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Tales from the Red Sun Village Vol. 1

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Worth reading 😎

Imaginative premises with great set-ups but whose plots weren't always focused.

This collection is a frame narrative told by a traveling warrior around a campfire, and I really enjoyed the frame itself, which is ironic because it was obviously part of the larger saga and I understood the least about what was going on there. However, I enjoyed the storyteller, Kamui Li's, snarky comebacks and sage wisdom. To me, the Purgatoria scenes were the most interesting part of the whole collection.


The short stories themselves did had a lot of good elements-- they all had great hooks, great set-ups, in many ways great build-ups, and I thought the concepts themselves were really inventive. The imagery was vivid and definitely a strength of the writing style. Especially whenever body horror was involved--very gross and very vivid, which is what you want in these cases.


My primary issue with reading them was that there was so much awkward, extraneous dialogue and jumping between characters' points of view that didn't seem necessary. The first two stories had a lot of body horror that I thought was very well done, and while The Midnight Foot Massacre had a pretty horrific payoff, Plus a Few Upgrades was more of an action suspense. (This one was my favorite conceptually, I just wish there had been less POV jumping.) The Children's Ward had a fantastic set-up but I found it to be the least focused in terms of plot. What I thought was going to be one creepy night at a hospital turned into an prolonged epic that left me very confused by the end.


Not gonna lie--short story writing is no walk in the park. I think these stories all had great ideas but they suffered from a lack of focus and often from being too drawn-out. However, my interest in the world that these stories are couched in is piqued. Maybe the real lesson here is that you should always read the main saga before you agree to read any side stories. If so, then lesson learned.


I would recommend this to fans of Black Mirror, Twilight Zone, and even Tales From the Crypt. Though I personally wasn't scared, if you're a fan of body horror and suspense, then there may be something here for you.

Reviewed by

Freelance writer and content developer by day, blogger and aspiring author by night. However, my only professional goal has always been to make a living doing what I love most: reading and writing! At my core, I'm just a goof who loves a good story.

About the author

Mark Swaine was born in Blackpool, Lancashire by Glynis Lawford and Arthur Swaine in 1979. He grew up in Rochdale, Lancashire and moved to Spain when he was 19 years old. Now living in Gibraltar, he has written 5 novels (4 self published) and written one screenplay. view profile

Published on June 30, 2020

Published by

80000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Horror

Reviewed by