Title: The World of Lore, Volume 2: Wicked Mortals
Author: Aaron Mahnke
Genre: Non-fiction, short stories
Publisher: Wildfire, Headline, published 29th May 2018
A chilling, lavishly illustrated who’s-who of the most despicable people ever to walk the earth, featuring both rare and best-loved stories from the hit podcast Lore, now an online streaming series.
Here are the incredible true stories of some of the mortals who achieved notoriety in history and folklore through horrible means. Monsters of this sort – serial killers, desperate criminals, and socially mobile people with a much darker double-life – are, in fact, quite real . . . including H. H. Holmes, the infamous Chicago serial killer; William Brodie, the Edinburgh criminal mastermind who inspired The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; and Bela Kiss, a Hungarian tinsmith with a most disturbing hobby: collecting women in gasoline drums.
I’ve been intrigued by Lore for a while so when the opportunity to read The World of Lore Volume 2: Wicked Mortals came up – I jumped at it. I haven’t read volume I: Monstrous Creatures but I am definitely going to because of how great this book was. The stories in the book are all incredibly fascinating tales about the darker side of human nature and will be of huge interest to anyone who loves the macabre.
I love the author’s writing style, it is really witty and quirky and so good at creating a chilling uneasy feeling. This feeling is also enhanced by the open-ended, unsolved nature of some of the cases discussed. It gives them such a spooky feeling and had me looking over my shoulder and jumping at shadows. Every single story was interesting, even the ones I was already familiar with, because the author told them in such a skilful manner and gave me new details and perspectives in them.
Another important factor to mention is how fantastic the illustrations are. I am a firm believer that illustrations can make a book that little bit more special and that is definitely the case here. The drawings suit the quirky nature of the book so perfectly, they are gothic and spooky but still have a sense of humour to them. I am absolutely going to have to buy a print copy of Wicked Mortals because I know I will want to read it again.
Overall this is a truly great collection of very odd and inexplicable events and people. These tales deftly prove the expression that truth is always stranger than fiction.
I received an e-arc of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are completely my own.