Danse Macabre by Laura M Hughes

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.


  1. Thanks so much for this, Liz – brilliant review! I’m honoured that you’ve taken the time to write such a detailed review… and that my little story managed to impress a lady referred to by others as ‘Queen FussyPussy’. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I also got the book after reading Drew’s review! If I hadn’t yours would have made me 🙂 ‘Memories are deadlier than monsters‘ Wow this is powerful and intriguing. And so true. I like the idea and the thinking behind the story, so I hope I’ll enjoy it as much as you did 🙂 That’s a brilliant review!


  3. I am really picky about magical systems and metaphysical rules in books, I hate it when what works and what doesn’t work aren’t consistent. This is why I black sheeped big time with This Savage Song and Vicious. This was a well executed review, which is difficult for novellas. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah! Crap.. Vicious is my near future reading list… I just gotta suck it and see how it goes for me… 🙂
      I’m easily swayed with magical system but I’m a daftie when it comes to metaphysical rules- hmm… interesting comment.. I need to check this out in terms of books now 🙂 Educate myself a bit 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review, Liis! I also saw this on Drew’s blog and was very intrigued. This novella sounds incredibly complicated and thoughtful. I love it when books stop and make you think. That doesn’t happen enough in my opinion.
    [Oh, and don’t tell Drew, but I think I like your review a bit better. 😉 ]

    Liked by 1 person

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