32330788The dead beckon and the little girl obeys. Night after night she answers the graveyard’s call, though she dreads her encounters with the creature that dwells there.

But she’ll soon come to learn that memories are much more dangerous than monsters…

What is the novelette about? Blue is a 10 year old girl who visits the graveyard every day as her twin, older sister and mother have been laid to rest there. During one of the visits, there is a very ragged looking man standing on her sister’s grave. He offers Blue a deal to redeem the sins of her dead family members or their souls will forever be stuck in between Heaven and Hell.

“And let us not forget: to sin against your fellow man is to sin against Heaven, against seraphim such as myself. It is because of malefactors like you that we are reduced to this-” he straightened and gestured at his scorched clothes, “- and so it is your duty to make things right.”

To save her families souls, Blue must commit 10 acts for the man, one for each of her years. And so the countdown from 10 will begin… I really enjoyed the addition of Snail and Crow who appeared every time Blue was committing one of those acts. They were like the yin and yang of Blue’s subconscious, the angel and devil sitting on her shoulders.

She knows vaguely that this is right; that there should be fire to hold back the darkness, to warm the innocent, to burn the evil.

To give you an idea of the themes in this short read, Laura M Hughes addresses the very human weakness that is blind faith. Not by any means am I saying I don’t understand why Blue accepted the deal. I do. Everyone would do everything to save their loved ones. Also, we are dealing with a child’s mind here… and, personally, I believe that brainwashing kids with religion from early age should be banned. I digress… Back to the book…

The story is truly dark… there’s death, bloody consequences, murder and gruesome scenes. There is a subtle religious theme around sins and Ten Commandments. Is Blue avenging the innocents, is she wreaking revenge? Is she getting involved with something that little girls should never be involved with? Is Blue the victim or a hero?

You will find out everything there is to know about the why’s and the how’s and who’s… There will be no question, reasoning, logic lost in between the 56 Kindle pages of a story. Buckle up and be prepared for an hour of Hell on Earth!

This is all I can say about the story without ruining it for you with spoilers. ‘Memories are deadlier than monsters‘ is a very accurate summary for Danse Macabre. The overall writing truly created and  set the scene in which Blue seems to ‘operate’. The only confusion I felt was around the time the story was happening- 19th century, 20th? There, thereabouts anyway. Also, I had trouble immediately getting into what was a memory and what was present- probably just my own lack of attention, however, memory bits formatted in Italics would have been awesome. Lastly, to those who have read the book and understand what I’m trying to say- I was a bit unhappy with the ending. I can see why one of the ‘items’ didn’t work on the man but that the second item did, seemed a bit far-fetched. It’s unique but unbelievable. And yet, they’re all tiny grievances. The never-ending fight in between good and evil, the questions of morals and wrong and right were brilliantly executed by Hughes in Danse Macabre and I really enjoyed this read. 4  stars. 

I found out about this intriguing little story when Drew reviewed it on The Tattooed Book Geek and I immediately went to download my copy. This book truly is death dancing!

Blue always preferred numbers to words. Words have power. Words hold painful truths and delicious lies. Just one word can stir up a hundred memories and a thousand feelings so that you can be hurt by a word or killed by a sentence.