A review by snazel
Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales by Gavin J. Grant, Kelly Link


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.