All That Remains - Amanda M. Lyons
Next up is All That Remains; another story of realistic horror. The mood is dropped somewhat as the story heads down a more emotional path, one that some of us may be familiar with. The narrator of the story is in the shower when she hears some commotion from her room mates bedroom. On investigation, she finds her female room mate murdered on her bed. Cue a harsh emotional breakdown. It's then revealed that the narrator was in love with her room mate and was never able to confront these feelings...
Now, some people reading this will be like 'so far, so romantic lovey dovey Mill & Boon slush.'. Not so. This is a horror anthology. What follows is a stark, emotionally engaged, and mentally exhausting mental breakdown on the part of the narrator. She brings us into her mind and takes us for a dark, traumatised journey into her ever disintegrating world. Her journey is one of dignity shredding sexual gratification, emotionally empty lust filled one-night stands, and something a little darker...something I will leave for you to discover. Dark, scarring and real, you'd think Lyons is putting experience to page. If so, bravo for facing your demons. If not, well, it's a testament to the authors ability to step into a damaged mind and provide a story so engaging and horrifying, you can't help but feel the characters loss. A wonderful, if slightly harrowing, character study.
Verdict: Depressing and harrowing; an unflinching look at a fragile, traumatised mind. Loss; none of us can cope with it. Never has it been so gritty, realistic or poignant in this dark tale of grieving for a loved one. Horror at its finest. Well done, Amanda.
-from a Goodreads review by Stuart Keane