Book Review: Hex Life edited by Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering – Wicked New Tales of Witchery

Have you ever imaged what it must be like to hear the tales of a coven of incredible women? Editors Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering have conjured up just that. Inside the pages of Hex Life are a collection of enchanted tales from the pens of eighteen fantastically talented female authors.

Within these stories the writers explore not only elements of the occult but also the realities of what it is to be a woman. From motherhood and romance to the sisterhood and shaking off stereotypes, Hex Life gives us glimpses of life from a female point of view.

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In Widow’s Walk, Angela Slatter introduces us to a witchy version of the ‘Golden Girls’ who live together with their cats in a big old spooky house. We see how collectively their maternal skills coupled with a touch of magical flair can reach out to a young lost soul. This tale shows it takes a lot more than just giving birth to a child to be a mother.

Widow’s Walk isn’t the only story to ponder mother hood. An overwhelmed mother of three thinks she finds the answer to all her wishes when she accepts a helping hand in the incredibly creepy story of The Night Nurse by Sarah Langan. It is not long before the young mother starts wondering whether the mysterious night nurse character is everything she seems to be.

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Jennifer Mcmahon explores the emotions of the human heart in the bewitchingly Sapphic tale of The Deer Wife. Some love affairs are meant to break the mould. In The Dancer, Kirstin Deerborn touches on the pressures of being a teenage girl. Something that Amber Benson, who once played ‘Tara’ in the TV show ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, also touches on when she gives a voice to another young girl in This Skin.

Not only are there fresh faery tale retellings written by Ania Ahlborn and Theodora Goss but there are also stories that hand out a more unique interpretation on the dark arts. As readers we take a truly terrifying trip to The Last Stop on Route Nine thanks to the writing genius of Tananarive Due. Chesya Burke gives us a macabre scare as she paints a tale of terror using the dark history of the American south in Haint Me Too.

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However, if you are looking for a serving of revenge then you are in luck as Hillary Monahan delivers it in abundance in the shape of a mother trying to get to the root cause of the homophobic bullying her son has been made to suffer at school. Revenge really is a dish best served at room temperature and perhaps with a dusting of icing sugar in the sweetly satisfying story called Bless your Heart.

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These stories and more fill Hex Life with wicked witchcraft inspired tales that have been expertly edited in to this volume by Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering.

If you are looking for a book to, in the words of Mary Shelley, ‘curdle the blood and quicken the beatings of the heart’ as all good fiction inspired by dark practices should then you should get your hands on a copy of this short story collection.

So get yourself a copy from Titan Books. When it arrives it will be time to light some candles and wrap yourself up in a blanket on the sofa then crack the spine and immerse yourself in the pages of Hex Life to enjoy a wickedly witchy night in.

Click here to order a copy.

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