Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales by Kelly Link

emmascc's review against another edition

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Okay I admit I'm mostly here for Sarah Rees Brennan's story because Luke and Elliot... Now that In Other Lands has been released, Luke's POV ruins me more

mims_is_reading's review against another edition

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This book was supposed to be a horror anthology (at least I think so), but I would never characterize it as such. Most stories are just plain weird and not a least bit scary. As I already mentioned, my favorite remains M.T. Anderson’s “Quick Hill”, which is terrific and I’d give it five starts, but unfortunately, it has some “lukewarm” company. There is also Holy Black’s “The Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (the Successful Kind)”, which was very entertaining. Other stories are pretty forgettable as far as I’m concerned.

booknallnight's review against another edition

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One of the best anthologies I've read in a while. This is a chunker but doesn't feel that way when reading. If you like YA Fantasy and short stories, add this one and enjoy.

saguaros's review against another edition

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favourite stories:

Moriabe's Children - Paolo Bacigalupi
Quick Hill - M. T. Anderson
The Diabolist - Nathan Ballingrud
The Mercurials - G. Carl Purcell
Son of Abyss - Nik Houser
Mothers, Lock Up Your Daughters Because They Are Terrifying - Alice Sola Kim

Although those are my favourites, I didn't dislike any of the stories in this collection. Some left me pretty lukewarm or meh, but most were okay to great. The only one I skipped was the Holly Black story due to its second person POV.

sarah_26_mackie's review against another edition

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got bored with it 

littleelfman's review against another edition

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There are some stories in here that deserve 5 stars or even 6. But over all I think it's a 4 star book.

Highlights include: Moriabe's Children by Paolo Bacigalupi (This is Amazingly BRILLIANT! I cannot express how much I love this story.)
The stories by Holly Black, Patrick Ness, and Alice Sola Kim also stood out for me.

milointhewoods's review against another edition

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maybe i’ll come back, individually rate the stories and then calculate the average, but i can’t be bothered right now. on the whole i greatly enjoyed this and still hold is as one of my favourite compilations

lazygal's review against another edition

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I've read books about about half the authors in this collection and, while I appreciated their contributions, there was nothing surprising here. The other authors were good enough for me to keep an eye out for their other works to see how they hold up in a longer format. Because teens don't seem to read story collections, this will be a hard sell; the bigger disappointment is that I just don't see this collection having a lot of staying power in libraries. Maybe I'll be wrong.

snazel's review against another edition

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Anthology as a Whole5/5
A fantastic anthology. Fair warning, though, it slanted a bit further into horror than I normally read. Like, quite a bit further. *shudder*

Moriabe's Children— Paolo Bacigalupi 4/5
Alanie has never seen a kraken, but her father died hunting them.

This one is a delicate, bloody tale about abuse, really. And how to be really, REALLY freaked out by the ocean.

Old Souls— Cassandra Clare

Leah has just had the worst kind of breakup, and her mum thinks that working at a retirement home will make things better. Mum probably doesn't expect the monster working there.

I was uh, mostly thrown off by the abortion? I couldn't figure out if this was a breakup story or a grief story or what. Not really my thing.

Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (the Successful Kind)— Holly Black 4/5
Stowing away on a smuggler's ship is hardly ever a good idea.

I really liked this one. SPACE. Mostly it doesn't get five stars because I wanted more from it. In terms of more words. I WANT A HOLLY BLACK SPACE TRILOGY.

Quick Hill— M. T. Anderson5/5
Thwait's parents tell him that he's betrothed to the hill out back of his house.

WELL THAT WAS JUST RUDE. It's set during this alternate ww2, and basically UGH rude. Mob mentality ruins everything. It's really good. ALSO RUDE.

The Diabolist— Nathan Ballingrud
It's really hard to grieve properly when your late father raised demons to cope with his grief.

This one absolutely blindsided me. I thought I knew what was going on, because the characters were using words I know, like "love", and "grief". Then I got to the last page and everything went terrible. PSA: Don't trust a demon when they talk about love, no matter how sincere they sound or ARE.

This Whole Demoning Thing— Patrick Ness
Demon teens form a rock band!

Wings in the Morning— Sarah Rees Brennan 5/5

SRB I love youuuuuuuuuu. Also Elliot. Also Serene-Heart-In-The-Chaos-Of-Battle. Also Golden. Also EVERYONE IN THIS BAR. Good grief.

Left Food, Right— Nalo Hopkins

The Mercurials— G. Carl Purcell 4/5

File the reading experience of this one again under "i totally know what is going on WAIT WHAT AUGH."

Kitty Capulet and the Invention of Underwater Photography— Dylan Horrocks

Son of Abyss— Nik Houser 5/5
Love and cruelty in teenagers and families, in a world where angels are tortured for electricity.

A Small Wild Magic— Kathleen Jennings 4/5
A boy is left a bird when his aunt dies, but there's something more to the gift.

So that was adorable. Graphic novel.

The New Boyfriend— Kelly Link

The Woods Hide In Plain Sight— Joshua Lewis 5/5
Friends support you when you say you're dating a vampire. BEST friends build a flamethrower to help you take down said vampire.

I cannot fully express how much I love this story. Is it a lot? Yes it is. Also, the best argument for public libraries i've heard in a while.

Mothers, Lock Up Your Daughters Because They Are Terrifying— Alice Sola Kim
Hands down the best title I've heard for a short story in like, ever. I'm a little confused by the story itself (did they summon aliens, the dead, or demons? Or something else?) but the title still fills me with love for this story.

boob's review against another edition

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adventurous funny lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? N/A
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


This anthology was solidly entertaining! I really do enjoy anthologies and this one was pretty good. It is something middle-school me would’ve enjoyed greatly. Not overly horrifying, the “monstrous” part of this book comes more from the eldritch myths and such and such.