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Tales from the Red Sun Village Vol.1

By

Not for me 😔

Creepy tales from a big imagination that impart wisdom about the monsters of the mind. It may not be for me but it could be for you!

Cautionary tales have long been used to prepare children for dangers held within the world, and Kamui Li certainly doesn’t hold back with his words of wisdom - or expletives. Tales from The Red Sun Village is packed with imaginative and down-right creepy scenarios, undoubtedly borrowed from cinematic gems, but adapted enough to hold a reader's interest. 


The collection of ‘horror stories with a moral’ told by a raconteur-cum-ninja was an enjoyable touch and a suitable plot catalyst, but this inclusion left me wanting more. I suspect Li and the younguns lending their tender ears to his gruesome fables are part of the wider Red Sun anthology, but nevertheless, I felt a bit out of the loop. What is Purgatoria, who is Li, what made the kiddies so scared? That aside, you can colour me intrigued because I would love to know more. 


The three stories were widely different and Swaine’s ability to craft hateful antagonists is admirable, particularly those in Plus A Few Upgrades. One chapter is scarred in my brain for its vivid depiction of a kebab and a toilet...I won’t spoil the fun but I could almost smell it. For all the brilliant antagonists I felt the protagonists fell below the bar and I yearned for more inner monologues. At the risk of sounding like Kathy Bates from Misery, the overuse of swear words dampened the experience for me. I do love a good bit of ‘effing and jeffing’ as it can bring a slice of humanity to fictional chatter, which it certainly did for Rob in The Midnight Foot Masseuse, but it became tiresome as the book progressed. But please rest assured, I don’t wish to hobble any authors today (or any other day for that matter). 


Overall, the book served up adequate portions of horror, gore and foulness. It may not have been for me but I think it could certainly be for young adult horror readers who want a taste of fear or fans of stalwart horror/sci-fi works (Jumaji, A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and Goosebumps spring to mind). Tales from The Red Sun Village has all the right components to make an eclectic world of macabre mayhem. Swaine clearly has potential to put his penchant for hideous scenarios to good use and up the ante for his protagonists. I will look forward to Volume 2 with keen interest.

Reviewed by

I'm a journalist by day and a horror enthusiast at all hours. I can't live off blood and gore forever, so I like to switch it up with romance, fantasy and/or crime.

The Midnight Foot Masseuse

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

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Horror

Reviewed by