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Eliza Victoria is the author of several books including the Philippine National Book Award-winning Dwellers (2014), the novel Wounded Little Gods (2016), and the graphic novel After Lambana (2016, a collaboration with Mervin Malonzo). Her fiction and poetry have appeared in several online and print publications, including Daily Science Fiction, Stone Telling, Room Magazine, Story Quarterly, The Pedestal Magazine, High Chair, and the Philippine Speculative Fiction anthologies. Her work has won prizes in the Philippines’ top literary awards, including the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and the Philippines Free Press Literary Awards. She has also been nominated for the Philippines’ National Children’s Book Awards (Jeremy’s Magic Well). A story of hers (“Dan’s Dreams”) is included in The Year’s Best YA Speculative Fiction 2013, featuring stories from authors such as Ken Liu, Lavie Tidhar, Sofia Samatar, Nnedi Okorafor, and Neil Gaiman.
on May 08, 2014 :
This is the second book by Eliza Victoria that I've read. The first one was Project 17. Whenever I read her stories I thought, "This author must have killed somebody to be able to write gripping tales like these."
There are four short stories in this book. Reading the first, "Needle Rain", is like watching true crime. I felt like I was praying hard as my windpipe hang on the second, "The Ghosts of Sinagtala", and only after I reached the ending was I able to breathe - finally relieved. After reading the third, "Summer Evening", I was convinced Miss Victoria must have really murdered somebody to be able to pull this story off, like she's in a vengeance. And lastly, the final fresh-dead-cat present from the book, "December", is just sick. Sick. I want to run from it, however, I was coaxed to go on...
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on March 08, 2014 :
A collection of Horror Stroies from Eliza Victoria, a brilliant and undeniably good Filipina Author, Unseen Moon is something that every Horror/Mystery/Crime fan must read.
First in the collection is Needle Rain. A story of a barkada and how they try to uncover the mysteries of a murder that happened in their hometown. One of the most mysterious stories in the pack, this is a good way to build the tension and suspense that one should feel while reading the book. However, aside from being scary, there's bit of sadness and surprise here, too. What's good is that the author was really able to capture the old-skool Filipino neighborhood--she was able to build the feel and imagery that was needed.
And then comes my favorite story in the book: The Ghosts of Sinagtala. Oh, god, this is the perfect thing to read right now as the Holy Week is coming up soon, and aside from being "Holy", we all know that it's also the time when they say that bad spirits are all over the place. This (and I told the author about this) SERIOUSLY. CREEPED. ME. OUT. It's not about monsters or the usual white ladies or whatever, but the kind of horror depicted in this story is so psychological that it would really rack your brain. (And I'm getting goosies again while writing this). Read it and you will know what I mean. It's really something you'd have to put down and continue once the sun shines again (yeah I read it late, late at night and god my mind worked so bad) because it's so scary. Watch out for rats.
Summer Evening, meanwhile, is brutal. You never know how twins' minds' work these days. You might be disturbed by this story and by the brutality, but all in all it was good. I like how different and creative the author can get.
A tale that will surely tug at your heartstrings without losing its mystery, December, is about an orphan named December, who makes friends with a boy named Gabriel. Together, they discover secrets and mysteries about a dead body in the lake, an abandoned mansion and the people around them.
Finally, there is the Viewless Dark. If you're a student and are frequenting the library, you'll be afraid. Okay seriously, this was one of the best. It's about finding out about someone's death and learning what you need to learn about that person. It's scary, it's suspenseful and it's a work that's just definitely top of the line. If you're fond of trying to solve mysteries, this story is for you.
Give this book a chance because you will not regret it. And you know what? I think I'm going to re-read these stories sometime soon. They're THAT good.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)