Monday, 14 November 2016

REVIEW: Erik Hofstatter - Rare Breeds

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Dark Silo Press
Publication Date: 13th October 2016
Pages: 100


A copy of Rare Breeds was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Erik Hofstatter, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Dark Silo Press.

Erik Hofstatter. If you have been reading Confessions from the beginning, you will know this is my favourite name in the world of indie horror. We have had an up and down relationship in terms of how I like his books but that is what makes me like him even more. He keeps on coming back. I have been waiting on him writing something in the same vain as the first thing of his I read, The Pariahs. Not particularly the same type of story, just the same type of style.

His last short, Katerina and his collection Amaranthine and Other Stories left me wanting more from him. Was I going to get it with Rare Breeds?

This is what I thought.

Zora and Aurel are married and live with Zora’s daughter, Livie. It’s a relationship that has had its ups and downs. Aurel sleepwalks and he can never remember what he has done when he wakes up the next day.

This worries Zora a great deal. She is always worried in case he does something to harm Livie.

She should be more worried about what he is doing with his secret sister, Cornelia.

As you can imagine, our main characters in this one are Zora, Aurel and Livie. Zora is a loving wife, mother and health freak. She lives for Livie but worries about Aurel’s sleepwalking. She nevertheless sticks by him one hundred percent. Livie is a typical teenager. She lives for her make-up and prides herself on how she looks and loves her music. She thinks Aurel is a bit weird but loves him none the less. Aurel is a troubled soul. His sleepwalking gives him daytime nightmares. He is always unsure of what he is doing or what he has done. His relationship with his sister is strained at the best of times and perverted at the worst. Cornelia is a secretive woman who never makes an appearance on her own.

The plot is a strange one. You don’t actually know what it is about until very near the end. You know it centres around Aurel’s sleepwalking but what is going to ultimately happen is expertly kept hidden from you by Mr Hofstatter.

Did I get what I wanted from him in terms of a return to what he writes best?

You bet I did.

Rare Breeds is a tale of confusion and secrets and perverted pastimes that are straight out of the dark ages. It is a story that, although set in present times, has a very medieval feel about it. It’s very dark and you could almost imagine it being totally in black and white if it was on the big screen. Dare I say almost Hammer-esque?

When you start to read this story, you will think it is going in one direction. Then you will soon discover it is not going anywhere near where you thought it was originally. Then you will get kicked in the head by a turn of events that seem to be as alien to the story as Donald Trump is to being sane. It is absolutely fantastic.

There are elements in this story that I absolutely hate in a horror tale. You know what though? They really fit in this one. Erik Hofstatter has written a story that is truly terrifying. It’s written in such a way that you will think about it long after you have finished it. It leaves an imprint on your brain and your psyche. It makes you wonder if there are actually things like this happening around the world. The frightening thing is that there probably are. Think about that when you finish this book.

Then try and sleep soundly.

To summarise: a tale of secrets and what they can do to everyone involved when they finally come out. Don’t expect happy endings. Erik Hofstatter doesn’t write to make people happy. He does it to scare them and mess with their heads. This one will do just that.

General rating:

✮✮✮✮✮ Mr Hofstatter has his mojo back!

Horror rating:

✮✮✮✮✮ creepy and mysterious.

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy Rare Breeds or any other books from Erik. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.


Book Synopsis:

Aurel and Zora Schwartz are a married couple trying to make a modern relationship work. But an old secret is going to affect them in ways neither of them can imagine. And Zora’s daughter Livie may find herself caught in a trap built long before she was born. The ending will leave you stunned and speechless. Get ready to scream.


Erik Hofstatter's debut collection 'Moribund Tales' peaked at #2 on Amazon bestseller chart in horror anthologies. Several of these tales have been recorded for a podcast (Wicked Library, Tales To Terrify & Manor House Show) and printed in various magazines and anthologies around the world such as The Literary Hatchet (PearTree Press) Morpheus Tales and Sanitarium Magazine. His novella 'The Pariahs' is available from Creativia Publishing.

He dwells in a beauteous and serenading Garden of England where he can be frequently encountered consuming reckless amounts of mead and tyrannizing local peasantry.

And for more about Erik, visit his site or find him on social media:

Website Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Amazon Page


  1. Well, this makes me want to go and buy a copy.


  2. You should, sir. It is a rather spiffing read.