I'm always really excited to dig into a new anthology, especially in the horror genre, as so many of the creepiest works I've ever read have fallen into these releases. Often the tension of horror works are simply at their most taut over a brief period of time, since few authors can maintain that feeling of miasma through an entire novel.
Unfortunately, this one is just not very creepy at all-- rarely thrilling and barely mysterious. Defying all of its genre tags. It's not terrible.. the stories are just not entertaining as a rule. Most of them started with interesting ideas, but just never panned out.
There were about three that stood apart from the rest.
'The Mirror' did a pretty good job of building that tension.. even dread.. to a degree. It began subtly and the stakes rose sharply. There were some missed opportunities though, I feel, to play out the consequences our characters stumbled upon, and by the end.. it fizzled out rather predictably.
'Maria' had this really cool sort of 'Night Gallery' feel to it. The story felt very old fashioned and moved more briskly than the others. In fact, I think that's the only thing that was really wrong with it. When I finished reading it, I felt like I'd only read about half a short story, even though I'd gotten my ending. It just didn't feel full.
And really that's the problem with all the stories in this collection. They feel mostly unfinished. Those that don't, feel like they suffer from the opposite. From taking longer than the particular story maybe needed to. Pacing and substance are definitely an issue.
'Solitude' seemed to lack neither. Though it was more of a sci-fi short story to me and didn't seem to belong in this collection at all. What it did lack, however.. was a good ending. It was almost good. Then some unnecessary fluff was tacked on behind what should have been the end and that weakened the story considerably.
To be honest, if you just need something for a break between heavy reads, it's not bad. I didn't hate it. It just didn't make much of an impact on me. Maybe you'll feel differently.