - The Stocking Stuffer” by Karl Strand and Henry Martin. I do not know the authors personally and have had only encounters with Henry Martin on the Goodreads site. Since I had read and reviewed the other installments of this project, I was included in a group mailing of this advance copy. The comments that follow are my own personal opinion. I received NO compensation of any kind, or from any one, to provide this review.
This is more extensive than previous project submissions and included five short stories with accompanying photos. The photos didn’t have the high impact in this submission as in previous ones and the stories seemed to take center stage. I rated each story individually.
The first story “The Stocking Stuffer” proved to be a terrific horror piece. The photos were very well done. Although the story lacked originality, the writing gave it a truly creepy feel. Well written and deserving of 5 stars.
“Salesman’s Dilemma” was original and well written. I found it hard to believe the story line and the coincidences. It had a comic book quality to it and unnecessary nudity. I only gave it 2.5 stars. Although unique in style, It didn’t seem to have the quality of other pieces in the group.
“Man Has To Eat” was an interesting tale, showcasing an extreme case of PTSD. I’m not a reader who enjoys blood and gore so this story would never rank as a favorite of mine, but I’m sure many horror readers would love it. Good job on the writing and the descriptions were excellent, really painting the picture. Photo on this one was good, but didn’t seem to relate to the story. Putting aside my personal preferences in horror reads, I gave it 4.5 stars.
“Leila” gave us an examination of insanity. The writer took us into the workings of the insane mind and provided insights into the motivation and progress of obsession. I loved the photo of the tramcar. Literary in nature, this writing was a deep character study I enjoyed very much. It got all 5 stars.
“Morphosis” was another tale of a mind off course. I found the story fast paced and brutal. The story does carry the reader, but I found the writing seemed almost rushed and the motivations were missing for many actions. I loved the photos with this story, but found the writing not nearly as good as earlier projects. It get 3.5 stars.
NOTE: This contains nudity, adult content, and course language. (Probably not a big deal, given the general horror theme). Two very talented professionals have combined to give us a truly unique and enjoyable piece of entertainment. I strongly suggest the entire project to everyone. It’s unique and fun.