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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Trees And Other Dystopias: 2nd Anthology of Horror by Fruitjack starts with Trees, a story about a group of tourists taking a chance to explore exotic Paraguay through its semi-arid region, the Chaco. The eager ‘adventurers’ journey into a place where they don’t belong and disrespect the ‘trees’. Ultimately, they pay the price, just like the others before them. It’s a good opening for the collection, and to be frank, I completely rooted for the trees. The second tale is Dog Walks Ahead; a mysterious dog leads two campers to a secluded place where an evil deed had been kept a secret for years. It's a tragic but well-written horror story.
Fruitjack changes gear with Follow The Traffic, a comedy where the protagonist succumbs to his curiosity and wild imagination to make an unforgettable ‘road trip’ of his life. His sheer tenacity is admirable but readers will figure out right away that his decision-making skill is questionable. It’s my favorite story of the collection including The Jeffreys－any story about a ghost town with a terrible secret is always fascinating to me. On the other hand, I'm still ambivalent about Blue Beelzebub; is it really what I think it is? Trees and other Dystopias doesn’t have a thematic centerpiece, although I find some tales share a similar sense of tragedy and metaphor. The writing style is interesting, giving the stories an added layer of intrigue that will keep a reader engaged. All in all, a solid anthology for fans of the genre.