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“Taaqtumi” is an Inuktitut word that means “in the dark”—and these spine-tingling horror stories by Northern writers show just how dangerous darkness can be. A family clinging to survival out on the tundra after a vicious zombie virus. A door that beckons, waiting to unleash the terror behind it. A post-apocalyptic community in the far North where things aren’t quite what “Taaqtumi” is an Inuktitut word that means “in the dark”—and these spine-tingling horror stories by Northern writers show just how dangerous darkness can be. A family clinging to survival out on the tundra after a vicious zombie virus. A door that beckons, waiting to unleash the terror behind it. A post-apocalyptic community in the far North where things aren’t quite what they seem. With chilling tales from award-winning authors Richard Van Camp, Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, Aviaq Johnston, and others, this collection will thrill and entertain even the most seasoned horror fan. Ages- 16+ Includes some explicit content.


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“Taaqtumi” is an Inuktitut word that means “in the dark”—and these spine-tingling horror stories by Northern writers show just how dangerous darkness can be. A family clinging to survival out on the tundra after a vicious zombie virus. A door that beckons, waiting to unleash the terror behind it. A post-apocalyptic community in the far North where things aren’t quite what “Taaqtumi” is an Inuktitut word that means “in the dark”—and these spine-tingling horror stories by Northern writers show just how dangerous darkness can be. A family clinging to survival out on the tundra after a vicious zombie virus. A door that beckons, waiting to unleash the terror behind it. A post-apocalyptic community in the far North where things aren’t quite what they seem. With chilling tales from award-winning authors Richard Van Camp, Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, Aviaq Johnston, and others, this collection will thrill and entertain even the most seasoned horror fan. Ages- 16+ Includes some explicit content.

30 review for Taaqtumi: An Anthology of Arctic Horror Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    Overall I really enjoyed this collection. It contains a wide variety of stories that as a whole bring chilling life to the words "Arctic Horror." But more than that, Taaqtumi (Inuktituk for "in the dark") represents the perspective of northern Indigenous writers whose tales are imbued with the unique sense of a culture tied to the Arctic environment. As I read through this anthology I was both impressed and also filled with appropriate levels of creeping dread. Iqsinaqtutalik Piqtuq: The Haunted Overall I really enjoyed this collection. It contains a wide variety of stories that as a whole bring chilling life to the words "Arctic Horror." But more than that, Taaqtumi (Inuktituk for "in the dark") represents the perspective of northern Indigenous writers whose tales are imbued with the unique sense of a culture tied to the Arctic environment. As I read through this anthology I was both impressed and also filled with appropriate levels of creeping dread. Iqsinaqtutalik Piqtuq: The Haunted Blizzard by Aviaq Johnston (4/5) - Captures that scared feeling you try to talk yourself out of, trying to justify it as an irrational fear. Only sometimes it isn't. The Door by Ann R. Loverock (3.5/5) - A story about overwhelming compulsion and the consequences of giving in. Wheetago War II: Summoners by Richard Van Camp (3/5) - An oral recounting of a horrible encounter in what seems to be a kind of post-apocalyptic world. What is there is good, but I would have liked a bit more. Revenge by Thomas Anguti Johnston (3/5) Revenge with the expected outcome of a terrible cost associated with it. This one utilises the arctic setting quite particularly. Lounge by Sean and Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley (3.5/5) A striking near future story with science fictional elements reminicent of Annalee Newitz and Kameron Hurley, but with a distinctive Northern voice. Utiqtuq by Gayle Kabloona (4/5) Utiqtuq is an Inuktitut word meaning "returning or going back." So an interesting tidbit I learned from this story is that the Inuktitut word for zombie is ijiraujaq (e-yi-ROW-yaq), and "I shot a zombie" is ijiraujaq qukiqtara. Horror on two levels: zombies, and white men who want to "relocate" survivors from their traditional lands. Sila by K.C. Carthew (4/5) Short, and with no supernatural element, the effective horror here comes from the inevitability of circumstances. The Wildest Game by Jay Bulckaert (4.5/5) Written in the form of a letter, this brief but chilling entry hits its "human being as source of horror" points in short order. Strays by Repo Kempt (4/5) the cold, arctic setting provides a perfect backdrop for this story of manifested guilt made real. ********* A bit about the publisher of this little gem, Inhabit Media: Inhabit Media Inc. is the first Inuit-owned, independent publishing company in the Canadian Arctic. We aim to promote and preserve the stories, knowledge, and talent of the Arctic, while also supporting research in Inuit mythology and the traditional Inuit knowledge of Nunavummiut (residents of Nunavut, Canada’s northernmost territory). Our authors, storytellers, and artists bring traditional knowledge to life in a way that is accessible to readers both familiar and unfamiliar with Inuit culture and traditions.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    3.5 Stars Inuit Horror Short Stories set in the Canadian Arctic... Sign me up! This was a fantastic diverse anthology featuring Arctic horror stories written by and about the Inuit experience of living in the north. As a Canadian, I particularly love cold weather horror like these stories because they are so atmospheric and suspenseful. All the stories in the collection were written by authors of Inuit descent which made this a fantastic example of #ownvoices horror. Through the stories, I was expo 3.5 Stars Inuit Horror Short Stories set in the Canadian Arctic... Sign me up! This was a fantastic diverse anthology featuring Arctic horror stories written by and about the Inuit experience of living in the north. As a Canadian, I particularly love cold weather horror like these stories because they are so atmospheric and suspenseful. All the stories in the collection were written by authors of Inuit descent which made this a fantastic example of #ownvoices horror. Through the stories, I was exposed to the culture, language and experience of this unique indigious group. I learned about everything from hunting practices to legends to traditions and so much more. I particularly appreciated the glossary at the end of the book that provided definitions and pronunciations of the Inuit words used throughout the stories. With one exception, the stories in this collection were not particularly scary. Certainly, many of the stories had creepy elements, but the cultural and environmental aspects were usually at the forefront of the narratives, rather than the elements of horror. As always with anthologies, I enjoyed some of the stories more than others.  My personal favourite stories in the collection were: Blizzard by Aviaq Johston - This was an incredibly atmospheric story that would be wonderful to read during a snowstorm. While not overly scary, this one had still some fairly creepy moments. The Wildest Game by Jay Buckaert - I LOVED this one! This story is told from the first person perspective of a cannibal, which was such an interesting narrative choice. Given the subject matter, this was easiliest the more horrifying story in the collection with a lot of fantastic body horror and gruesome descriptions. It was probably one of the scariest short stories that I have read.  Needless to say, I really enjoyed this collection and I would recommend it to anyone looking to read northern #ownvoices horror stories.  Disclaimer: I received a digital copy from the publisher.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!

    Some of the short stories featured can be either a hit or miss. Amongst the read, my favorites were the 'Haunted Blizzard' and 'The Door', and everything else pretty much fell under the radar and nothing else stood out. They were uninspired and didn't drawn me in enough to immerse myself in the read. Overall, there's not much to rave about. Some of the short stories featured can be either a hit or miss. Amongst the read, my favorites were the 'Haunted Blizzard' and 'The Door', and everything else pretty much fell under the radar and nothing else stood out. They were uninspired and didn't drawn me in enough to immerse myself in the read. Overall, there's not much to rave about.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Baal Of

    Overall it seems that my fellow book club members enjoyed this book more than I did. It started off weak, with the fist couple stories being mediocre, bordering on bad, and I was afraid I was going to be in for a lot of tedium. Fortunately the third story turned out to be a lot better, partially because it had some unusual and weird elements, and partially because it felt like there was a fleshed out world being built behind the scenes. I had mixed feelings about the fourth story "Revenge" becau Overall it seems that my fellow book club members enjoyed this book more than I did. It started off weak, with the fist couple stories being mediocre, bordering on bad, and I was afraid I was going to be in for a lot of tedium. Fortunately the third story turned out to be a lot better, partially because it had some unusual and weird elements, and partially because it felt like there was a fleshed out world being built behind the scenes. I had mixed feelings about the fourth story "Revenge" because it featured as asshole who was murdering animals and then just leaving the dead bodies to lure something from the deep, however the ending won me over when the giant walrus god killed the stupid asshole man. Several of the stories had ambiguous endings, for example Sila for which I thought of three ways to interpret the ending (Everyone in the book club seemed to think one particular interpretation was clearly correct, and it was my favorite anyway, so we'll go with that.) I think my favorite story was probably "Strays" because it made me very uncomfortable, so I don't know if favorite is the correct word; in any case, it made an impression.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bandit

    From the Inuktitut word meaning in the dark, behold a collection of stories about just that, all the terrifying things hiding in the profound lack of light and desolation that can be found along the Artic region. Some frights you have to go North for, far, far North with its stark beauty and unforgiving climate and tenebrous nights. This collection turned out to be a lovely find, albeit lovely might not be morbid enough of a descriptor for an anthology featuring zombies, cannibal and a diverse p From the Inuktitut word meaning in the dark, behold a collection of stories about just that, all the terrifying things hiding in the profound lack of light and desolation that can be found along the Artic region. Some frights you have to go North for, far, far North with its stark beauty and unforgiving climate and tenebrous nights. This collection turned out to be a lovely find, albeit lovely might not be morbid enough of a descriptor for an anthology featuring zombies, cannibal and a diverse plethora of nightmares. Some specific to the area, some fairly universal. For me just being there would be scary enough, just the sheer amount of winter at its most brutal is horrifying enough without whitewalkers to add to the mix. It’s very much an entire world altogether and that was my favorite thing about this collection. Being a huge fan of thematic anthologies and travelogues, this book seems to offer the best of both worlds. It takes you far away and scares the living daylights out of you. Quite literally at times, both living and daylights. I wasn’t familiar with any of the authors, but the book offered an excellent line up quality wise. Not a dud to be found, although the longest of the stories (and also the one most likely to be voted science fiction at the prom) didn’t engage me quite as much. The zombie story offered a poignant metaphor on the relationship between the First Nations and the white settlers. The cannibal story was pretty great in its own right for just being a credible first person cannibal narration that didn’t feature fava beans. And while I’ve read Canadian fiction before, this might be the first time I can honestly consider it to be an international read, because it’s a completely different world, not just north of here, but the real North. All in all a great quick read that’s sure to delight the most seasoned genre fans, especially ones looking for something different and well, not exotic, per se, but along those lines. For maximum effect, read at night, if you can, on a winter night if possible. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.

  6. 5 out of 5

    amanda

    This was horrifying but in the best way possible. Horror is diverse. Yes, I’m saying this pointedly. Glare to you, Mr. Stephen King. This book showcases that with stories and authors and lore of the Arctic. I was terrified, devastated, and haunted by each and every story and none of of them fell flat for me. I had my favorites yes as one often does with an anthology but this was a solid book of short stories that makes you crave more but also has you afraid to turn the page or to even read anothe This was horrifying but in the best way possible. Horror is diverse. Yes, I’m saying this pointedly. Glare to you, Mr. Stephen King. This book showcases that with stories and authors and lore of the Arctic. I was terrified, devastated, and haunted by each and every story and none of of them fell flat for me. I had my favorites yes as one often does with an anthology but this was a solid book of short stories that makes you crave more but also has you afraid to turn the page or to even read another word. I greatly enjoyed this read and yes, it’s absolutely perfect for the winter when the chill has set in and you’re not too sure what exacrlt is lurking in the frigid cold. Thank you very much to Netgalley and the publisher for this copy of my Arc. All opinions are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michelle {Book Hangovers}

    Horror stories that take place in cold climate is my all time favorite. The freezing landscape and dark, forlorn ambience is pretty chilling on its own. But then, add in a paranormal entity or some crazed maniac, for example, is just pure horrifying. And I LOVE IT!! This book is a collection of short stories written by Northern writers, all whom are of Inuit descent. What I appreciated most about this collection is learning more about the Inuit culture. A culture that has always intrigued me. To Horror stories that take place in cold climate is my all time favorite. The freezing landscape and dark, forlorn ambience is pretty chilling on its own. But then, add in a paranormal entity or some crazed maniac, for example, is just pure horrifying. And I LOVE IT!! This book is a collection of short stories written by Northern writers, all whom are of Inuit descent. What I appreciated most about this collection is learning more about the Inuit culture. A culture that has always intrigued me. To live in a vast, isolated, region with temperatures below freezing is nothing less than extraordinary. All in all, I really enjoyed this collection. There were a couple that stood out and will most likely haunt my dreams: The Haunted Blizzard, The Door, Sila and The Wildest Game.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hayla

    So rarely do I read an anthology and love every story in it; to be honest, I think this might be the first. Horror fans, this book is a must-read! These authors capture everyday horrors - such as a strange noise in the night, nature, and the consequences of an impossible choice - with such skill I was simply awed. The writing conveys emotion expertly. I know I’ll be thinking about these stories for a long time.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Melanie (TBR and Beyond)

    This one is a hard one for me to even rate. I enjoyed it a decent amount. I loved the Canadian setting and that it was indigenous ownvoices. It's hard to find diverse voices within the horror category and I was really excited to that. My main issue is I only loved about half the stories and the other half just didn't work for me on any level. There was also a lot of animal violence/death and that is a hard one for me, so I had to skip a couple of stories entirely. I'm glad I took the time to rea This one is a hard one for me to even rate. I enjoyed it a decent amount. I loved the Canadian setting and that it was indigenous ownvoices. It's hard to find diverse voices within the horror category and I was really excited to that. My main issue is I only loved about half the stories and the other half just didn't work for me on any level. There was also a lot of animal violence/death and that is a hard one for me, so I had to skip a couple of stories entirely. I'm glad I took the time to read this overall, but I'm on the fence if I would recommend it to others. My favorites were probably 'Haunted Blizzard', ‘Uqtituq’ and The Door.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Taaqtumi is a really good collection of spine-tingling, atmospheric stories. I enjoyed this book very much. The stories were quite atmospheric and left me feeling uneasy after finishing (in a good way though!). They are based off of Inuit legends and lore, which really made this book even more fascinating. I love how different the stories were (than our basic zombie/ghost/etc. horror). I would love to read more of this type of horror. There isn't much more that can make chills run up your spine Taaqtumi is a really good collection of spine-tingling, atmospheric stories. I enjoyed this book very much. The stories were quite atmospheric and left me feeling uneasy after finishing (in a good way though!). They are based off of Inuit legends and lore, which really made this book even more fascinating. I love how different the stories were (than our basic zombie/ghost/etc. horror). I would love to read more of this type of horror. There isn't much more that can make chills run up your spine than ethereal, dark, Arctic horror tales! Thank you to NetGalley and Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC for this ARC.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Daisy Mae

    There’s something about the remote and frigid Great North that makes eerie tales all the more horrifying. Many of these stories took me back to my darkest of Januarys, when the cold is unbearable and morale follows the low curves of the winter sun. Although I live south of 60, something about this collection felt homey. It was really interesting to read about winter in July. I felt a strange nostalgia while reading The Haunted Blizzard, remembering those walks home from school in the middle of wi There’s something about the remote and frigid Great North that makes eerie tales all the more horrifying. Many of these stories took me back to my darkest of Januarys, when the cold is unbearable and morale follows the low curves of the winter sun. Although I live south of 60, something about this collection felt homey. It was really interesting to read about winter in July. I felt a strange nostalgia while reading The Haunted Blizzard, remembering those walks home from school in the middle of winter, the 4PM dusk that never ceases to stun, albeit us knowing it will happen every year. It is by far the worst part of winter. Having that many hours of darkness leaves so much room for a child’s imagination to run wild. I love how the author played with that, and I could feel the paralyzing fear that was described. My other two favourites were Sila and The Wildest Game. They were concise, very surprising, and the styles worked really well in this anthology. I’d like to give a special mention to Lounge. This was an extremely complex, sci-fi leaning story that merits a longer format. I really loved where the authors were going, but I felt there was just too much universe being unpacked all at once to thoroughly enjoy it. I’d hands down read a full novel about it! This is the kind of book I may have enjoyed even more had it been the dead of winter. I might have to pick it back up during the holidays!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christian

    Short horror stories set in the Canadian Arctic. A wonderful and eclectic collection that had a bit of everything. However only four stars because there was one story that was simply far, far, far too long and considered not finishing the book reading that. Every other story was fantastic and I’m glad I finished it, but it was just that one story that didn’t fit.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Adarah

    "Truthfully, I don't know why I'm crying, sobbing, screaming in such terror. [...] I don't know what hides on the other side." Truthfully, I know why my hands were gripping this book so tight, why my eyes flitted from word to word zealously, why my mouth would drop with astonishment and wonder on it's own accord. Because this anthology was absolutely amazing, such a spellbinding read! From the first short story it immediately produced an uncomfortable lump in my throat and unease in my muscles th "Truthfully, I don't know why I'm crying, sobbing, screaming in such terror. [...] I don't know what hides on the other side." Truthfully, I know why my hands were gripping this book so tight, why my eyes flitted from word to word zealously, why my mouth would drop with astonishment and wonder on it's own accord. Because this anthology was absolutely amazing, such a spellbinding read! From the first short story it immediately produced an uncomfortable lump in my throat and unease in my muscles that stuck around to the very last story.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Erika Schoeps

    Short horror stories revolving around Inuit characters written by Inuit authors. Most are set in the Arctic; the Arctic is cold, isolating, and scary, and the authors who use this as their setting take advantage of it. Authors weave in Inuit culture and digestible bits of Inuktitut language; there's even a glossary and pronunciation guide at the end of the collection. As with any short story collection, the reader will like some more than others. This variety is both refreshing and occasionally Short horror stories revolving around Inuit characters written by Inuit authors. Most are set in the Arctic; the Arctic is cold, isolating, and scary, and the authors who use this as their setting take advantage of it. Authors weave in Inuit culture and digestible bits of Inuktitut language; there's even a glossary and pronunciation guide at the end of the collection. As with any short story collection, the reader will like some more than others. This variety is both refreshing and occasionally frustrating. I skipped what I didn't like and resolved the problem with my own two hands. I only skipped one story; but I found it feeling super unedited and limp in comparison to the other choices here. If you're interested in that little-explored intersection of language, culture, and horror, let Taaqtumi be your guide.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sonja

    By giving this book only 2 stars I'm not saying it was bad. Almost all of the stories were really interesting and completely different from anything I've read before, with some having me super curious as to what was going to happen. But there were a few that had such abrupt endings that it was more frustrating than not because it left me thinking "that's it??" Then there were some that were still interesting, but also pretty boring (mainly the longer ones). None of them were scary in the sense o By giving this book only 2 stars I'm not saying it was bad. Almost all of the stories were really interesting and completely different from anything I've read before, with some having me super curious as to what was going to happen. But there were a few that had such abrupt endings that it was more frustrating than not because it left me thinking "that's it??" Then there were some that were still interesting, but also pretty boring (mainly the longer ones). None of them were scary in the sense of horror I was expecting, but a couple of them were at least a little psychological horror I guess you could say. In the end it was a good glimpse into the stories of a life I know nothing about, but not something I'll ever read again. I absolutely love the cover though. Copy provided by publisher via Netgalley.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Reading Reindeer Cobwebbed

    An enlightening collection of ten tales of horror and speculative fiction by authors of the Arctic, TAAQTUMI provides a fine window into a diversity of legends and mythology from a geographic locale and ethnicity (Inuit) of which most Western readers are unaware. Be assured: Inuit horror and speculative fiction can astonish, enlighten, and terrify every bit as much as can Western literature.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hallie

    I do not scare easy, so while I will say that none of these really scared me, I was definitely unsettled. My literary "catnip" is anything that involves the Arctic. Throw in horror and I'm even more hooked. And as a bonus, the stories are all written by and feature Alaska Natives, and Inuktitut language? Sold, sold, sold. In fact, I was so sold I immediately bought it online, because I didn't want to wait for it to come to my library. This collection is great because it covers every genre. Mytholo I do not scare easy, so while I will say that none of these really scared me, I was definitely unsettled. My literary "catnip" is anything that involves the Arctic. Throw in horror and I'm even more hooked. And as a bonus, the stories are all written by and feature Alaska Natives, and Inuktitut language? Sold, sold, sold. In fact, I was so sold I immediately bought it online, because I didn't want to wait for it to come to my library. This collection is great because it covers every genre. Mythology? Supernatural elements? Science fiction? Hallucinations? Humans as monsters? Nature as a monster? Check, check, check. My personal favorite, simply because it is the story that's going to stick with me the longest from this anthology, is the one with the polar bear and the baby. Though the introduction to the story with the allons? That made my dark room feel especially dark. This would be an especially great book to read while camping somewhere where you were bundled up with blankets, so I'm going to keep this on my bookshelf and bring it along with me when I want to give my friends nightmares.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    As whole I would say this is a fantastic sample of the region's regions writers and the glossary at the back with the pronunciation was very helpful. As for the stories themselves. My favourites were Iqsinaqtutalik Piqtuq: The Haunted Blizzard by Aviaq Johnston, The Door by Ann R. Loverock and Strays by Repo Kempt. All 3 are atmospheric and suspenseful which I look for in my stories. Wheetago Wars II: The Summoners by Richard van Camp, I had read before in his short story collection Moccasin Squ As whole I would say this is a fantastic sample of the region's regions writers and the glossary at the back with the pronunciation was very helpful. As for the stories themselves. My favourites were Iqsinaqtutalik Piqtuq: The Haunted Blizzard by Aviaq Johnston, The Door by Ann R. Loverock and Strays by Repo Kempt. All 3 are atmospheric and suspenseful which I look for in my stories. Wheetago Wars II: The Summoners by Richard van Camp, I had read before in his short story collection Moccasin Square Gardens. That story is good but I find lands better when you have the other parts. The ones that I didn't enjoy were Sila by K.C. Carthew. The concept was good but the writing style was too clinical for me to emotionally invest in. Lounge by Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley and Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley had great world building but it was too long. In a 163 page anthology for 50 pages to be one story is a lot. It made the anthology unbalanced. The other stories Revenge by Thomas Anguti Johnston, Utiqtuq by Gayle Kabloona and The Wildest Game by Jay Bulckaert were excellent all excellent horror stories but just not my favourites.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rachel McIntosh

    I always find it hard to rate anthologies, but I feel like if I had to take an average of all the stories it would have to be a 3. "The Haunted Blizzard" and "The Door" were the two main standouts for me - "The Door" especially. Not that the others weren't interesting reads! The only story that I didn't like (and actually skipped) was the long one in the middle...I don't have the book hand (library book) and I can't seem to find the title! I absolutely loved the setting of all of these stories. So I always find it hard to rate anthologies, but I feel like if I had to take an average of all the stories it would have to be a 3. "The Haunted Blizzard" and "The Door" were the two main standouts for me - "The Door" especially. Not that the others weren't interesting reads! The only story that I didn't like (and actually skipped) was the long one in the middle...I don't have the book hand (library book) and I can't seem to find the title! I absolutely loved the setting of all of these stories. Something about the Arctic environment manages to unsettle me, even without anything paranormal/spooky going on. I really enjoyed learning a bit more about Inuit/Indigenous lore and language. I live in Southern Canada, so this was a very different perspective for me. Overall I would recommend this anthology. It's a quick read, and some of the stories are guaranteed to get under your skin.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Desiree McGough

    As someone who has never been around snow, it seems absolutely terrifying. for real. Some of these stories had me so tense! It was great!! There was a mix of supernatural and natural horror which I like. There was only one story I didn’t jive with but I think that’s pretty good for an anthology 🤷🏼‍♀️

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Isolation is a mainstay of horror. Whether it is the physical isolation of the setting (a cabin deep in the woods, a mansion on an island) or the mental isolation of the characters (a widow or widower whose grief separates her or him from the community), knowing that help might not arrive in time provides an extra layer of tension for both the characters who might die and for the reader who is anxious to find out what happens next. In the short story collection Taaqtumi, isolation is at its most Isolation is a mainstay of horror. Whether it is the physical isolation of the setting (a cabin deep in the woods, a mansion on an island) or the mental isolation of the characters (a widow or widower whose grief separates her or him from the community), knowing that help might not arrive in time provides an extra layer of tension for both the characters who might die and for the reader who is anxious to find out what happens next. In the short story collection Taaqtumi, isolation is at its most extreme. For the characters in the far northern woods or on the tundra, the next closest community could be hundreds of miles away, and even modern communication breaks down, leaving the characters utterly alone when facing the horrors of the months-long winter night. Taaqtumi (an Inuktitut word that means ‘in the dark’) has a special advantage when it comes to horror stories set in the Arctic: many of the writers are indigenous people- Inuit, Métis, or First Nations. Their experience with the realities of the far north, combined with the legends of their people combine to make stories that are different from what readers might be familiar with– and far more frightening. Among the stories in Taaqtumi, we find the story of a young teen who is home alone in a blizzard where strange and shadowy figures appear in the snow (‘Iqsinaqtutalik Piqtuq: The Haunted Blizzard’ by Aviaq Johnston), the tale of ancient creatures come horrifyingly to life– and spreading rapidly in ‘Wheetago War II: Summoners’ (by Richard Van Camp), a man seeking revenge against those he believes have wronged him in ‘Revenge’ (by Thomas Anguti Johnston), or the story of a tiny family struggling to survive on the tundra after a zombie apocalypse in ‘Uqtituq’ (by Gayle Kabloona). The extreme nature of the polar climate serves these stories well. In winter, the night lasts for months while in the summer the daylight never ceases, an effect that disorients the mind and body. The weather, too, is disorienting. Blinding blizzards can occur year-round, turning a familiar land into something too strange to navigate. And the melting permafrost hides any number of strange and disturbing things that could rise up at any time and potentially kill us all. And while Taaqtumi shows us legendary monsters, the reality is not so far away. Unknown viruses and bacteria have been slumbering in the northern permafrost for millennia. Thanks to climate change, these viruses could rise up like Taaqtumi‘s myriad monsters. Truth is often not so different from fiction. And while short story anthologies often offer a mixed back of quality, even the lesser stories contained within this book are eerie and haunting. It’s a toss-up as to whether one might feel brave enough to read this in the dark of a winter night with snow falling all around, or if one should play it safe and wait for a hot and muggy summer afternoon when the sun is high in the sky. Whatever the choice, though, Taaqtumi teaches us that strange doors are better left unopened and that it’s wise to always remember the lessons– and the warnings– our elders taught us. Thank you to NetGalley and Inhabit Media for providing me a free egalley version of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nilsson Yazzie

    Taaqtumi: An Anthology of Arctic Horror Stories Compiled by Christopher Neil Horror (n.): An intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust. A Unique collection of short stories, the majority told by indigenous folks and a few by non-indigenous folks from the Arctic. The term 'Taaqtumi' is an Inuktitut words that means "In the Dark." I dove into this book with the misguided notion that it was going to be like Alvin Schwartz's Collection of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. I loved the perspective that Taaqtumi: An Anthology of Arctic Horror Stories Compiled by Christopher Neil Horror (n.): An intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust. A Unique collection of short stories, the majority told by indigenous folks and a few by non-indigenous folks from the Arctic. The term 'Taaqtumi' is an Inuktitut words that means "In the Dark." I dove into this book with the misguided notion that it was going to be like Alvin Schwartz's Collection of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. I loved the perspective that Indigenous Authors contributed to this book of horror. I enjoyed the way each Author approached the term 'Horror' and 'Dark.' Storytelling is an essential part of Indigenous Culture. It conveys traditional teachings, knowledge, and history. So, it was only appropriate that this Anthology featured a character from traditional lore, specifically the Inuit lore of the Nanurluk, a very large Polar Bear. Cautionary Tales are also a part of Indigenous stories and I loved how a few stories came off like Cautionary Tales. I really enjoyed this Anthology and I do hope there are more books to come. I read this book well into the night listening to the OST of the game Death Stranding...it was creepy 😅 Some favorite stories included: Wheetago War II: Summoners by Richard Van Camp. This story was AMAZING! It was my introduction to Richard Van Camp's writing. Loved it and I wish this story was longer...like had a book of it's own longer. Revenge by Thomas Anguti Johnston. Loved this one because it was my introduction to the Inuit Lore of the Nanurluk. Utiqtuq by Gayle Kabloona. This was a Fantastic story of fiction blended with the story of when Indigenous kids were taken from their families to be placed into Residential Schools. The Wildest Game by Jay Bulckaert. This story was rather frightening because it could happen, especially with Climate Change altering the ecology and displacing Animals.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kirk Macleod

    Having been a long time fan of Horror and recent discover of Inhabit media, an Inuit-owned publishing company in Nunavut, Canada, I was thrilled to find this collection pop up on my FaceBook feed and then delighted to see my wife had already put an order in for it when I suggested we might want to buy it. The stories included in Taaqtumi range from Thriller to Supernatural Horror and to Science Fiction/Horror. Standouts for me included Iqsinaqtutalik Piqtuq: The Haunted Blizzard, by Aviaq Johnsto Having been a long time fan of Horror and recent discover of Inhabit media, an Inuit-owned publishing company in Nunavut, Canada, I was thrilled to find this collection pop up on my FaceBook feed and then delighted to see my wife had already put an order in for it when I suggested we might want to buy it. The stories included in Taaqtumi range from Thriller to Supernatural Horror and to Science Fiction/Horror. Standouts for me included Iqsinaqtutalik Piqtuq: The Haunted Blizzard, by Aviaq Johnston (who wrote a delightful children's story called What's My Superpower that I absolutely loved in 2017), and The Door, by Ann R. Loverock, although the book has stories that would work well for both Horror fans like me and those just peeking into the genre. An excellent collection and from a company I hope does more like it in the future.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    Now I am not generally the person to read or review horror because I DO NOT LIKE IT. I love watching it until I can’t sleep but reading has its own style of horror that I just cannot do. I am sorry to everyone who writes horror, but I am not your girl. However, my students love it… they crave it, they love it, they will do anything to get their hands-on horror. Especially horror that really creeps them out. So I picked this up from NetGalley in an attempt to win my students hearts. I think this Now I am not generally the person to read or review horror because I DO NOT LIKE IT. I love watching it until I can’t sleep but reading has its own style of horror that I just cannot do. I am sorry to everyone who writes horror, but I am not your girl. However, my students love it… they crave it, they love it, they will do anything to get their hands-on horror. Especially horror that really creeps them out. So I picked this up from NetGalley in an attempt to win my students hearts. I think this book will certainly do that so I hope to get it for them in the future (especially for next Halloween) as they will be fighting over it from day one. The book has a fantastic collection of stories that will make you shiver and maybe even not be able to sleep (like me). Some of the stories were atypical horror or suspense stories but some wove some other types of genres into it which was fascinating (fantasy/sci-fi/sci-fantasy) and I never thought it truly possible. What truly made me happy was that each author and writer made sure to write their characters into the story perfectly. Each main character really showed themselves in their respective stories and that is respected as not always can authors fit the characters in such short stories. I appreciate the thought and work that went into this book. I would definitely love to have more of these in the library. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review, but was not required to ever leave a positive review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lanika

    Super duper cool and some were genuinely scary. I don't get much out of qallunaat (white people) stories about Arctic horror: unknown things in the snow, scientists going mad in remote snowed in labs. But these stories were diverse: some drawing on creatures from Inuit lore, some dystopically topical for climate change, some deriving horror from allegorical retellings of colonial violence, some science fiction and a zombie apocalypse or two. A special mention to "Lounge" by Sean Qitsualik-Tinsle Super duper cool and some were genuinely scary. I don't get much out of qallunaat (white people) stories about Arctic horror: unknown things in the snow, scientists going mad in remote snowed in labs. But these stories were diverse: some drawing on creatures from Inuit lore, some dystopically topical for climate change, some deriving horror from allegorical retellings of colonial violence, some science fiction and a zombie apocalypse or two. A special mention to "Lounge" by Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley and Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley for creating such a complex, imaginative future and establishing character with such little space. This story was genuinely fucked up and terrifying, and Idk if I COULD read it expanded as a novel, but I want more!

  26. 4 out of 5

    RaeDawn Drenning

    Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC of this book. I do.hope this book gets more attention. It's one of the better anthologies I have read in quite some time, with a couple stories truly creeping me out. Such talented writers that I had not ever heard of! I do hope to read more by each one of them. I intend to tell all my friends and horror book groups about this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Saralyn

    4.5!! There are some really fucking solid stories in here. Do not sleep on it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Eli

    TAAQTUMI was definitely outside the realm of things I normally read—I like horror and normally I don’t pick up anthologies, so I was excited to give this one a shot. All of the stories are so different, and where I liked some, others dragged, so I came away with mixed feelings. I think I went in expecting more supernatural type horror, and we do get that in a few of these stories, whereas others are very real types of horror. A lot of them felt incomplete, though, like when you’re reading a book TAAQTUMI was definitely outside the realm of things I normally read—I like horror and normally I don’t pick up anthologies, so I was excited to give this one a shot. All of the stories are so different, and where I liked some, others dragged, so I came away with mixed feelings. I think I went in expecting more supernatural type horror, and we do get that in a few of these stories, whereas others are very real types of horror. A lot of them felt incomplete, though, like when you’re reading a book and you find out someone tore out the last few pages so you never get to see how it ends. I didn’t like the writing style in some of them, but others really let you sink into the feeling you’d expect from a horror film. I liked that these stories were culturally different from what I’m used to in terms of horror, and you get to see how the environment, culture, and responses shape the characters and their surroundings. It adds an eerie feel to some of the stories. I liked that this was an entire anthology based around Arctic horror, since it’s something we don’t normally get to see. The lore and mythology included in some of the stories was one of my favorite things about some of these stories. I’m glad I read the book, and some of the stories really clicked with me. Others didn’t. In the end, I didn’t love the anthology, but it was a solid...okay. Not bad, but also not something I’d recommend to just any reader. If you enjoy many different types of horror, it’s probably worth picking up, especially if you’re interested in reading about Inuit and Arctic cultures as well.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bianca (Belladonnabooks)

    Taaqtumi - an Inuktitut word that means “in the dark.” I really loved this collection of own voices arctic horror stories. It’s a small anthology, with most stories short and quick to read. The stories are centered around the Inuit experiences of living in the North with all of them written by those with Inuit descent, making this a great choice for those looking for some diversity in their reads. There’s plenty of wintery, atmospheric vibes, with the cold, arctic north as the front and centre, a Taaqtumi - an Inuktitut word that means “in the dark.” I really loved this collection of own voices arctic horror stories. It’s a small anthology, with most stories short and quick to read. The stories are centered around the Inuit experiences of living in the North with all of them written by those with Inuit descent, making this a great choice for those looking for some diversity in their reads. There’s plenty of wintery, atmospheric vibes, with the cold, arctic north as the front and centre, and creepy elements to keep horror enthusiasts entertained. This book isn’t excessively scary. Creepy in some ways but I didn’t find it particularly scary. I enjoyed the majority of the stories but special mention of personal favourites are listed below: ❄️Haunted blizzard - this story was very atmospheric and had a sense of dread building throughout where an unknown dark entity follows a girl in the blizzard. There were creepy moments. ❄️Utiqtuq - a zombie story where a makeshift family clings on to survival as their world becomes invaded by zombies. ❄️The Wildest Game - this was written from the first person narrative of a cannibal and was easily the most creepy of the stories. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection and would recommend it to readers who are looking for some creepy, atmospheric stories to read in winter or readers looking to add some diversity to their horror reading.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    🎃🎃🎃 As with any short story collection, there will be some stories that work better than others for each reader. When I chose this volume, I was remembering a previous collection that I read in 2014, Dead North: Canadian Zombie Fiction. In that book, it was the stories by indigenous authors that really scared the socks off me. Possibly that experience inflated my expectations for this book. All the stories were very readable and entertaining, but it was the last four that I enjoyed the most. The 🎃🎃🎃 As with any short story collection, there will be some stories that work better than others for each reader. When I chose this volume, I was remembering a previous collection that I read in 2014, Dead North: Canadian Zombie Fiction. In that book, it was the stories by indigenous authors that really scared the socks off me. Possibly that experience inflated my expectations for this book. All the stories were very readable and entertaining, but it was the last four that I enjoyed the most. The most horrifying (to me) was The Wildest Game by Jay Bulckaert. In a word (and I'm not giving away anything that the author doesn't in the first paragraphs) cannibalism. Eek! I was also impressed with Sila by K.C. Carthew, a zombie tale with governmental complications, and Strays by Repo Kempt in which a vet is haunted by her lack of success. Many of the tales seem to show that true horror is being irrevocably separated from family and community, something that indigenous peoples know too much about. [image error] Cross posted at my blog: https://wanda-thenextfifty.blogspot.c...

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