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The Whites of Their Eyes: A Collection of Queer Horror

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  21 reviews
There are no happy endings here.

In the town of Inverse, Silvino and Scott Orellano discover the darkness in their deepest hearts. At the cusp of a new life, Kane Orwell learns terrible truths whispered by a black and eldritch mouth. Torn between one identity and another, Shania Logan struggles to hold on to the fragments of her self.

And standing on the threshold of the aft
Published October 28th 2017
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destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Whew. DAMN. This collection was... SO GOOD?! I love Cole McCade's writing so much and absolutely consider him one of my favorite romance authors (or favorite authors in general), but I had NO CLUE his horror work was just as flawless. This was legitimately so unsettling and creepy and I think I may have actual bona fide nightmares about one of the scenes in one of these stories.

First, let's talk about the concept of queer horror to begin with — as a queer person who adores horror, I've always b
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
Every now and again I’ll wander off the romantic path, and on this occasion I’ll happily admit to being rather proud of myself because The Whites of Their Eyes is horror. And me plus anything horror related equals:


Oh the things you’ll put yourself through when it’s a favourite author.


Xen is an author who writes diverse stories which, irrespective of genre, focusses on the real struggles marginalised people face. And his foray into the world of horror gave me chills: his writing voice has a hypno
Rafa Brewster
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Full review to come after I collect myself, light some sage and say a few prayers.

My Review:

I don't remember the last time I read horror, but after getting an early glimpse of Inverse courtesy of the author, I was definitely excited for more. The Whites of Their Eyes (a total of four novellas and short stories) did not disappoint.

Inverse and Mouth were the lengthier of the four, which the author shamelessly used to his advantage to lure us into his characters' worlds and make us fall
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
actual rating: 3.5

I love me some queer horror stories! There are four stories in this book. Two of them are very short, probably taking up about 10% of the page space, and the other two are both longer and about the same length so I would say about 45% of the page space each for those. The reason this gets a 3.5 rounded up is because I would have liked to see a more uniform story length. The two shorter stories were definitely not as rounded out as the longer ones, although I did appreciate that
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It looks like it took me forever to read this book but it really didn’t. Well it did sort of.

I did actually have an ARC but it wasn’t on my kindle and because it was outside of my normal reading mode, I forgot it. Then I felt crazy bad for not finishing it and thought that the author had fallen out with me because I didn’t finish it and review it in time. And then I got neurotic about it, thinking that if I finished it after all that time he would think ill of me and never be my friend again.

Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I don't DO horror. Generally, and on principle. Im a scaredy cat and a wuss, and I have to be in a very special mood to even think about picking up a book in this genre.

And then along came The Whites of Their Eyes. It's by Xen Sanders, soooo of course I had to read it. It's no secret I'm a huge fan of his words.

And y'all. These stories. These stories. They flayed me alive and had me weeping while shitting my pants. Metaphorically speaking - let's not get too gross. My point is, I l
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The writing is beautiful and made me linger over images - but the stories are so terrifying I had to keep putting it down and giving myself space in between the scenes (not just stories) to breath. No skimming with this book, I had to slowly read and take in every single horrifying moment (though the last story is more bittersweet and piercing than terrifying). I'm not a usual fan of reading horror but after this I may attempt more. And am working my way through his whole catalog. ...more
Pam Faste aka Peejakers
This was some strong stuff, most of it quite intense, packing a powerfully visceral and psychological punch. Seriously, it was the stuff of nightmares.

But it was also just incredibly good, very moving and so well written.

It's hard to pick a favorite, but I guess one was Mouth, because I loved the relationship between Kane and Michio, even though that made the horror aspects of the story even harder to take.

Mouth also contains these words, which so struck me with their feeling of familiarity; it
4.5 stars👻

THE WHITES OF THEIR EYES is a stunning collection. this is a collection of four novellas and short stories that tell a very real tale of psychological horror.

what makes this collection stand out so much is the beautiful writing and how well developed the characters are. it's rare for me to care so much for characters in such a short amount of time but Xen definitely succeeded in doing that here.

INVERSE - the first story - was my favourite. everything about it just worked for me and I'v
D.L. Wainright
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There's so much I could say about this. I loved the writing style, and felt it carried the narrative flow smoothly. There were definitely some creepy moments, which is always the goal with horror. And, to be honest, I loved the fresh feel that having queer protagonists brought to the table.

There's a certain tension that we experience in our daily lives that cis het people don't, which grows or dims depending on certain environments and situations. This book captured that, wove it into the horro
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the first time I've ever read anything by Xen Sanders, and I can't say I feel any disappointment. There were certainly a number of moments that gave me a chill through these 4 very different short stories of horror. I don't want to give away too much, but I do favor 'Inverse' the most. That has given me visuals that'll take me days to rid myself of. 'Insurrection' I wish could've been a little longer, but when I set back to look at it, it just works. 'Mouth' was probably my least favorit ...more
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't do horror.

No... really. I don't do scary things. I believe most trailers for scary movies/shows are too much for cable television. I live on Disney. Not things that go bump in the night.

When I learned the final story, Flicker, would be something I could handle I was nervous and excited.

It broke me and moved me. Full of distress and sweetness and sorrow and hope. I wanted more of the story. Of their story. Because even in this short piece of writing, the characters are larger than life.
Terri Jones
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's been awhile, years, since I ventured into horror short stories. I'm acquainted with Sanders's work, which you'd think would be encouraging. And it is! Technically. Just, he writes on a visceral level. His romances dig deep into characters and reveal what many authors gloss over, and that challenges me, sometimes in unexpected ways. I like that. (Right after I stop cursing and using up tissues.)

So, take that ability to challenge, remove the HEA, and crank the 'oh crap' knob to 11, and there
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
For horror, I usually think the shorter and less-explained the better, but the opposite is true here. The two shorter stories didn't do much for me, but the longer two I really liked: creepy and atmospheric with believable characters and great settings. I'd like to read more (and longer) stories from Xen. ...more
Gabriel Vidrine
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So good! Oh how I loved the characters in all the stories, and how varied and interesting they were. Excellent horror, just the right amount of creepy (I'm super hard to scare, so it rates at creepy for me, but I also write/dream/perform/live horror too lol) with diverse characters. ...more
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This collection is packed with addictive writing, this isn't one of those “oh, I'll just dip in and out” books, you need to grab it in both hands and devour it. ...more
Rachel Brune
Dec 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A terrific collection of horror stories. Each one sucked me in and had me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happened. I couldn’t stop reading. Can’t wait to read more from this author!
N7 Space Trash
Anthologies are tricky. Tricky to write, and certainly tricky to review. Anthologies are crossroads; a dozen or more paths. Lives. Voices. Not a dozen in The Whites of Their Eyes, but poignant enough. Potent. I'm a horror fan. That almost seems too tame; it doesn't adequately describe how much I love horror. I cut my teeth on horror film references from the early 80's before I was too young to really get them, courtesy of having an older brother. Like many, my first introduction into horror was ...more
Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
We are finally getting some quality queer horror. Normally when I think about queer representation in horror, I cringe - hard. It tends to be more on the stereotypical, if not downright homophobic side. Thankfully, we have some great queer authors coming into horror - not usually mainstream but self-published/indie published. It's still a step in the right direction.

This book is worth getting - the stories are nuts. I had no clue where the first one was going and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
Caro C. Smith
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastically suspenseful short stories. Inverse in particular stayed with me long after I read it. If you're looking for queer-inclusive stories that will keep rattling around in your head, this is the collection for you. ...more
It didn’t really take me that long to read it. I think I opened it accidentally on my Kindle and it marked it as currently reading.

It’s more psychological horror than zombies and vampire horror.
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Slender. Angry. (Part) Asian.

Yeah, that about sums me up.

Hi. I’m Xen. Cole. Whatever you want to call me; both are true, and both are lies. My pen names are multitudes, my nicknames legion. Tall, bi/queer, introverted author of a brown-ish persuasion made up of various flavors of Black, Asian, and Native American. I’m cuter than Hello Kitty, more bitter than the blackest coffee, and able to trip o

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