Paranormal activity, popularly categorized as horror, is one genre of literary writing which finds strong prominence in fiction and reality. It bears thorough impressions of reality and many times appears to be in the framework of fiction writing. Popularly, it is a culture to narrate stories to scare people when they are together on vacation or sitting in their homes. After giving back to back amazing books of diverse genres like “Age Was… Just A Number,” “Cupid’s Arrow,” “BAABUBROWN And His School Holidays,” “Stars in You & Me,” Shaheen Kazi experiments with the genre of horror writing in “13 Nights of Tricks.” Like all her earlier works, this book brings another side of her artistic self and introduces the readers to her abilities as a literary figure who broadens her skills as she brings every new book.
“13 Nights of Tricks” begins with a thought of the stories being inspired by reality or being based on the direct experience of the people. Such a framework gives the stories depth and makes sure that the stories appear as far more than just a ride in the world of horror. Every story introduces different ideas and different manners in which spirits react to the actions of the living. They also explain how, consciously or subconsciously, humans act and trigger reactions from the spirits. Kazi may define the stories to be horror-based, but they aren’t merely meant to scare. Instead, they give a unique experience in which the readers come across different characters. Even though they make brief appearances since the genre is short-story, they make their impressions powerfully.
“13 Nights of Tricks” has stories that thrill the readers and also give them chills down their spine. At the same time, they also become minor investigators of the events that are happening and try to understand the reasons for their occurrence. Whether it is “Demonic Possession,” or “The Ghost Next Door,” or “Ghost in Gym,” or even the first story among all, “Halloween Night,” the readers become an equal party with the characters and try to understand the mystery that stands before them and want to explore it even though they are aware that what will follow will scare them too. In that way, the stories also explain how the paranormal events influence lives otherwise and impact people to all extents. At the same time, she also delivers the message of respecting even that which can not be seen as through her stories, Kazi shows the power the unseen can exercise in a person’s life.
Although the number of stories is 13 with an introduction by the author and a conclusion, they give a deep experience to the readers from people of different walks of life who have either seen or directly felt the impacts of paranormal activities. Even though Kazi had heard the stories from her friends and family, the manner in which she weaves each narrative is exciting and holds the attention of the readers throughout in each story. She does not intend to scare the readers and is successful in achieving this as she is just a narrator who does not force any opinion. She only shares it and leaves it to the prudence of the readers to understand how small things create significant impacts. In this light, the social validity of the book can not be ignored either. How one paranormal event can impact society at large can also be witnessed through Kazi’s book. “The Haunting of Honeymoon” is one story that can be mentioned in this regard.
The readers who enjoy reading horror-based content would like “13 Nights of Tricks” quickly. In addition, the readers who like reading the genre of short-story writing would equally like reading Shaheen Kazi’s work. The readers who have already read through Kazi’s other books would also want to try this book since it shows a different side of Kazi as a writer who can create a universe out of the fragments and small details she gathered during her research for the book. They would also see how Kazi as an author matures and explores new horizons of her creativity with every book she publishes. While “Age Was… Just A Number” is her work in prose, the others being poetry and a children’s book, “13 Nights of Tricks” would be second in line with her prose writing.
Therefore, the book is suggested to all readers who like fiction or non-fiction or who want to explore the horror story genre, or who plan to scare their friends and neighbors on the days when they sit together on dark nights. They would not only entertain the people through the stories of “13 Nights of Tricks” but also share the stories that Kazi had heard from her near and dear ones.