Cover Image: A Sliver of Darkness

A Sliver of Darkness

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A Sliver of Darkness is a collection of short stories written by one of my favourite horror/thriller writers currently on the scene. C.J Tudor manages to create amazing atmospheres that have you clinging onto the edge of your seat and shouting for the characters to run while they have the chance. This collection of short stories was no exception.

Recently I have found myself drawn to shorter novellas and short story collections. As someone who talks and writes a lot I am in awe of how writers can create the worlds they do in such a short amount of words. C.J. Tudor is amazing at this and I cannot stress how much I enjoyed this collection.

Each short story also has a small introduction where C.J. Tudor gives you an insight into how she came up with her ideas. One in particular that I loved was the tale of ‘The Lion at the Gate’. Something so simple, graffiti on a gate gave C.J. Tudor inspiration to create such an amazing short story built on paranoia and genuine childish fear. She makes the worlds real and believable which is not something a lot of writers are capable of doing.

C.J. Tudor’s short stories are a fabulous example of the horror/mystery/thriller genre. If you are just getting into these genres I highly recommend you check these out, especially with the release date being close to spooky season. As these are short stories you are not bogged down with too much information and speculation which is often the case in big novels.

One thing I loved about this book was the fact C.J. Tudor didn’t hide away from why these short stories came into being. Writer’s block was a very real experience, and as someone who aspires to publish my own novel in the future, I was able to relate to her experience and learn from her skills. Her ability to think outside the box and use everyday mundane activities to create the world she does is very inspiring and has encouraged me to look into the world more and use that in my own writing.
Was this review helpful?
A highly enjoyable collection of, very original and diverse, short stories.
I loved that the author let us into her world a little at the start of each story with personal information and background to the birth of the story.
I also love that the author is from Nottinghamshire, as am I originally, so she tied some of the stories into her knowledge of the area and growing up experiences.
Some of the stories are quite dark and a bit disturbing which also appeals to me, a bit worrying really?!
I’m a big fan of her other books so was confident that I’d like this too and certainly wasn’t disappointed. It’s quite different to some of her novels but equally good in my humble opinion, so shows the breadth of her talents and just how twisted and unique her imagination is. I mean that as a compliment by the way! Thank you for the chance to read this, recommend!
Was this review helpful?
This book is a collection of 11 short stories, they are all set in a dystopian/ apocalyptic world. 

A Sliver of Darkness is perfect for fans of Black Mirror and The Twilight Zone. The book reminded me of both and the short stories could easily been turned into episodes for both of these shows. 

Although these were short stories I found myself gripped from the first line of every single one. Some of them I preferred more than others but as a whole they were so well written and I could not put the book down. 

I thought it was really impactful that the author shared her inspiration for each story at the beginning of each story. It helped me to connect with the stories as well as the author. I also found it fascinating how the author took her own experiences and turned these into such unique plot lines. 

C.J Tudor is a auto- buy author for me.
Was this review helpful?
A Sliver of Darkness is the debut short story collection from the author of best-selling books such as The Chalk Man and The Burning Girls. With elements of horror, dystopia and science fiction, C J Tudor takes us into her twisty world where everything is not how it seems to appear.

I have loved all of C J Tudor’s books and could not wait to get started on this one. I knew it would be worth the wait! Starting with an introduction to explain how this book came into being, I was immediately invested in it, knowing how difficult it had been for the author to write. The introduction to each story was an excellent addition to the book as it really helped to explain the author’s thought processes and the inspiration behind each plot.

Each short story is very different and readers will definitely have their own favourite depending on their preferred fiction genre. What links them all, however, is the unexpected and the way in which the author hits you with a twist you were not expecting. As someone who would not class horror as their favourite fiction genre, my favourite stories were End of the Liner, a dystopian mystery with a superb ending, and The Copy Shop, a take that had me laughing out loud and wondering how I would utilise it!

This has really whet my appetite for C J Tudor’s next novel, The Drift. Fans of the author are going to love this collection and if you have never read any of her books, this is a perfect introduction to her work.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Unfortunately this short story collection is a big miss for me. A Sliver of Darkness has the misfortune of being read after I received and read an ARC of Life Ceremony by Sayaka Murata which was truly a stunning collection of horror and just plain weird short stories. It was always going to be difficult to top that amazing book and A Sliver of Darkness really provided very little to interest or intrigue me as I battled my way through each story. 

The collection starts out fine- the first story is by far the strongest but overall, this collection feels like a lot of first drafts haphazardly put in a collection. Many of the stories are built on a very weak premise, with little to no backstory or development and most just tail off without any sort of ending. I found none of the stories to be in any way unsettling, let alone scary, and I couldn't help but feel very disappointed. I think ultimately, Tudor's writing in this collection feels a bit dated, lacks originality and overall makes for very unrewarding reading.
Was this review helpful?
Having read and enjoyed the dark and twisted C. J. Tudor's novels, I was intrigued to see she had written her first wide ranging short story collection, a format she takes to like a duck to water. With many of these imaginative tales written during the pandemic, this lends a dystopian and end of the world vibe to them. They are spooky, chilling, with elements of horror, the deranged, menacing and creepy, the bizarre, and on occasion, shot through with the darkest of humour. The sun might currently blazing outside, but this collection will make for perfect reading matter as the dark autumn nights draw in, when so many of us begin to turn the the unsettling and the disturbing. The stories featured here are:

End of the Liner
The Block
Runaway Blues
The Completion
The Lion at the Gate
I'm Not Ted
Final Course
The Copy Shop
Butterfly Island

At the beginning of each distinct, compulsive and well written story, Tudor helpfully provides an introduction which outlines how each came into being, and fans of the author may even recognise a character from one of her novels. In a story of survival in an unrecognisable world, we have a cruise ship with passengers unable to leave on a endless 'holiday', ominousbuildings, we ask whether it is graffiti or not, there are hatboxes, a case of mistaken identity, a last dinner party, a copy shop that truly excels at what it does, and butterflies you do not want to encounter. Fans of the author, Stephen King, and those in search of the macabre, darkness and horror will enjoy this collection. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.
Was this review helpful?
I love C.J. Tudor's books and this is her first set of short stories.  Hugely entertaining and enjoyable, each is prefaced with an introduction by the author written during the pandemic.  I am not a big fan of short story collections but I really enjoyed this one.
Was this review helpful?
This is C J Tudor's debut short story collection and it definitely makes for mysterious and creepy reading. 

More horror than thriller, I thoroughly enjoyed being put on edge by this collection of 10 short stories. As always, there were some I preferred more than others. I particularly loved End of The Liner, The Block, Dust and Copy Shop.

There is a little introduction for each story which explains Tudor's inspiration behind the story and I found it fascinating to gain this insight into how her mind works. I'm not sure a Disney Cruise would have provided me the same inspiration to write a dark creepy story!

I definitely recommend this book if you like short story collections and looking for something a bit edgier than your average thriller. It definitely sent some shivers down my spine!
Was this review helpful?
I’ve never sampled one of CJ Tudor’s books before but I've heard a lot of good things about them, not least from Stephen King himself who is an admirer. Short story collections can often be hit and miss in terms of quality, but all of the tales in “A Sliver of Darkness” are excellent and kept me hooked enough to read all of them in one sitting. Some stories are creepy while others go for overt terror. If you’re a fan of CJ Tudor’s novels, you need to read this.
Was this review helpful?
I am a huge fan of C.J. Tudor's books and 'A Sliver of Darkness' was no exception .  This one is a bit different being a collection of short stories, a mixture of clever and creepy tales that are all very satisfying even though they are shorties.  Some of them even hark back to stories and characters from earlier books. I hope there will be more of these collection from this author to keep us fans entertained between the full length novels.  Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
The first short story in this book was absolutely fantastic. A dystopian future where the last of humanity lives on a cruise ship and as long as they live and abide by the rules they can live their days sunbathing and sipping cocktails. All sounds good right... But when every day is exactly the same one starts to wonder what is really out there... Really enjoyed this one. 

However, the next short story wasn't really my thing and it stopped me reading the others to be honest. It was very much a horror one (not my genre at all) but I'm sure would be loved by Stephen King's gorier fans. I also found this second story to lack explanation and the formatting in the netgalley book was very difficult to follow as I couldn't tell when the author was describing her reasons for each story and where each story started. But that's one for the editors and nothing on the author. 

I actually thought it was a nice touch to write a little intro explaining the thought process and inspiration behind each short story. I'd have carried on reading if it wasn't slipping into horror but I'm a wimp so this one wasn't for me!
Was this review helpful?
Usually with short story collections, you don't enjoy them all...I did with this one. Every single story was unique. I liked the introductions before each story aswell. I'd love a full novel of Butterfly Island and The Block.
Was this review helpful?
It does what it says on a box. Pardon, a book cover. A Sliver of Darkness. All kinds of darkness. Great selection of short stories, with varying themes of horror, isolation, apocalypse, supernatural, alternative reality. All that vowen into seemingly usual and ordinary lives. Each story has an introduction  explaining how the story came to be. I enjoy the introductions, however,  I'd rather have them after the story, as it tends to distract and spoil the actual stories a bit. 
S.King's influence is palpable and that is not a bad thing. Stories are well written,  easy to read, engaging and quite absorbing. Some of these stories are what unsuccessful attempts on full scale novels came to be and to be honest, that's the best thing that could have happened to them.
I thoroughly enjoyed all of the stories, some more, some a bit less. My favourite has to be The Block.
Was this review helpful?
I love C.J. Tudor’s work and was really looking forward to seeing how she would restrict her love of the dark and creepy into 11 short stories. I was pleasantly surprised that these short stories not only demonstrate her talent to find creepiness anywhere, but were really diverse. Some short, some longer which, for me, meant I enjoyed some more than others. 
For example my favourite was:
The first story in the volume ‘End of the Liner’. Much longer than the others, it’s not so much ‘horror’ as ‘end of the world dystopian’. This is one of the few stories that had the space to develop the main characters thoroughly. As a result I was totally invested in them and the plot. I’ll leave it there as I don’t want to give spoilers.
My least favourite was probably: ‘The Block’. This felt like a young adult story. Although I enjoy reading YA, I would have liked a little more time to get to know the characters. Spoiler: this one is definitely horror!
I definitely recommend.  And its publication at the end of September, makes it a great Halloween present.
Thank you to Penguin Random and NetGalley for my ARC
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to netgalley for the chance to read this book by the amazing CJ tudor.
Ive been a fan of Tudor's work from the very first book.  Always full of thrill and suspense.  When i first saw this book i wasnt actually aware  it was a book of short stories.
They all were very good, C.J Tudor is very good at what she does.  My only negative, would be that more was needed.  Obviously i get that they are short stories, but they definitely should all be normal length stories.  So not a negative as such, i just love the work created by Tudor.  Definitely worth a read
Was this review helpful?
If you're a fan of Tales of the Unexpected, Stephen King and/or those wonderful compendiums of scary short stories we all had in our stockings as kids, you will adore this. It's all of the above, but brought bang up to date.

Fans of the marvellous C.J. Tudor will have extra goodness to chew on - there are cameos from several memorable faces from her previous works here. If you've never encountered C.J. Tudor before, you may well just have met your new obsession.

Deliciously dark and genuinely terrifying, all these distinct tales are also elegantly plotted and give the reader plenty to ruminate on - there's some timely social commentary in here, along with the creepy-fest. 

The perfect companion to wintry evenings. Just don't turn off the light.

My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The first collection of short stories, from the twisted brain that is Tudor.

If you follow her work, you will meet characters that you have met before. If this is your first outing, sit down, strap in and enjoy.

Before I started this book, I asked about a favourite story in the collection. Receiving a coy answer of “…all of them of course.”

I must admit that I do have a few favourite out of the 11 tales in the book. That is not detracting from the others.

The stories that had me hooked from the first few sentences were: End of the Liner; The Lion at the Gate and Gloria.

The author herself has stated, that some of the short stories maybe expanded to novellas. I hope this is the case, as I am making a space not only for this book on my shelf but also future releases.

She is among a small group of authors, where I will happily part with my cash without second thought or any type of idea what it may be about.

Status: Completed

Rating: 5.0/5.0
Was this review helpful?
Perfect late night scares.

Fans of CJ Tudor will not be disappointed by this collection of short stories.  It's an eclectic mix of end-of-the-world madness, monsters and chills.  As with all collections, there are stronger entries, and some less so, but all have a unique angle. It's a bit like those late night TV series we used to watch.

The author adds a short introduction to each story, written during the Coronavirus pandemic, and these nicely add some context to the collection.

Definitely recommended.
Was this review helpful?
I love short story collections, grew up reading Stephen King and his SSC's are some of the best.
This is no different and also everything I've come to expect from C J Tudor. Eleven stories that are so different from one another and yet feel so familiar.

There is also the reappearance of one or two characters from CJ's previous novels which was a nice surprise.

To borrow a music industry phrase, this is all killer and no filler.
Was this review helpful?
I am not a reader of short stories but who can resist a book of short stories by no other then C. J. Tudor.  I have been a fan of her work since ‘The Chalk man’ so, I couldn’t wait to dive in.
I am not going to go into each story individually, but these are ten short creepy disturbing stories that will keep you wanting more. I loved how the author mixed her own life experiences to give her the inspiration into each story to make them more realistic in the readers eyes. There is also a touch of horror in each story. 
My favourite was ‘The Lion at the gate’. Is it Graffiti or not? I like it as maybe because I am a Leo I don’t know. 
Don’t miss out in these ten dark, scary tales. These are a fabulous read. 5 stars from me.
Was this review helpful?