Printed by Alliteration Ink, the four The Crimson Pact books are pretty lengthy. The volumes are each over 300 pages with the first two being the thicker tomes, but many of the stories will feel as they’ve ended too quickly. A few of the tales are better described as flash fiction, occupying only two or three pages, though others can be as long as 30 pages. Sarah Hans’ Ideal Vessel is a lengthier steampunk tale in Volume One that is thankfully continued in the later books. It is that loose continuity offers quite a varied tone as readers make their way through, and an occasional sequel often makes for a surprise gift.
Almost 30 years later The Crimson Pact supplants Clive Barker’s Books of Blood series as the modern compendium of fantasy horror short stories. Though The Crimson Pact lacks the consistent voice the Books of Blood offer, there is something to be said for the variety of styles. Like the viewers of the classic Twilight Zone and Outer Limits television series, each reader is bound to have their own favorites. Whether you buy these for yourself or someone else, any horror, suspense, or dark fiction fan should enjoy the collection.