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  • Writer's pictureSelena | Beauty's Library

Her Infernal Name + Other Nightmares Review

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

These nightmares will surely make your skin crawl and your stomach unsettle, I know mine did!

Rating: 4/5

From waking fears to heart-breaking nightmares, this collection of short fiction is a glimpse into the terrors we face every day from the mind of Robert P. Ottone.

In “The Arborist,” a woman hears the mysterious call of the forest.

Five friends exploring an archipelago find themselves set upon by the island’s hungry inhabitants in “The Monitors.”

A young woman confronts the mystery of her infertility in “Kelly Watch the Stars.”

These works are joined by the title novella, Her Infernal Name, about the cruel intersection of desire and desperation, and many other stories crafted in the hopes of keeping you up at night.


Near the end of 2020, I had posted on my Instagram page asking what people would like to see more of or maybe something new from my page for the coming year. The author of Her Infernal Name, Robert Ottone responded with something along the lines of “I wouldn’t mind seeing my book featured on your page!” So I reached out to Robert and we talked, and he offered to send me a free copy of Her Infernal Name & Other Nightmares to read and review. Thank you so much, Robert! I truly enjoyed reading this!

Her Infernal Name & Other Nightmares is a short story collection. Her Infernal Name being the first of 18 short stories, it’s also the longest of the bunch deserving to have its name in the title. However, all of these nightmares are just incredibly written! I could definitely see several of these being fleshed out into full length novels and I would totally read them!

All of these nightmares are just incredibly written!

I won’t go through all of these stories, otherwise, we’d be here for hours! (Okay, maybe not that long. But you know what I mean) Though, I will say I did enjoy basically all of these shorts. There was only one I didn’t enjoy. Out of 18 stories, I’d say that’s pretty good!

These nightmares touch on all aspects of horror and not all of them will scare you. These gave me all the feels as I went through these individual stories. A few truly made my heart hurt! There were just so many emotions.

These nightmares touch on all aspects of horror and not all of them will scare you.

All of these nightmares flow so well! It was easy to breeze right through this collection. And I swear at practically the end of each story I had an intense feeling of shock often going “Woah… What did I just read” or a more colorful reaction… A few times I even went back and reread portions of them. It was just that good! These nightmares will surely make your skin crawl and your stomach unsettle, I know mine did!

These nightmares will surely make your skin crawl and your stomach unsettle, I know mine did!

Robert definitely has a great writing style and I want to read anything he writes! One aspect of this collection that I truly enjoyed was how a handful of these were loosely connected based on their location. Not all, but a majority of these nightmares took place in a fictional town called Resting Hollow. It reminded me of Stephen King’s fictional town, Castlerock where he wrote several stories that took place in this town. Those two towns are towns I never want to visit. Besides the Castlerock similarity, I also got some similar vibes to Stephen King’s short story, The Mist with a couple of the nightmares.

When it comes to how I rated this, it’s always hard to rate a short story collection. There were some stories I’d easily give five stars to, others I didn’t rate so high. This time around I made sure to take note of how I’d rate each individual story after I finished, so to rate this overall, I averaged out my rating for how to rate this. Check out my ratings of each individual short story at the end of my review! It also includes a few quick notes for my initial thoughts and reactions after finishing.

This collection is perfect for horror and paranormal fans. From vampires to aliens and every monster in between, you’ll surely be entertained with these nightmares! There’s even an odd story told from the perspective of a fly. That one weirded me out…

Side note ~ How awesome is this cover?! I absolutely love this cover!


Her Infernal Name

Rating: 4/5

Quick notes: Captivating read, under the skin creepy. Didn't make a lot of sense, enjoyed it nonetheless.

The Monitors

Rating: 4.5/5

Quick Notes: Such an exhilarating read! Predictable in ways, but I wasn't expecting what the beasts turned out to be. I appreciated how the title connected with the beasts in a subtle way.

Elevator of the Dead

Rating: 5/5

Quick Notes: I'm a sucker for zombies! Short and simple! And oh so good!

Kelly, Watch the Stars

Rating: 4/5

Quick Notes: What the fuck... This was disturbing. Just from reading it, I felt violated.

Full Understanding

Rating: 4/5

Quick Notes: Aww... That was heartbreaking

Green Gospel

Rating: 4/5

Quick Notes: This was an interesting take on how the world could become fully green. At first, I was like, heck yeah, this is awesome. That thought immediately changed as I continue reading, the change in humanity was a bit unsettling.

The Sugar Bowl

Rating: 3/5

Quick Notes: Creepy, this was just weird.


Rating: 4/5

Quick Notes: That went a route I didn't expect.


Rating: 4/5

Quick Notes: This was a cute but weird love story.

The Arborist

Rating: 5/5

Quick Notes: Dark and disturbing!

You Can't Walk It Back

Rating: 3/5

Quick Notes: Reminded me of The Mist in a way but the story itself wasn't very clear, I would have liked a bit longer story that explained more.

The Nebulous They

Rating: 4/5

Quick Notes: This one also reminded me of The Mist, just a different aspect of it. It was

creepy and unsettling.

Apple Valley

Rating: N/A

Quick Notes: DNF. I struggled with this one. I tried stopping and coming back, starting over. I couldn't connect with it. So I decided to skip over it. Though, I did read the last few paragraphs. I think it would have made a great full novel with that ending!

Playing God

Rating: 5/5

Quick Notes: So creepy, but so good! A dark take on the Sims game.

Gnats in the Teacher's Lounge

Rating: 4/5

Quick Notes: A bit predictable, but still unsettling.

The World Whispers Madness

Rating: 3/5

Quick Notes: This held a lot of potential but fell flat. The ending wasn't clear.

The Final Goodbye

Rating: 4/5

Quick Notes: Awwww...

Miscellaneous Ephemera

Rating: 3/5

Quick Notes: I just expected more with this one.

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