Monstrous Affections - Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant (Eds.)

Let's be honest with each other. We have questions about monsters. That's why we put this book together. That's why you're reading this book right now. Remember those old maps? The ones where the cartographer wrote, around the margins, "Here be monsters." That's where monsters exist, in the unmapped spaces. In the places where we haven't filled in all the gaps. In outer space, or in the deepest parts of the ocean. At all the seams of the worlds and relationships that we build for ourselves. Sometimes we see the monster in a mirror. Sometimes we find the monster in the face of someone that we love. Sometimes we fight monsters, and sometimes we love them. Sometimes it isn't bad to be a monster.

Monsters are a continual source of fascination for humanity, and Link and Grant have managed to capture many of our fears, desires, and attractions to the monstrous in this collection of short stories from acclaimed authors of YA fiction. A true examination of what lies beyond the confines of the known universe.

From kraken to harpies, from the demonic to the angelic, the authors explore worlds in which humans live side by side with monsters, real and figurative. I love this particular sentence from the official synopsis: 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. Let's face it, who doesn't want to read about spectral boy toys?!

Monstrous Affections will surprise and delight, charm and engage. Although the collection is strong overall, there is a slightly uneven feel at times, a few stories being noticeably stronger. Link and Grant have put together a beautiful, gory, disturbing, and rare collection of stories exploring our connection to the world of monsters.

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

For fans of the unknown, the disconcerting, the erotically mystical, this collection (or at least many of the stories) will be sure to please! Enjoy!


(Note: This review is from an Advance Reading Copy - Out September 9, 2014.)


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