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

adventurous funny mysterious
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


There are a couple really good stories in here. Holly Black’s Intergalactic Smuggler contribution is GOLD and I want a full length sequel to go with it. 2nd person is a bold choice but it works. Quick Hill is weird but fascinating, interesting interpretation of “monster.” Moriabe’s Children, Son of Abyss, and Mothers Lock Up Your Daughters were other favorites.

But the rest of the collection is…uneven. A couple stories I just couldn’t get into and had to skip. A couple had potential but were ultimately just confusing and off-putting. A couple were predictable. Some average. It’s a shame because it really started off strong.

It seems like some people read this expecting horror, and it’s really not horror. Most of it ranges from some kind of fantasy to modern day world that just happens to include monsters, and usually (not always) the monsters are pretty friendly. It’s not really dark. Son of Abyss is dark thematically but it’s kind of a lighthearted world, just everyday high school demon drama. There were maybe only two or three stories I actually thought qualified as “creepy” and even then they had pretty happy endings.

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