Thursday, January 5, 2017

Multo: Philippine Tales of Devils, Darkness, Deja Vu and Devious Hearts by P. K. Vandcast

Description
MULTO means ghost in the Tagalog language of the Philippines.

There are nine interconnected, yet separate stories told in 39 chapters, all taking place in the Philippines approximately around the time of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, which took place on June 15, 1991, exploding in a major eruption eight times more powerful than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington state. The eruption of Mount Pinatubo was the second largest volcanic episode in the 20th Century, second only to the 1912 eruption of Novarupta in the Alaskan Peninsula.

Ghost stories and tales of witches, vampires and other strange creatures have been lore in the Philippines for hundreds of years. This collection of stories will surprise you, entertain you in how they are connected, and perhaps even make the little hairs on the back of your neck stand at attention.




First the good...If you are not looking for happily ever after tales and you enjoy dark fiction this may be the book for you. I love short stories, especially when they lean towards horror. My favorites of the bunch were "Little Monkey" in which a man must flee his home to hide from criminals, who in the end get what they deserve.  "MANGKUKULAM" in which a broken hearted girl seeks the help of a love spell to win back her boyfriend, and "True Love" in which marriage counseling doesn't have the usual expected outcome.
I also liked the way the stories all shared a common thread which connected them.
Now the not so good..
Since these stories all take place in the Philippines a lot of the dialogue is either not in English, or it is in broken English which I found somewhat distracting.  3 out of 5 stars from me.

I received a complimentary copy for review

The stories in order are as follows...

 LITTLE MONKEY, Arturo must flee Manila because two Triad 49ers suspect the simple, yet loveable street vendor of witnessing a crime. Arturo is sheltered by Uncle Boy in Iba, who possess a few secrets of his own.


  • The lovesick daughter of a U.S. Navy Captain is convinced by her friend to win the young man she loves with the help of a MANGKUKULAM, a caster of spells and maker of charms. Like the volcano, it is indeed a volatile situation when one crosses into the gray unknown between white and black magic.


  • "Boats" is a U.S. Navy diver assigned to the Dive Locker at Ships Repair Facility in Subic Bay. Proud to serve, for him, it is DEEP SEA or nothing. When he gets a glimpse of something dark and sinister in the bay, it just may be a foreshadow of the horror to come.


  • A Triad 49er lies dead on the warehouse floor while a beautiful woman in a black cocktail dress is tied to a chair. She explains the death of the Chinese criminal to the Mountain Master via tales of Filipino ghosts in MULTO.


  • Jose is in love and he will do whatever it takes to win and keep the heart of his TRUE LOVE in this story of vampires, shape shifters, aswang and mangkukulam.


  • Perlita of Pinatubo is the spirit of the volcano, which erupts in the heart of the northern island of Luzon on June 15, 1991. PERLITANG PINATUBO is a poem paying tribute to the legend of the volcano spirit.


  • Former U.S. Navy SEAL, Niccolo Soliz, is an internationally recognized action film star who harbors a dark secret. When he travels to Boracay incognito, he meets a beautiful woman with whom he feels a mysterious, haunting and overwhelming attraction. In PREMONITION IN PARADISE, Nick Soliz may discover how surprising déjà vu can be in an exotic tropical locale.


  • Triad "Dragon Head" Henry Wu is tied to a chair, held captive by a man who insists on enlightening him with a legend of the Quiapo district of Manila. LIRIO reveals the fate of Wu and the future of Quiapo in this tale of mystery and bound and gagged tension and intentions.


  • Detective Donato Tiong doesn't have time to entertain suggestions of vampires as a possible cause for an unsolved case. THE HONEYMOON he has planned for his bride to be in the exotic tropical paradise of Boracay is all that matters. Can there really be vampires in this day and age? Or is there a darkness within the human psyche longing to justify the creature's existence?
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