Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of coming in contact with some really incredible people in horror. I won a giveaway and met Zach Bohannon who is now one of my good friends, and through him, I was put in touch with Shannon of Nightmarish Conjurings. Afterwards, I followed someone on Instagram, and it turns out he’s a really,
amazing writer…Mr. Jeremy Megargee.
Now, I’ve reviewed Jeremy’s work here before. You may remember me reviewing his novel Dirt Lullabies and totally fangirling over it. His descriptive language is impeccable. His storytelling is beautiful. So when I got a message asking if I’d like a copy of his newest creation, Burnt Scrolls, I almost fell out of my chair, but “calmly” responded “oh yeah sure cool thanks!”
I just recently moved out of my house (a little over a week, when you all read this) so I ran home to pick up a few things (a Harley Quinn costume, a tea infuser…the essentials), and I had a package! I shredded the thing apart when I saw who it was from. I held the book up to the ceiling Lion King-style, and smiled. My book of short stories and poetry was here!! And it had the sweetest note inside!
I took Burnt Scrolls to work with me. I hoped it would be slow. It was. So I sat and I read, and as usual, I blew through another one of Megargee’s books in 48 hours.
There’s something about the way he writes; it’s like a fine wine. You marvel in its beauty with each sip you take, and eventually you’re so consumed by its delectable flavor that you drink and drink and drink until you’re incoherently drunk. That’s the best description I can give of what happens when I read his work- I become drunk on literature, and I can’t consume enough.
This book is a little different than anything he’s written before- it’s much more personal. “Cathartic”, as he puts it. It’s a book of short stories and poems, and for those of you that have read his other works, you’re in for a treat! The short stories (3 of the 4) are “prequels” and stories of characters from his other novels. The poems are a journey; some are horrific and creepy and others are personal and sweet.
Let’s talk about a few of my favorites:
All of the short stories are totally consuming, but I’ll talk about my top 2 as to not give away much more than I need to.
Welcome to Rust Valley takes place ten years after the events in Dirt Lullabies. As always, it’s beautifully written, and the descriptions of the cave that Benjamin travels into…it practically had my mouth watering, it was so stunning. The characters, as usual, are fun to connect with and although the story is short, you find yourself rooting for them.
Black Rose Petals tells the story of my girl Thorny Rose from Dirt Lullabies. Before I go any further talking about this story, let me tell you a little something about myself: I have the tendency to fall in love with certain characters, specifically the underdog of most stories. Now, when I read Dirt Lullabies and I learned about Thorny Rose, I started doing my makeup the way she was described, I wanted to be her friend, I wanted her to come over and drink tea with me. SO when I saw that she got her own short story, I nearly fainted. Okay, maybe not literally, but I was way too excited. Her story is sad, believable, and tragic. She’s every Halloween-lover’s dream. I can’t get enough of her. She’s amazing and this story is amazing. Yes.
As far as the poetry goes, it’s all very personal. You can tell that the topics are from a deep place within Jeremy’s soul, so reading it is like sitting down across a table from him while he tells you about the deepest, darkest places of his mind. It’s really an experience that I wasn’t expecting, but I was deeply thrilled by the end of the book.
A specific poem in particular really touched me: The Stray. I wont’ tell you what it’s about, but what I will tell you is that I messaged Jeremy to let him know that I was sitting at work crying like a fool because of it.
All in all, this book is a solid read. Like I said, you can blow through it with the intensity of the stories- they reel you in and don’t let go until you hit the poetry, which then takes you on such an intense roller coaster ride that you may end up crying. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.
However, I highly suggest it! If any of you guys pick it up and read it, let me know! I’ll link the page where you can buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Burnt-Scrolls-Collection-Tales-Poems/dp/1515352250/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
You can follow Jeremy on Facebook and on instagram at @xbadmoonrising!
Until next time, ghosts and ghouls, stay spooky!