A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams – Reviews

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Stars Reviews Percent
5 Stars 10 77%
4 Stars 3 23%
3 Stars 0 0%
2 Stars 0 0%
1 Star 0 0%
4.8 Stars 13 Review 100%

5 Star Reviews

10) Great anthology ★★★★★

By Client d’Amazon (Ingrid Monteilhet) on 18 January 2021 (Amazon UK Review)

I received a complimentary copy from Voracious Readers Only.
Some of these stories will chill you to the bone!
I particularly enjoyed “The Haunting of the Ederescu House.” It felt like I was watching one of those ghost hunting TV shows.
“The Farmer’s Daughter” is quite touching, although eerie.
Because of “Her Mother’s Eyes,” I will never hear this saying the way it’s intended to now!

9) Clever, creepy short stories with twists. ★★★★★

By Karen Shield on 14 January 2021 (Amazon UK Review and Goodreads Review)

I absolutely loved this book and read it in one sitting! A collection of very clever short stories, each with an unexpected twist. The style of stories reminded me of the “Tales of the Unexpected” TV series. Each one made me smile. I can’t wait to see what else this talented author has produced.

I received this book free from “Voracious Readers Only” in exchange for an honest review.

8) Captivating ★★★★★

By Leslie Bradley on 9 January 2021 (Amazon US Review)

I was hooked from the start! Great stories and kept me wanting more! Loved it.

7) Great variety of short stories! ★★★★★

By Darla Mathews on 5 January 2021 (Amazon US Review)

I received a copy of this from the author through Voracious Readers Only, and this is my honest review. I really enjoyed all the stories but think my favorite is the second one about the collector. I thought it to be pretty original as it is not your average scary story. I could see this made into a Twilight Zone episode. The rest of the stories are very good, and I flew through the whole book in less than an hour. Thoroughly enjoyed!

6) Surprising, Clever and Uncanny! ★★★★★

By Margaret Bentley on 4 January 2021 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams by Donald Firesmith is a sneaky clever collection of amazing little stories you won’t soon forget. Once I read the first little snippet, I just had to have more!

5) Barbara Parr’s Review ★★★★★

By Barbara Parr on 3 January 2021 (Goodreads Review)

Very much enjoyed this book from start to finish. Definitely recommend this book. Wording was easy to understand. Can’t wait to read the other volumes. I will be looking for other books by this author.

4) Brilliant book of fun short stories ★★★★★

By Kindle Customer on 27 December 2020 (Amazon UK Review)

I was very very lucky to have been asked to proof read this book, which I was of course very excited to do. This is a book of fun short stories, and many have very unexpected twists at the end. The stories are fun to read and well written, which of course I wouldn’t expect anything less from one of my favourite authors, and as always, this new book didn’t disappoint. If you enjoy reading fun short stories full of fun twists and turns, this is a book you will enjoy.

3) Great Read ★★★★★

By Brandon Cooper on 23 December 2020 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

I loved this book. It was fun read, especially the short story of the farmer’s daughter. That story was the most heartwarming, and different from all the others, in that it wasn’t scary or violent, but just sad. I also liked the new addition of Billy the Arsonist, as that story seemed to be inspired by the Hell Holes series.

2) Good Scary Stories ★★★★★

By Raymond Quick on 14 December 2020 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

This book takes me back to a TV program of the 1960s called The Twilight Zone. It had many stories that were of the same kind as in the book. Needless to say, I enjoyed the book. These are good stories and looking forward to more coming from this author.

1) It’s Good To Be Scared ★★★★★

By Ann Keeran on 7 December 2020 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

An anthology of strange stories made for enjoyment late at night. An exciting and fun book to read.

Strange stories, scary stuff and fun for all. A great book to read late at night, maybe when there is a full moon or a thunderstorm with tons of lighting. You get the picture, now get the book!

4 Star Reviews

3) Ye Olde Bookworm’s Review ★★★★☆

By Ye Old Bookworm on 14 January 2021 (Goodreads Review)

I received a copy of this anthology in exchange for an honest review.

A Cauldron of Uncanny dreams by Donald Firesmith is your classic “shouldn’t read before bedtime” rush. The stories it contains are traditional spooks, with ghosts, demons and voodoo witches hiding behind every corner. A few of the stories I found perhaps a little lacklustre, as I predicted their ending, and they read like a creepy pasta. But, they weren’t unenjoyable, they were just things I had seen before. With that said, I greatly enjoyed the first, and last few stories in the book, as they truly did surprise me.

One thing I will say is that if you are already much acquainted with the horror genre and/or paranormal activity, these will likely be just a bit of fun for you rather than core-shakingly shocking. There isn’t anything obscene here, which makes it the perfect read if you’re beginning to get into horror, or if you’re an absolute scaredy-cat.


Now, do not think this a negative review in the slightest, I very much did enjoy the majority of stories, I just wasn’t gripped by them. I think this might have been to a lack of detail here and there. For instance: I couldn’t picture a few parts of each story, and in Madame Kaldunya’s Dolls I couldn’t tell you a single defining physical feature of any character. This may be me overlooking something, but I should have some sort of description in my mind, even if it strays from the original detailing.

The fluidity of writing was also sometimes an issue. I feel like in some areas there could have been much more building up for a more profound effect in the reader. I think the writing style is fantastically clear and concise, and it has the ghostly flare so many horror authors seem to lack, however sometimes the anticipation just fell short for me. For example: in Billy the Arsonist, I was so very ready to finally have some action! But all we got was some sinister slicing of the thigh and then he’s just chilling in hell? We should have been hooked, shocked at the gruesome detailing of his punishment, we should be right there as he’s screaming in pain and *then* dies. He shouldn’t just go peacefully- that isn’t satisfying enough for the reader. The build-up in conversation was fantastic, but that only meant the ending felt more anti-climatic, as we didn’t receive this justice we had been promised quite as we would have liked.

There’s also something to be said about the atmosphere with which Firesmith seems to write with ease. From the beginning of each story, there’s a certain uneasiness communicated. It’s the feeling of waking up in the middle of the night or coming across an abandoned fairground, there’s an inherent wrongness here, and I feel like he achieves this well. My favourite part of the entire book is In Madame Kaldunya’s Dolls where we finally find out about what on earth happened after Isabella’s oh-so-dramatic-fall (which was also just recounted in a few sentences, without any sort of meat on it. I wasn’t invested in it, it just happened). I adored the part with the Dr and the Detective, it was really lovely to finally be *shown* what they were thinking, and it not just be prattled off like the Edrescu House story. I LOVED that little snippet of conversation but again found it lacking at the end. I would have been ecstatic if Isabella had sat up and screamed, or if the Dr knew what had happened, anything other than “Yeah, you’ll get ’em.”

As someone with Romanian heritage and very invested in my traditions and culture, I was very, very pleasantly surprised at the level of research and consideration. I am constantly thinking that people just don’t engage with Romanian magickal and supernatural culture as much as they could, and that really saddens me. However I think Firesmith clearly saw the potential here, and ran with it, and that was absolutely fantastic to see.

In short, the book is worthy of 3, maybe 4 stars at a push in my most honest opinion. I don’t believe this is a bad piece. Neither is it my new favourite collection. It is a fun little eerie read, which has it’s low and high points. Firesmith is a fantastic dialogue writer, however, his anticipation techniques may benefit from a little polishing. I also think that he needs to think more outside the box. When reading a short story I feel like there needs to be something more. Short stories have such potential to be crafted in all sorts of weird and wonderfully creative ways, and I think this potential wasn’t used to it’s fullest. But again, a fun read and I look forward to reading more of Firesmith’s work in the future and seeing how he progresses in his writing adventures!!

2) Trinity Waddell’s Review ★★★★☆

By Trinity Waddell on 13 January 2021 (Goodreads Review)

Review through Voracious Readers

Quick thrilling wee read with this fun wee collection of scary short stories.

The highlights for me were “Her Mother’s Eyes” and “The Farmer’s Daughter.”

I read it at about 1am this morning and slept fine so not a really scary book if that’s your thing. But clever, well written and a bit of humour there too in places.

A solid 4 stars from me. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

1) A good read ★★★★☆

By Christie on 2 January 2021 (Amazon CA Review)

I was given an Arc from the author. The first one, Her Mother’s Eyes, is funny and creepy all at the same time. I loved it. The second one is The Collector and it is intriguing. Fun to read. Grandma Buford’s Birthday had a surprising twist. The Farmer’s Daughter was a great story. The Haunting of the Ederescu House was spooky and creepy to read. Madam Kaldunya’s Dolls was a good read but was kind of predictable. Billy the Arsonist had an ending that I didn’t expect. Overall, I enjoyed each story.

3 Star Reviews


2 Star Reviews


1 Star Reviews


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