I was recently contacted with a request to review Dark Melodies an anthology of (ahem) darkly lyrical short stories by the critically praised William Mekile – and because I happen to be a huge fan of anthologies and short fiction in general, I jumped at the opportunity. Seemingly only a few short hours later, I had a PDF copy of the book in my inbox.
First of all, and unlike many anthologies, the collection of stories in Dark Melodies is cohesive – meaning that while they are clearly separate entities, they all have a similar mood and feel – clearly a lot of thought went into keeping the content coherent and purposeful. And the purpose, it seemed, was to transport the reader to a darker, more introspective and bewitching realm.
Dark Melodies consists of eight stories, of which six are previously unpublished. My undisputed favorite had to be The Persistence of Memory – and there are several reasons for this. Perhaps the biggest reason is that I could see myself as Betty, making the same decisions she did – and ending up in the same place. Even knowing ahead of time what would happen to me (which she didn’t) I would have been unable to stop myself from going down the same road – just in case I was wrong and could be reunited with the one person I’d built my life around.
While The Persistence of Memory was my favorite story in the Dark Melodies anthology, all of the stories were very strong and captured my attention – each in their own way.
While I know that anthologies aren’t for everyone, if you are a fan of the style – and of dark fiction that isn’t full of slashers and vampires, but chills you in a more subtle, supernatural manner – Dark Melodies will certainly be an entertaining, escapist journey for you. You can read it a story at a time, or (because it is under 200 pages) you can devour it in one sitting. 4 out of 5 stars.