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A book blog, mostly touring foreign worlds of fantasy novels with occasional detours into space and explorations of magical realism, featuring book reviews, random bookish thoughts and hand lettered quotes.

Review: Monstrous Affections

Summary

Predatory kraken that sing with – and for – their kin; band members and betrayed friends who happen to be demonic; harpies as likely to attract as to repel. Welcome to a world where humans live side-by-side with monsters, from vampires both nostalgic and bumbling, to an eight-legged alien who makes tea. Here you’ll find mercurial forms that burrow into warm fat, spectral boy toys, a Maori force of nature, a landform that claims lives, and an architect of hell on earth. Through these, and a few monsters that defy categorization, some of today’s top young-adult authors explore ambition and sacrifice, loneliness and rage, love requited and avenged, and the boundless potential for connection, even across extreme borders.

My thoughts

I have somewhat of a love-hate relationship with anthologies.
On the one hand I think they are great! So many authors in just one book and the stories all talk about one topic that I love (or I wouldn’t have bought it). The reason why I often buy them is that there is at least one favorite author of mine who has a story in that anthology (Patrick Ness in this case) and I always think I could stumble upon new-to-me authors I’ll like.
Sadly it’s always only those authors I already love that can wow me with their stories and the rest is just meh.

What’s amazing about this anthology is, that even though there is just this one topic “monster”, you still get a huge variety of stories. They are not just about your typical, made-up monsters like vampires, but also about people who behave like monsters and pretty much everything that’s scary and monstrous in some way. Monsters don’t always have to be bad though and some just want to find their place in the world.

Even though the concept of the anthology is awesome and a few stories were great, there were just too many that I didn’t like. These stories never have more than 50 pages but sometimes even those were too many and I just wanted the story to be over.

 

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  • Moriabe’s Children by Paolo Bacigalupi ★★★★☆
  • Old Souls by Cassandra Clare – skipped this one
  • Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler by Holly Black ★★★★☆
  • Quick Hill by M.T. Anderson ★★☆☆☆
  • The Diabolist by Nathan Ballingrud ★★★☆☆
  • This Whole Demoning Thing by Patrick Ness ★★★★☆
  • Wings in the Morning by Sarah Rees Brennan★★★☆☆
  • Left Foot, Right by Nalo Hopkinson ★★★☆☆
  • The Mercurials by G. Carl Purcell ★★☆☆☆
  • Kitty Capulet and the Invention of Underwater Photography by Dylan Horrocks ★★☆☆☆
  • Son of Abyss by Nik Houser ★★☆☆☆
  • A Small Wild Magic by Kathleen Jennings ★★☆☆☆
  • The New Boyfriend by Kelly Link ★★★☆☆
  • The Woods Hide in Plain Sight by Joshua Lewis ★★★☆☆
  • Mothers, Look Up Your Daughters. Because They Are Terrifying by Alice Sola Kim ★★★☆☆

 

Some stories, like those from Patrick Ness and Holly Black, were great and just what I expected from these authors. So if some of your favorite authors are part of this anthology I think it’s still worth checking out, especially because it also a really pretty book.
I just wish there would have been some more scary stories.

 

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Monstrous Affections by ,

Published September 09, 14

Genre: