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Till the Score is Paid

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Till the Score is Paid is Gemma Amor's follow-up collection to 2018’s critically acclaimed Cruel Works of Nature. This collection deals with:

Lost dogs
Mountain streams
Halloween costumes
Mysterious gravediggers
Locked basements
Hiking with friends
Daddy-daughter dates
Strange prisons
Birthday cakes

...and so much more. With her signature flair of emotional horror, Amor forc
Paperback, First Printing Special Edition, 254 pages
Published December 10th 2019 by Giles Press
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Average rating 4.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  56 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

Unsurprisingly, Gemma Amor has done it again and has completely amazed me with how much terror and emotion she can fit into such short, tidy little stories! I first was introduced to Gemma's work through The NoSleep Podcast, and thoroughly enjoyed an earlier collection of hers (Cruel Works of Nature), so I went into Till the Score is Paid with high hopes and was not let down in the slightest.

With many short story collections all from the same author, I whittle my review down only to my favor
Sadie Hartmann
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cemetery-dance
Full review originally posted at Cemetery Dance:
Some authors have a storytelling voice that feels familiar to the reader. I often say that these authors’ books are like coming home after wearing formal clothes all day, and then putting on your favorite pajamas; the definition of comfort.

Gemma Amor’s writing style “fits me.” We are a perfect reader/author match. The minute I start reading one of her short stories I am immediately drawn in and compelled to f
Aiden Merchant
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 / 5.0

ATTENTION: We have yet another release from Gemma Amor, and that is cause for celebration. This year, I have read three of her books ("Grief Is a False God" set to be my fourth before the New Year), and it was time well spent. Now, just as 2019 is closing, we have a new collection, one that proves once more that Gemma has no problem digging deep into your psyche with her stories.

I will start by saying, admittedly, I wasn't feeling the instant awe as I did with "Cruel Works of Nature" wh
Matt (TeamRedmon)
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gemma Amor has hit it out of the park again with this collection of stories. The stories in this book deal with a variety of subjects. There are lost dogs, creeks in the woods, seeking justice, crazy kids, monsters under the bed, cults, and more. These stories are hard-hitting and emotional often dealing with deeply emotional subjects. It's clear to me that Gemma Amor writes with her heart on her sleeve and blood in her ink. Stories that I particularly enjoyed here were: Have You Seen My Dog, Pu ...more
Laura Pop-Badiu
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
By now I would read anything that Gemma Amor comes out with. Just like Cruel Works of Nature before, this collection is amazing. The stories are so well-written, creepy and haunting, but really beautiful. I enjoyed every single one of them and I think the very best was saved for last. Caleb was perfection.
All the stars.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
review to come
Linsey Knerl
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Wow. So, there comes a book from time to time that forces you to redefine your definition of a "5-star" book. This is one of those books.

I am not one to read a short story collection straight through. I tend to feel overwhelm at all of the settings and characters and resolutions and not resolutions and feelings and everything. It tires me. TILL THE SCORE IS PAID is arranged so beautifully, however, that you will not grow weary reading it. Each story pushes you through to the next, until that la
Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)
Just realized I never reviewed this fantastic collection!!
Till The Score is Paid is a very good read! I didn't skip a single story and honestly, loved each one! The multiple hiking stories have made me question my desire to ever go on a hike again! There was also a creeeeepy cannibal story with a twist that I loved and plenty of other human monster tales!

I'll continue to read what Gemma Amor writes because she's got that dark and delicious part down!
Red Lagoe
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent collection. Each story seemed to get better and better as I moved along.
Favorites included I am a Ghost, Heart of Stone, Birthday Cake, and the Strangler.
The Strangler had a unique storytelling voice that was awkward for me at first, but it didn't take long for me to settle in as the narrator told her story--also I nearly cried...all the very real feels of being a broken, new mother.
Looking forward to reading more by Gemma Amor.
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 rounded up for Goodreads
Chester LeBunbun
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Up front: Giles Press was nice enough to furnish me with a review copy.

I don't read a lot of horror--I listen to it. In fact that's how I became aware of Gemma's work, from her contributions to the NoSleepPodcast. Other than that, the only other horror writer I've read, is Stephen King. I think maybe it's because, it's hard to be scared when the distractions of reading are so easily conjured--daylight, noise, children, work, kitchens that need cleaning, etc. That said--Till the Score is Paid gen
Well Read Beard
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books
Amor has a knack for writing relationship horror. It's a signature sound. I have only read this book and "Dear Laura" at this point, but her work is recognizable. For me it's like listening to a favorite musician play, even if they change genre or theme you can recognize their playing. Back to relationship horror: A man and his dog, best friends hiking in the woods, mothers of adolescents, mothers of toddlers, twins, father/daughter. Emotions flow through these relationships as they come off the ...more
Aiden Merchant
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 out of 5

ATTENTION: We have yet another release from Gemma Amor, and that is cause for celebration. This year, I have read three of her books (Grief Is a False God set to be my fourth before the New Year), and it was time well spent. Now, just as 2019 is closing, we have a new collection, one that proves once more that Gemma has no problem digging deep into your psyche with her stories.

I will start by saying, admittedly, I wasn’t feeling the instant awe as I did with Cruel Works of Nature whe
D.K. Hundt
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gemma Amor is hands down, in this reader's opinion, one of the best short story writers I have ever read - and that's not being hyperbolic - that's being honest.

Amor writes stories that can make you cringe one minute and break your heart the next, which isn't always easy to do when writing shorts.

My favorites in Till The Score is Paid are the following:

‘Have You Seen My Dog?’ - Loved it!
‘I Am Ghost’
‘Rat Girl’ - Loved it!
‘My Best Friend’
‘Heart of Stone’ - Loved it!
‘Cell Block
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, horror-bound
Till the Score is Paid takes readers through 11 very different and unique tales of terror. She takes us through contact with (and through) the other side, eco-horror, and folklore giving each story her special mark. The emotion and passion she infused into each story is amazing, hooking the reader from word one and carrying us through until the end. While all of the stories are excellent, one in particular really stood out to me: Justine. Wow. Just, wow. I know that doesn’t say much, but this st ...more
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Oh man. From the very first story she grabs a hold of you and doesn’t let go until you’ve finished the last.

Each story is brilliant in its own way. I adore her depictions of the afterlife. Her take on familiar concepts. Her depiction of mental illness. It’s incredible.

The worlds, characters and stories she creates are stunning. Even the shorter stories are just as gripping as the longer ones.

My favorites have to be Rat Girl and Caleb.

However, I have to mention Justine and The Strangler. One
Wayne Fenlon
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As good as her last collection.

Another excellent collection of short stories from Gemma Amor.
Like her previous collection, I favoured some more than others.
But I can't fault her writing...and her imagination, for that matter. There's a lot of layers within these stories.

Solid four stars
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have You Seen My Dog? is an unusual ghost story with a very non-stereotypical beginning, end, and middle. There’s a dog who does impossible things, and a poor doctor who’s having a very bad time of things. She keeps running into a possibly-demented old man who accuses her of having his missing dog. And he gets violent when he gets angry.

Pure Water is a short-but-quite-creepy story about why not every stream you run across while hiking is necessarily all pure and healthy to drink from.

Justine int
Brennan LaFaro
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There has been a lot of discussion in the horror community lately about trigger warnings contained in books labelled as horror. Whatever side of the fence you may fall on, Gemma Amor’s introduction serves as an establishment of theme, as well as notifying readers that potentially troubling subjects will be covered in the stories they are about to read. Amor gives us enough warning that any reader who find themselves wanting to avoid spoilers can get out before they arrive and skip right to the s ...more
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I keep hearing about Gemma Amor all over social media and have acquired a few of her books but since I review ARCs all the time, I never really got around to reading her work until I got this surprise copy in the mail (thank you Josh!).

I LOVE horror anthologies and have read quite a few. These horror stories are beautifully written and gripping and have excellent illustrations for each story. One fun thing I noticed is that you really don't know how these stories will end until you get there an
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This collection of short stories covers some hard ground. The forward contains trigger warnings, including: rape, abuse, suicidal ideation, and postnatal depression. As bleak and dark as the some of the stories are, they are equally stunning.

My favorite story in this book was Justine, a tale of revenge that will take you on an emotional roller-coaster to hell and back. I also loved Caleb, a somber and beautiful story that takes place in WWII. Through her diary, a woman details the events in her
Kevin L
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gemma Amor’s collection is simply outstanding.

Several times I found myself dreading what Would happen next in these stories. Amor is wonderful at knowing just how much to hint at or shove in your face as the story demands.

My personal favorites from this collection are Have You Seen my Dog?, Rat Girl, Cell Block B and Caleb.

I fully expect to see at least one of these stories in upcoming Best Of collections.
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Another excellent collection from the talented Amor, showcasing her effortlessly smooth prose and emotional subject matter. Always varied and always delightful. I’ll continue to seek out everything she releases.
Barbara Staley
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stories that stay with you

I love horror stories and Gemma Amor did not disappoint. Loved how each story hit on a certain emotion and left me thinking about the story long after I finished.
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Aside from a couple stories that didn't strike me overly, I really loved this collection! It doesn't beat Cruel Works of Nature, though. ...more
Maurício  da Fonte Filho
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another great anthology of short stories by author Gemma Amor. Filled with many memorable stories, ranging from terrifying (such as 'Rat Girl') to bittersweet (such as 'Caleb'). ...more
Michael Clark
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As I stated in a previous review of "Dear Laura," I really enjoy Gemma Amor's writing style. I have "White Pines" waiting on my Kindle. ...more
Jennifer Soucy
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No sleep, indeed!

So, I decided to read a couple of these stories each night before bed. I suspected these stories would be scary because I'm quite familiar with Ms. Amor's work (Cruel Works of Nature, Dear Laura, the NoSleep Podcast etc.). And yeah, I do enjoy a wild nightmare every once in a while for entertainment - don't we all? I really wish I didn't always feel the need to test my limits this way lol, but it keeps me young! And this book will provide fuel for some interesting nightmares, I'
Stephanie Rabig
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The stories are darkly beautiful, and the illustrations are a perfect accompaniment. I enjoyed all the stories, but Justine is my favorite (a rough read, though).
rated it really liked it
Aug 06, 2020
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I'm a horror fiction author, podcaster, artist and voice actor from Bristol, in the U.K.

I write for the wildly popular NoSleep Podcast and various other horror fiction audio dramas. I'm also writing, producing and acting in two shows, 'Calling Darkness', and 'Whisper Ridge', out in 2019. My first anthology of short stories, 'Cruel Works of Nature', was released in 2018, and my next book is the no

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