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Dreams of Lake Drukka / Exhumation

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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  29 reviews
"Dreams of Lake Drukka" and "Exhumation" explore the unearthing of horrific, long-buried family secrets. Journeying into the darkest recesses of the past, these stories depict the dire consequences of discovering the truth. ...more
Kindle Edition, 48 pages
Published September 27th 2019 by Demain Publishing
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destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I loved Mike's Darkest Hours collection a while back, so when he reached out asking if I'd be interested in reviewing more work from him, I couldn't possibly say no. Mike Thorn has this incredible talent for delivering atmosphere, backstory, and chills in as few pages as possible, and these two short stories were no exception to that rule.

Dreams of Lake Drukka follows a young woman whose mother passed away years ago in a drowning accident, and something has been drawing her back to the incident
...more
Candace Robinson
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved the writing in this one and the fact that there wasn’t one short story but two inside! The first one was probably my favorite though. And I read through the author’s words quickly since the stories were so addicting!
Mindi
Sep 26, 2019 rated it liked it
This is my introduction to the Short Sharp Shocks! series, which is surprising to me since there are at least already 31 volumes. This book contains two short stories Dreams of Lake Drukka and the story Exhumation, both of which I assume are new stories from Mike Thorn. The ebook will be released tomorrow on September 27th.

Last year I read Thorn's collection DARKEST HOURS and I loved it. I don't think there was a weak story in the entire bunch. Unfortunately, the two stories in this book didn't
...more
Dianne
Just in time for a creepy campfire story, Mike Thorn dishes out two short stories that, on the surface are spine-tingling horror, but actually go a little deeper than pure entertainment.

DREAMS OF LAKE DRUKKA & EXHUMATION already have an ominous sound just by their titles, but this author has definitely managed to pour a lot of story into each short read, enough that you walk away with them still on your mind and craving more, because you just know Mike Thorn would have risen to the occasion. But
...more
Janie C.
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Two stories that are based on past trauma and family secrets. I felt that both tales could have used more explanations, details and background to flesh out their plots. Nevertheless, both are effective in creating monsters that can't be unseen. ...more
Sheilah
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I cracked open this short collection of two stories. One is about two sisters looking for familial closure. The other involves a family funeral.

The first one, Dreams of Lake Drukka, was most intriguing to me. I felt a connection with the sisterly theme, as well as I was hooked on the mystery of their adventure. Family secrets are always a gossip worthy experience and I found myself enjoying this dark and scary story.

The second story, Exhumation, was gory and nose wrinkling. For all the readers o
...more
Irene
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
These two freaky stories share a theme of unusual death and estranged families.
In Dreams of Lake Drukka, a daughter is alienated from her father after her mother's death. She and her reluctant sister take a road trip and discover a dangerous truth. In Exhumation, a man arrives at his cousin's funeral to find something otherworldly waiting to welcome him home. Both stories had a fun creature feature kind of vibe and were quick and creepy reads.
I received a complimentary copy for review.
...more
Leo Robertson
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mike is a good guy and reliable source for all things scary—was great chatting to him for my podcast about the these stories, the way they unexpectedly interplayed with one another and why Calgary is a great setting for dark fiction.

Will post the chat here when it's ready :)

In the meantime check this out!
...more
Steve Stred
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! **

“There’s no mystery about it.”

If you’re not keeping an eye on Demain Publishing’s Short Sharp Shocks! book series, you’ve been missing out. I’ve read a number of them from such great authors as Calvin Demmer, Yolanda Sfetsos and now I’ve added Mike Thorn to the list. At some point here, I’ll need to collect them all and make my way through all of them.

Last year I dove into ‘Darkest Hours’ by Thorn, an amazing short story collection. Oddly eno
...more
Kev Harrison
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Two stories which, though sharing something thematically, undoubtedly show off several different skills of the author. The first tale, Dreams of Lake Drukka, owes much to its setting. The trip there is part homage to a lost loved one, part realisation of an obsessive nightmare.
The second tale, also related to the theme of loss, is more sharply character-focussed, our lens trained in closely on Abel, our protagonist, from the start.
While pacing and the type of horrors these stories present are ra
...more
Laurel
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well that was deeply disturbing, in all the best ways!

This is the second of the Short Sharp Shocks I've read, and I was very impressed. Of the two in this edition, I liked Dreams of Lake Drukka best - I felt like it was a fully told story, with elements that I loved. (The dreams, the lake, the creature reveal). Thorne's descriptors are quite well done, and yeah, that stuck with me.

I also enjoyed the heck out of Exhumation, though I would have liked a little more fleshing out. However, I think t
...more
Sunshine Somerville
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed these compact and chilling stories. Often in horror you see the same setup and can guess what’s going on, but I love that this author comes up with extremely weird, new elements that take the story in a creepy direction I wasn’t expecting. The characters are well-developed for such short stories too, which shows the author has great writing skills beyond just imagination.
JLehtonen
There’s something of an occult psychologist in every good horror writer. They must comb through normal life, as it were, with an eye for those subtle schisms in which the genre’s prize affect resides: fragments of repressed nightmare, ambiguous and haunted secrets, atmospheres of dread. Putting a warped mirror up to life, they tease out what good sense tells us is better left unspoken, and give poetry to our fears. In this way, all horror, at root, is born from the mundane, or to put it differen ...more
Adrian Coombe
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Two quick short tales from Mike Thorn whose other published work, Darkest Hours, remains my favourite short story collection.

These share some similarities. They both deal with loss and how people deal with the past. Both share familiar tones of regret and doubt, of self and of past events shaping their current situations.

For me I preferred Exhumation. It has a darker undercurrent and gave me more shocks for it. It was a clever quick tale with some great lines; for example in the opening page:

"Hi
...more
Jordan
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
*3.75

Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

Dreams of Lake Drukka: This felt like a really classic scary story that I had a lot of fun with. It follows two sisters as they head out to place of their past to reconcile with their mother's death. However, upon arriving at their destination things take a bit of an...unexpected turn.

I loved the eeriness of this setting and the way that the strained relationship between both sisters really matched the tense atmosphere. I think Thorn did a grea
...more
Mark Garrett
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Having read Mike Thorn’s film criticism for years, it comes as no surprise that this collection of two chilling stories is suffused with a cinematic level of description, where the stories within feel ripe for short-form adaptation, brimming with an anxious tension. Both tales are clearly aware of an expansive body of horror analogues, but Thorn’s work never falls to cliché, nor do they feel derivative. Rather, one gets the sense that they’re reading a novel classic, replete with unforgettable m ...more
Bri
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: from-author, ebooks
Thank you to the author, Mike Thorn, for giving me the opportunity to read his two new short stories. I read Mike Thorn’s Darkest Hours and LOVED it. I couldn’t wait to read his future work so this was a treat.

The first story, Dreams of Lake Drukka, was definitely my favorite one of the two. It was suspenseful and intriguing. The family’s secrets were juicy enough to keep me entertained and wanting to know more. The ending of the story was a bit disappointing and felt rushed.

The second story, Ex
...more
Gloria
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Extract from full review on gloriamcneelywriter.com -

Tied together by the theme of fulfilling a debt to a supernatural creature, the stories differ on their endings between hope for the future and dread.
A duo of stories that are short enough to enjoy on your lunch break but rich enough to revisit, Dreams of Lake Drukka and Exhumation make Mike Thorn a name to watch in the future.

 
Morgan Tanner
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted on AphoticRealm.com

These two stories were well delivered tales of loss and supernatural monsters. Oh Hell Yeah! The monsters I mean, not the loss, I’m not that heartless.

Dreams of Lake Drukka follows two sisters travelling to the lake where their mother drowned. The pair bicker like sisters do and their interactions are realistic and engaging. Sharla has been having dreams of the lake and needs to visit there for some kind of closure and, perhaps, to convince herself tha
...more
Kameron
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

Dreams Of Lake Drukka:

For a while, I was wondering when the horror would begin in Dreams Of Lake Drukka. For a couple dozen or so pages, it was mostly sisterly squabbles. Basically, arguments many siblings have or had partaken in a time or two (or more). It wasn’t until Jeannette and Sharla crossed over the fence leading to Lake Drukka when things finally started to look up. Well, for us horror readers it did…not so much for thes
...more
Brennan LaFaro
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mike Thorn's pair of stories, Dreams of Lake Drukka and Exhumation, served as my introduction to Demain Publishing's Short Sharp Shocks series. Although the two stories featured contain different characters and situations, there are some overlapping themes including the supernatural and unresolved family conflict.

Dreams of Lake Drukka follows the journey of two sisters traveling to the lake where their mother drowned. As they travel, there is tension and conflict as we learn a bit more about th
...more
Robert Bose
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
If you’re looking for someone to deliver impactful short sharp shocks, you’ve come to the right place. Mike Thorn has crafted two delightfully dreadful stories demonstrating that family secrets are best kept buried and once you leave home, there’s no going back.

Dreams of Lake Drukka: Two sisters return to the scene of a sinister family mystery and learn the true price for success.

I loved the sister’s strained, yet connected, relationship with both each other and their father, and the atmosphere
...more
Dawn
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Dreams of Lake Drukka and Exhumation are for fans of horror. Both stories deal with family secrets and the consequences of actions in the past.

Dreams of Lake Drukka was my favorite of the two stories. Sharla insists that she and her sister Jeannette go to the lake where their mom drowned several years ago. She knows that something wasn’t right and needs to find
...more
Chris Patrick Carolan
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mike Thorn continues to impress in this new short story duology. Both stories deal with long-buried family secrets and the influence of the supernatural. While similar themes and tropes are explored, the two stories come from very different places and resolve in very different ways.

More chilling than any supernatural elements, though, is the raw, claustrophobic fear that permeates each piece. The scariest things are those that lurk in the dark recesses of our own minds, after all, and Thorn has
...more
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
This book is comprised of two short stories.

The first is called Dreams of Lake Drukka and reminds me of someone making a deal with the devil and it was now time to pay the price.  It is a little creepy but was well written but definitely could have been developed into a longer tale.  Of the two stories, I preferred this one.

The second is called Exhumation.  This is one bizarre story!  I'm not even sure how to describe it but let's just say that Abel is "forced" to remember some times from thirty
...more
Erin Emily
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Like a bloated corpse in water, Sharla’s mind spoke up nastily, and her brain flashed the image of her mother’s dead face—pale, scribbled with tendrils of mucky hair, eyes staring up with an expression that her ten-year-old mind had associated immediately with dread.”

Mike Thorn captures the essence of his characters so well in such a short space that his stories often yield the same satisfaction as reading an entire novel. The sibling dynamic in this collection’s first story plays out brilliant
...more
Tammy
Oct 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: I loved the moody, dangerous quality of these stories, but both endings left me confused.

Demain Publishing’s Short Sharp Shocks! is a series of short horror fiction by various authors, and I was recently offered a review copy of their most recent release by Mike Thorn. Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation is a collection of two
...more
Anie
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What happens when you dig too deep.

She couldn't get over her mother's death. She dies by apparent suicide many years ago, but her death wayed heavily on her. After a particularly vivid dream, she asks her sister to accompany her to the Lake Drukka, when their mother dies. She hopes to get some answers. When they arrive they get a lot more than they hoped for.

A man comes to the funeral of a relative. His only goal is to pay respects and leaves, but one cousin, who he has no memory of, keeps buggi
...more
Tracy Robinson
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Review to come for Sci Fi and Scary
Romi || Romi Reads
rated it liked it
Mar 17, 2020
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Mike Thorn is the author of the novel Shelter for the Damned and the short story collection Darkest Hours. His fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies and podcasts, including Vastarien, Dark Moon Digest, The NoSleep Podcast and Tales to Terrify.

His film criticism has been published in MUBI Notebook, The Film Stage, Seventh Row and Vague Visages.

Visit his website. Connect with him
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