book launch, book review, Crystal Lake, horror

New Release: Wounds to Wishes by Chad Lutzke, Robert Ford, and John Boden

The first in Crystal Lake’s new Dark Tide series, Wounds to Wishes is strong out of the gate with three connected novellas about grief, loss, and family.

The Strangest Twist Upon Her Lips by Chad Lutzke was my favorite of the three tales.

A man is overcome with grief after he finds his fiancée dead.

This is primarily a character study of grief, and it is raw, realistic, and heart wrenching. The speculative element is a subtle vein of gold running through the story. A beautiful, accomplished piece of fiction. 5 stars.

My Only Sunshine by Robert Ford also deals with grief, but focuses more on the mystery and action elements of the story.

A woman struggles with life after the violent murder of her young child. A chance encounter provides her with a once in a lifetime opportunity to find the killer.

There is some nice writing, and I loved the allusions to a certain literary character, as well as the connections between this story and Lutzke’s. However, I found the emotional and narrative beats to be a little too predictable to make this a satisfying story. 3 stars.

Suet by John Boden strides deep into folk horror territory.

After the death of his grandfather, 40 year old Corbin reads the family journals and discovers his inheritance is not what he expected.

I liked the subtle connection with Ford’s story, and there is some nice imagery, but I felt it covered too familiar ground to get excited about it. 3 stars.

I’d also like to mention the beautiful book cover by Ben Baldwin. Not only is it enticing and attractive, but it contains references to each of the three novellas. I love it.

Altogether a very enjoyable collection and I look forward to reading the next in the series.

I award Wounds to Wishes

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an ARC and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

12 thoughts on “New Release: Wounds to Wishes by Chad Lutzke, Robert Ford, and John Boden”

  1. Good review, Iseult! I got to read an ARC of this one, too. I loved Lutzke’s entry and thought it was the best thing he’s ever written. I enjoyed Ford’s more than you did. (It sounds like you were a more insightful reader than I was.) And Boden’s was more genre-oriented, and I just went along for a fun ride in the “familiar territory.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Priscilla. I saw your review on Goodreads. They’re three very well written novellas. There was a lot I loved about Ford’s. The death of a child, especially a violent one, is so upsetting. I just found some of the flashbacks a little generic and the denouement so obvious that it broke my suspension of disbelief. Borden’s was fun and had strong visuals. Familiar but still entertaining.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am not a big short-story reader. Most often, I’ve found that stories in an anthology vary a lot in quality and also short stories often seem too short to have an impact. But maybe I just haven’t picked up the right ones. I admit there are exceptions such as The Birds and The Yellow Wallpaper. The first story you mention certainly sounds good as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, stories in anthologies usually vary greatly in quality. These are three novellas, so you get a much more developed story than in most anthologies, and the quality is good. Thanks for visiting 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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