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Ashes

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3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  629 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
A collection of 12 supernatural stories by award-winning author Scott Nicholson, including "Scarecrow Boy," "Dog Person" and "Sewing Circle." From the author of THE RED CHURCH, SPEED DATING WITH THE DEAD, DRUMMER BOY, and the collections FLOWERS and THE FIRST, these stories visit haunted islands, disturbed families, and a lighthouse occupied by Edgar Allan Poe. Collected f ...more
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Published October 25th 2010 by Haunted Computer Books (first published February 3rd 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Marvin
Apr 30, 2011 Marvin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently read Scott Nicholson's The Red Church. While I admired the author's style of writing, the story was not to my liking. But I also read Scott's very interesting afterword. (He writes the best afterwords!) and I was struck by his statement that if I didn't like the novel to please try another of his books. Interesting ploy!

So I picked up his short story collection Ashes. This time I was riveted by his short fiction. Ashes is a collection of horror stories; primarily ghosts tales. Yet he
...more
Kasia
Dec 08, 2010 Kasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't expect a meaningless blood drenched gore fest from this collection, this time Scott mixes it up using stories written throughout different times in his life, some being quite difficult and painful, hence the slightly melancholy tone but exquisitely written never the less. I adored the intro written by Jonathan Maberry, it really makes you think about horror and what it really means, the different ways it can go when it overlaps genres and the origins of proper horror before all the Hallowe ...more
Melanti
This isn't horror in the vein of Hollywood - It's horror on the order of The Twilight Zone or tales told around a campfire when you're young.

All of the stories are ghost stories of one sort or another, and there's a great creepiness to them. However, if you're looking for blood, gore or outright terror, you'll probably want to find a different book.

My favorite was Haunted which turns the haunting around. My other favorites were the twin stories of the civil war soldiers, and the nod to Edgar All
...more
Michelle
May 31, 2011 Michelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for horror stories, don't waste your time here. This collection of stories is full of dry plot lines that are repeated from story to story, characters with no life to them (ghosts or living). I laughed and rolled my eyes more then getting any goosebumps or fright from these.
Alazzar
Jun 09, 2011 Alazzar rated it really liked it
This is probably closer to a 3.5, but only because it had a slow start.

I picked up the book on my Kindle, because A) it was free, and B) it had an endorsement from Joe Konrath. (Also, the fact that it was in the top 20 free Horror books and had a cover that wasn’t made with MS Paint seemed awfully appealing.) When I started reading, I was a little disappointed, and it was all because of my expectations—this is what I thought I’d be getting from Scott Nicholson’s Ashes:

1. Scary stories
2. Variety

A
...more
Monster
Ashes is the e-book edition of Scott Nicholson’s short story collection Scattered Ashes. In nearly every story, the spectre of death is there in all of its creepy, and sometimes paranormal, forms. From a Civil War soldier at Andersonville prison, to a German soldier during WWII, zombies, and the pets we love and that love us unconditionally, you will get chills reading these stories.

One of my favorite stories, probably because of my love of muscle cars, is "Timing Chains of the Heart", in whic
...more
John
Sep 27, 2016 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall - 4 stars
Story - 4 stars
Narration - 4 stars

I enjoyed these stories. They were well written and beautifully narrated!
Adam Wilson
Aug 26, 2010 Adam Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ashes is one of the best short story collections I've ever read. Scott Nicholson's writing style in this is still high quality. It was what caught my attention when I read the Red Church. If you want to get a perfect description of his writing, and of what good horror actually is, read the introduction by Jonathan Mabery. Just from reading his intro I'm going to have to read some of his work too.
Each story included here belongs. None of them are space fillers. None of them are less than the othe
...more
Josh
‘Ashes’ is a collection of 6 tales of horror packed with thrills and chills accompanied by a fantastic essay exploring horror as it is perceived within the film and publishing industries. Written by Jonathan Maberry, this introduction spoke of the slow distillation of the genre by which slasher and thriller films/stories taint/dilute the brand and served as the perfect entree to the pure horror stories penned by Scott Nicholson. ‘Ashes’ kicks off with ‘Homecoming’ a spooky and heartfelt ghost st ...more
Matt Schiariti
Nov 19, 2012 Matt Schiariti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not what I was expecting....

but that's not really a bad thing. I admit that I don't/haven't read much horror. I also admit that I downloaded this to my kindle because it was free ;)

Frankly I was expecting some blood curdling horror. Even the preface, which goes into painstaking detail about what 'true horror' is/isn't and how good Nicholson is good at writing true horror, was a bit misleading. You see, in my own limited way I feel there are ghost stories then there are horror stories. This colle
...more
Shell
Aug 09, 2011 Shell rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmmm...I'm not sure where to start. The forward by Author Scott Nicholson was very entertaining, and struck me as very wise.
He states. "In the late 90's and early 21st Century, we saw the rise of yet another genre that polluted the word horror: torture porn. Films like Hostel, Saw and their many imitators are shock cinema."
I'd have to agree. Saw doesn't interest me in the least. I am very difficult to scare when it comes to movies and books. Perhaps I am jaded. The last movie that I truly jumpe
...more
Jordan Anderson
I suppose that for a free eBook, “Ashes” was far from the worst on the market, but I would be slightly disappointed had I paid any money for this one.

That Scott Nicholson is a very talented writer can be plainly seen in his elegant and yes, I would say beautiful, prose. In some regards that’s a very rare thing to be seen in the literary genre that is horror. In the stories the “The Christening” and “She Climbs a Winding Stair” Nicholson’s descriptions are so perfect and crystal clear in capturin
...more
Dana
May 22, 2012 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finished Ashes By ..you guessed it Scott Nicholson I was sick and needed something short and scary to keep me awake ...This did the trick! Ashes is a book of short stories about the living interaction with the spirits and the other way around...

Homecoming - A Farmer has a last chance to say goodbye to his only son in this very touching story...

Haunted - A Dad and Mom try to keep a scary haunting from their young daughter.. very nice twist at the end.. kinda made me sad though...

The Christening -
...more
Katy
Jul 01, 2011 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the macabre, horror and psychological suspense
Recommended to Katy by: Scott Nicholson
Shelves: ebook
“Ashes” is an anthology of short stories written by Scott Nicholson, defined in the introduction as “true horror” as opposed to the slasher, serial killer and “torture porn” that is mistakenly described as horror today. Personally, I didn’t really consider the stories to be horror, more a sort of macabre, but I have to admit they were all well-written.

Most of the stories dealt with ghosts, of course, but there were a couple that were a little different – one about a Nazi troop “cleaning” a villa
...more
Nenette
Oct 29, 2016 Nenette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly couldn't remember picking up this book, and I figure it's been buried (no pun intended) for long in my To Read shelf. How creepy is it that even with my new acquisitions, I'd ventured into one of the older books in the shelf, happen on this one, and decide to read it without having any idea what I'd find? Well, it's very apt for the occasion of the hallows and the ones who've passed on.

The book has quite a lengthy introduction from Jonathan Maberry, debating about the horror genre. Wi
...more
Steve
Jun 03, 2011 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
I'm generally not a fan of books like this, meaning collections of short stories. I tend to prefer stories that build a cast of characters and a plot over time, but I found Ashes to be a refreshing break from the shocking and grotesque and have largely taken over the horror genre. That ended up being enough for me to enjoy it much more than I expected.

The one thing common among the series of stories in Ashes is the connection between this world and the next. The stories are simply spooky. PG-rat
...more
Shelley
Jun 15, 2011 Shelley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really love short story collections. They are quick reads and I can pick them up and put them down without losing the thread. This was a great collection. Ghost stories are always fun and these were really good. There were some very different ones in this collection. Stories about a haunted house but with a twist, a beach ghost town haunted by a lonely heartbroken girl, a haunted lighthouse, and two stories about the same thing told from two different points of view. These are just a few of th ...more
Freda Mans-Labianca
This is a fun set of short stories. The first, Homecoming, is a sad story with a happy ending. (3/5) Next, Haunted, was an awesome ghost story! I loved the twist, but I got to say, too much Elvis will not make anybody deaf! (4.5/5) Then, The Christening, I thought this would turn out a lot different than it did, and I'm pleasantly surprised. (5/5) Next, She Climbs A Winding Stair, had me until the very end, then I was left going, "huh?" (3/5) Then, Must See to Appreciate, was weird. That's how I ...more
Angela~twistedmind~
The author makes claims in his foreward that this will be one of the most horrifying books you have read in years.......you'll sleep with the lights on. Umm......no. My favorite story in the book was 'Haunted', only because of the little twist towards the end. None of these stories were remotely horrifying. Rather, barely scary or a bit weird. Other than the blantant lie of how I would be terrorized, the book was okay. The stories were sometimes interesting and were decently written. Unfortunate ...more
Nathalia
Aug 16, 2011 Nathalia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After reading the author's lengthy explanation as to what horror was, alarms immediately started going off in my head. From my previous experiences with authors' feeling the need to explain their own genre, the stories tend to fall short of what the reader originally expected. Unfortunately, this was exactly what I found with Ashes. For a free eBook, it wasn't one of the worst ones i've read, but it was also far from one of the best.
Pia Veleno
Twelve free short ghost stories from Nicholson's earlier years of writing horror.

Favorites:

Haunted & Must See to Appreciate -- both five stars -- plus, She climbs a Winding Stair & Invisible Bullets -- four stars each.

Bonus:

The intro by Jonathan Maberry is well worth reading on its own. Maberry writes about the differences between true horror and slahshers/shock cinema, and then compares shock/gore/torture to the beauty of suspense.

It is his definition of horror that I enjoy.
Christa
Aug 29, 2010 Christa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Scattered Ashes is collection of some of the best short stories I have ever read. They are not just suspenseful and delightfully wicked (and that they are) but psychologically complex, dense, and moving. Scattered Ashes is full of haunting tales, reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe, colorful characters, and they probe such age-old and contemporary topics as love, relationships, motherhood, and the dark depths of the human psyche. Like Scott Nicholson's novels, they are set in the Appalachian Mountain ...more
Jess
Apr 02, 2012 Jess rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's my own fault I only gave this a 2. I didn't realize this was a book of short stories & I really don't like them. I want to get involved in a novel & have it develop & continue with its thread for a longer period of time. Fortunately for me, I read it for free from my local public library. If it hadn't been for my short-story hangup, I probably would have given a Scott Nicholson book a 4 or 5, because of his beautiful & vivid writing style. I'm expecting to do that soon becau ...more
stormhawk
Aug 24, 2010 stormhawk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
These are some darn creepy stories. Just what you want in a ghost story, without that capitalized final sentence that seemed to be the hallmark of ghost story books you read when you were young. You know, "AND HE NOTICED THAT SHE HAD NO NECK, JUST A SPACE BETWEEN THE TWO BLOODY STUMPS," or "HIS COAT WAS FOLDED NEATLY ON THE GRAVE," kind of endings.

What's here is a collection of sophisticatedly scary stories that manage to find different approaches to traditional tales. I did figure out where th
...more
Jan Strnad
Aug 28, 2011 Jan Strnad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These ghost stories are not scary, for the most part. They're atmospheric, thoughtful...someone else's review called them "contemplative," and I like that description a lot. Anyone looking for a "horror" book will be disappointed. Anyone looking for something more nuanced and better written than most horror shorts, subtler, with a distinct sense of place (Appalachia) should find that ASHES fits the bill quite nicely.

I very much enjoyed reading ASHES and thank the author for making it available
...more
Carl
Jan 21, 2011 Carl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of campfire ghost stories, not of the Crypt style, but more along the Twilight Zone style of horror. I was hoping to see a bit more of the story that made you want to stay safe inside your sleeping bag and wait until morning to relieve yourself lest the spooks were waiting for you. The stories were well written and I did enjoy reading them, some quite a bit more than others, but I'll leave that for you to decide when you read them.
John Cress
May 30, 2011 John Cress rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this collection of short stories. They are all ghost stories but written in a way that almost makes one feel bad for the ghosts. I found myself pulling for the ghost(s) to succeed in more than one story. The other thing that was nice was the lack of shock or senseless gore (which to me is lazy horror) but the stories instead focused on the characters on how the ghost effected each. I'll be looking forward to reading more from Nicholson.
Cindy
Jun 05, 2013 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
This was a good collection of horror stories. Actually, I considered them more of a creepy kind of ghost story instead of terrifying horror. You know the kind that pop into your mind when you turn the lights out at night, well these aren't that kind. At least not to me.

There were 6 short stories and my favorite was Haunted which had a nice goose bump causing twist at the ending! I have read other books by this author and enjoy his style of writing.
Tracy Walters
May 26, 2011 Tracy Walters rated it really liked it
This book has a great forward that talks about what 'horror' should really be and Scott Nicholson writes a horror story the way it should be.....kinda creepy.......makes you think......massive amounts of blood and gore are NOT part of his vocabulary......basically just a good ole ghost/supernatural story. There are some pretty good stories in this book and one that made me want to look up the Island of Portsmouth just too see what it is all about.....I really enjoyed reading this!
Darcia Helle
None of the stories in this collection felt like horror to me. I'd file them all as paranormal/ghost stories. I didn't find them scary, though they were dark and a bit creepy.

About half of the stories center on haunted houses, while most of the remaining stories take place during various wars. All are ghost tales.

Nicholson weaves a great story, with characters that quickly come alive. My only complaint is that the plots became repetitive.
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With more than 500,000 books sold worldwide, Scott Nicholson is an international bestselling thriller writer. He won the Writers of the Future Award in 1999 and was a Stoker Award finalist in 2003. His Fear series was published by Amazon's Thomas & Mercer imprint and 47North released the supernatural thriller McFALL.

He's also published a number of supernatural, paranormal, and fantasy books an
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