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Don’t read with the lights on…this is My Dark Library.
A collection of novellas curated by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann to represent her favorite themes, tropes, and subgenres in horror fiction today.
Book One: STARGAZERS
It began with a forum post titled “My Neighbor Has Been Staring at the Moon for Hours.” Dismissed as a poor attempt at fiction, other accounts soon joined, describing family members and neighbors gazing open-mouthed at the stars throughout the night. As the sun rises, the Stargazers are changed. Some gather in groups, some destroy, and some kill.
The unfolding chaos is familiar for war veteran, now father, Henry Sylva. As the city crumbles from its center, he relies on old instincts to save his family. But the enemy is all around, Stargazers and human monsters alike.
As Henry battles for survival a dwindling online community documents civilization’s end. A new beginning, perhaps, for what is to come.
L.P Hernandez’s novella Stargazers is the first in the My Dark Library Series curated by Sadie Hartmann and released by Cemetery Gates Media. This is also a novella that will make me want to read more in this series and anything I can find by L.P. Hernandez.
The story starts with an internet forum post about a neighbor who has been staring at the sky, head back, mouth open, for hours. People reply on the post like this is a CreepyPasta type, fictional story and not a very good one. The truth is that this is not a fictional account, but a real phenomenon that is starting to happen across the globe. While people start by staring at the night sky, the next step is to journey toward a particular spot, heading in mass, like they are in a trance. Some of them are naked, some of them are crawling on broken legs, some of them are dying on their journey, but nothing can stop them. In the middle of this is Henry, a veteran with severe PTSD and his wife and daughter. They know they have to move away from all of this, to a place of safety. Not only is it a novella about the havoc the stargazers are creating, but the havoc of what PTSD can create on an individual, especially when Henry feels like his family is being threatened.
Stargazers does a great job balancing between a story that is heartfelt and emotional and a purely terrifying horror novella. I love some of the gaps we receive; we don’t know what started all of this, nor does it really matter. There are some of the internet forum posts that are the best because they show how other people are dealing with the same thing as Henry and his family, how the phenomenon is changing everyone. This does not distract from the main story but enhances it, gives us some breaks when they are needed because there is some serious gore. This phenomenon also brings out the worst in some people. The whole structure enhances the world that L.P. Hernandez is building in such a short book. He lets us know that everyone is trapped in the same nightmare, good and bad. I enjoyed every part of this, and I will be looking out for his next release.