Hardened Hearts is a themed anthology containing 17 stories that run the gamut of the horror genre. The stories also cross into other genres, which I liked. There are some stories I liked and others I didn’t like, though. The stories range from broken hearts, difficult love, discarded truths, and lost hope. The short stories are arranged well, which balances the anthology nicely. As you read, each story is radically different than the last.
Heirloom by Theresa Braun was great. I had to know what was happening. It keeps you reading. It keeps you interested.
It Breaks My Heart to Watch You Rot by Somer Canon is great. It was quite sad and made my eyes wet. It is a love story about mortality.
I’m still picking up the pieces of my broken heart after reading Pink Balloon.
I really enjoyed Dog Tired by Eddie Generous. It’s a creature feature.
The Heart of the Orchard by Erin Sweet Al–Mehairi is a very grim fairy tale.
Class of 2000 is a great story about karma.
There isn’t a bad story in this anthology. It took me a while to get through this book because each story packs a heavy blow to the feels. I had to digest each one before starting the next. If you want a good cry, then you should pick this one up. Men cry to you know.
What’s more, these stories will stick with you long after you have finished them. This anthology is another strong outing for Unnerving Magazine. Eddie Generous has been putting out quality work since he opened the small press. May his cup runneth over. I can’t wait to see what else is being published this year.
There are some authors I’m familiar with, but there is some that I’m not. I will be checking out their other work, though.