Pandora’s Pick of the Week: “Ravenous Ghosts”


By Kealan Patrick Burke

Background: I recently got myself a Kindle and decided to download this book after seeing it recommended on Horror Books with the Undead Rat. I was curious because the book had apparently become nearly impossible to find after its publication in 2003 and was now being made available as an eBook. Burke is a fairly new writer who has already won several major awards, including the prestigious Bram Stoker Award.

What it’s about: This collection of short stories is wonderfully well-rounded and creative. There’s one about a man who appears to be living out a comic book, one about a boy discovering a dark secret hidden in the room under the stairs of his grandma’s house, an original tale about intelligent zombies, one in which a book with mysterious symbols eviscerates some diner workers, and one where déjà-vu turns into a nightmare of clones. The prose is quite beautiful and poetic, following in the vein of Bradbury, and was a joy to read.

Why it will keep you up at night: Burke has a way of capturing the reader and drawing them into the tale as he slowly builds the horror through description, atmosphere, and increasing dread. This reminds me a great deal of classic horror writers like Poe, rather than some of the things currently appearing in the horror genre where we are immediately introduced to blood and guts. I think this is an extremely effective way of allowing the horror to creep into our bones and settle there.

Burke writes in his commentary on several of the stories that he is very much a fan of creating a strong, unsettling atmosphere, and in many of these tales, his deft use of language evokes exactly that. He also confesses that he prefers “the type of story that can unsettle you just by what is suggested rather than shown.” Most of the stories are very high-concept with strong imagery, and they will stick in your mind.

Read Ravenous Ghosts now!

Categories: Recommendations


  1. You must find some of my stuff atrocious.

    • I dislike calling anything atrocious (except for maybe Twilight). Grammar is just a strange obsesison of mine, so incorrect grammar ends up being a pet peeve, but it’s something that everyone can definitely work on if they’re serious about succeeding at writing.

  2. Try reading IEPs and medical reports. I read them all the time and the grammar and punctuation is HORRIBLE. And thanks you you being an amazing editor for all my stuff it drives me crazy.

    Just wanted to share that after your semicolon outburst.

  3. Thanks very much for the very kind review! And I’m guilty as charged regarding the semi-colon issue. Back in 2003, I suffered from a horrible misuse of the bloody things. Thankfully in the years since, I’ve ironed out that issue.

    All the best,


    • Wow, I’m flattered that you’ve found my blog and my review of your book! I apologize for the harshness of my grammar rant; I’ve gotten very nitpicky with abused punctuation after seeing so much of it working in my university’s Writers’ Studio, where we help revise student papers. I really did enjoy your stories immensely, especially the originality and atmosphere, and a lot of your writing does remind me of Bradbury, whose prose I greatly admire. I plan on checking out more of your books, but I haven’t yet decided which one to pick!

      Thanks again for visiting my blog. I really appreciate it. It’s inspiring to be contacted by a published author, which is what I hope to be someday!

      • Joanna,

        Believe me, no apologies necessary. You were absolutely justified in pointing out that technical flaw, as it was one I had to address back in the day.

        And that comparison to Bradbury made my day. Although I can only hope to someday be as good as him, the compliment is inspiring.

        I look forward to seeing your books on the shelf someday soon too!

        Keep writing the good write,


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