Review: Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales by Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant (editors)

September 12, 2014 Review 0

Review: Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales by Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant (editors)Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales by Alice Sola Kim, Cassandra Clare, Dylan Horrocks, G. Carl Purcell, Gavin J. Grant, Holly Black, Joshua Lewis, Kathleen Jennings, Kelly Link, M.T. Anderson, Nalo Hopkinson, Nathan Ballingrud, Nik Houser, Paolo Bacigalupi, Patrick Ness, Sarah Rees Brennan
Series: N/A
Published by Candlewick Press on September 9, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Pages: 480 pages
Source: NetGalley
Sexual Content: Kissing
Reviewed by: Kristina
3 Stars

Fifteen top voices in speculative fiction explore the intersection of fear and love in a haunting, at times hilarious, darkly imaginative volume.

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.

With Monstrous Stories By
M. T. Anderson
Paolo Bacigalupi
Nathan Ballingrud
Holly Black
Sarah Rees Brennan
Cassandra Clare
Nalo Hopkinson
Dylan Horrocks
Nik Houser
Alice Sola Kim
Kathleen Jennings
Joshua Lewis
Kelly Link
Patrick Ness
G. Carl Purcell

MONSTROUS AFFECTIONS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF BEASTLY TALES was a mixed bag for me with some stories being pretty entertaining and spooky while others fell flat or just outright confused me. Each story involved a twist on a classic monster or monsters who inhabit the world living alongside humans. My favorite was "Wings in the Morning" by Sarah Rees Brennan which was a story about harpies and fairies. I really enjoyed the world building and the humor involved in learning about being a harpy. Holly Black's "Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler" was cute and I liked how the story was told with each 'chapter' being one of the ten rules for being an intergalactic smuggler. It was definitely sci-fi and was a story about growing up and forging your own path in life.

Some of the other stories were too bizarre, preachy, or confusing. There were a lot of messages pushed like abortion and suicide that after reading one story about a heavy topic in an anthology I get hit with yet another heavy one right away.  Luckily there were enough light stories that didn't make me want to go watch 'My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic' to feel happiness again.

MONSTROUS AFFECTIONS is an interesting compilation of fairy tales with unique takes on classic monsters and tales. While some of them I couldn't get into due to their topics or morbidity there were some that were entertaining and very creatively written stories.

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