Book Review: The Ghost Sequences by A.C. Wise. null.
The Ghost Sequences by A.C. Wise. null.
Published: October 19th 2021
Page Count: 358
From A.C. Wise, the acclaimed author of Wendy, Darling, comes a brand new collection of horror stories, The Ghost Sequences. "A haunting is a moment of trauma, infinitely repeated. It extends forward and backward in time. It is the hole grief makes. It is a house built by memory in-between your skin and bones." A lush and elegant collection of tales - many having appeared in various "Best Of" anthologies - teeming with frightful and tragic events, yet profoundly and intimately human. These chilling tales will engross and enthrall. For readers of Kelly Link, Carmen Maria Machado, and Angela Carter, this is a must have collection of ghostly tales set to deliver a frisson of terror and glee.
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The Ghost Sequences was provided for free by Edelweiss and the publishers in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Edelweiss and Undertow Books for the opportunity to review this book.

The Ghost Sequences is A.C. Wise’s collection of short stories. Most of these have been published somewhere previously, such as magazines or anthologies (there is a complete list at the end of the book), but they all have one thing in common; they’re all based on the theme of “ghost”. When I went into this book I was expecting a certain type of collection, namely hauntings because after all that is what a ghost story is, right? By the time you’ve finished The Ghost Sequences you’ll realise like me that there is so much more to that theme, to the word ghost that we already know, yet we don’t really consider.

Wise has considered it, at great length and the title of this short story collection, “The Ghost Sequences” is perfect. If I was reviewing this book simply based on literally and creative licence I would give this a five-star rating, however, I’m not reviewing it in a critical or academic way. I’m reading it as a reader, and from that perspective I felt that some of the stories missed their mark for me personally. On the one hand, I loved the ways Wise was experimenting with writing, on the other I just didn’t connect with it as a reader.

For example, ‘The Last Sailing of the “Henry Charles Morgan” in Six Pieces of Scrimshaw (1841)’ is a story told through museum pieces that have been curated. As the daughter and granddaughter of two men who loved nautical history, this brought back a lot of great memories of walking through nautical museums with them. Likewise, as an Art History, and Information and Library graduate, I appreciated the way Wise chose to use history and information to tell her story. However, something fell flat in the actual story telling. A+ for effort and imagination, but in execution there was just something missing.

In comparison, a later story in The Ghost Sequences, How to Host a Haunted House Murder Mystery Party‘ is another unconventional piece by Wise and hit the spot perfectly for me. The thing about short story collections and anthologies is that not everything will resonate with every reader, and that’s ok. There are some fantastic stories in here, and the way that Wise draws out the true meaning of what “ghost” means, of what being “haunted” means, will keep you thinking for a long time. The Ghost Sequences is a lot like the cover of this book; you won’t look at it the same way once you’ve seen it.

Book Review: The Ghost Sequences by A.C. Wise - My book review for The Ghost Sequences by A.C. Wise,  a brand new collection of horror stories from the author known for Wendy Darling.. null.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of my reviews if you’re looking for some more book recommendations 🙂 You can also now sign up for my newsletter to get an email each month with a list of my new reviews!


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