THE MONSTER’S CORNER
CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS: David Liss, Jonathan Maberry, Lauren Groff, John Mcllveen, Kevin J. Anderson, Sharyn McCrumb, David Moody, Kelley Armstrong, Nate Kenyon, Dana Stabenow, Chelsea Cain, Tom Piccirilli, Sarah Pinborough, Heather Graham, Jeff Strand, Tananarive Due, Michael Marshall Smith, Gary A. Braunbeck, Simon R. Green. Edited by Christopher Golden
PUBLISHER: Piatkus Books
RELEASE DATE: Sept 2011
FORMAT: Paperback, 380 pages
An all original anthology from some of todays hottest supernatural writers, featuring stories of monster’s from the monster’s point of view. In most stories we get the perspective of the hero, the ordinary, the everyman, but we are all the hero of our own tale, and so it must be true for legions of monsters, from Lucifer to Mordred, from child-thieving fairies to Frankenstein’s monster and the Wicked Witch of the West. From our point of view, they may very well be horrible, terrifying monstrosities, but of course they won’t see themselves in the same light, and their point of view is what concerns us in these tales. Demons and goblins, dark gods and aliens, creatures of myth and legend, lurkers in darkness and beasts in human clothing… these are the subjects of The Monster’s Corner.
How interesting does this anthology sound!? I loved the idea of reading from the view point of the monster. I’m also getting more and more into reading short stories. They really are great for when you’re short on time, or going through a rough reading slump. And that’s exactly what was happening to me when THE MONSTER’S CORNER dropped through my letter box.
I decided I would read four of the stories in THE MONSTER’S CORNER and write mini reviews of each. I thought this would be enough to give you an idea of the different styles you would find from the many different authors who contributed to this anthology and hope they will give a little taster if you will of what is on offer from this awesome looking book – the cover is fab don’t you think? So here are my four choices from this bumper selection of supernatural shorties.
SUCCUMB by John Mcllveen
This was a very visual, slightly dark but also tongue-in-cheek story with a huge amount of sexuality. The story is literally about a sexual act that has you guessing who, or what, is the entity doing the act. It’s very difficult to explain without giving anything away, but let’s just say I changed my mind about three times before the story ended. I liked the authors writing style a lot and even though this was a very short story there was a lot of information about the two characters involved. It had my complete undivided attention while reading.
RAKSHASI by Kelley Armstrong
This is an excellent story. I really enjoyed it and I was disappointed when it ended. It’s from the view point of a Rakshasi demon, who are cursed to walk the earth as a monster but are offered a way to repent and redeem their sins by a member of an isha family. If they accept, the member of the isha family becomes their master. When the Rakshasi has repaid their debt they will be set free. However, this hasn’t happened for this particular demon who calls herself Amrita. Her ‘family’ have kept her for two hundred years as her job, with her master’s help, is to seek out evil and eliminate it. When this is done the isha family can keep the wealth of their victim and because of this Amrita has become too valuable to set free, and she is not happy about it…
The ending is satisfying, although I must admit I was expecting something a little more dramatic, but over all this story is fab. I think Ms Armstrong should write a full length novel with Amrita as the heroine – I think this would make a very original type of urban fantasy.
LESS OF A GIRL by Chelsea Cain
Sophie is in her bedroom with the bloody, dead body of, what I assume is her friend, Charlotte, on the floor. The narrator watches as Sophie scoops out an eyeball and offers it to her to eat, which she does and then continues to eat until there is no more trace of Charlotte, except for a blood stain on the carpet.
I do have my own thoughts as to who or what the narrater is, the clue for me is in the ending when the narrater slips under Sophie’s bed, but I won’t say any more as I don’t want to influence you if you choose to read this anthology. However, it was a little too ambiguous for my taste and felt as though the author was relying on the reader to make their own assumptions as to who the narrater was. I’m not a huge fan of this style, but this story still had me instantly engrossed and is a great piece of descriptive writing.
JESUS AND SATAN GO JOGGING IN THE DESERT by Simon R. Green
This was my favourite story out of the four I selected to review. It is just so clever and funny, I loved it. It’s exactly as the title suggests. Satan comes up from Hell to talk to Jesus who has been walking through the desert for forty days and forty nights. He’s there to tempt Jesus, to test him at the instruction of their Father, God. It’s quite poignant in places, and so funny in others. This story definitely makes me want to pick up a novel by this author.
Last year I read and reviewed a selection of stories from Zombie: An Anthology of the Undead (also edited by Christopher Golden), and thought it was excellent. From what I have read so far of THE MONSTER’S CORNER, this is another fantastic collection of short stories from a great list of authors. I will definitely read more from this anthology, so look out for the review!
Thanks to the lovely peeps at Piatkus, I have FOUR (4) copies of this fab anthology to giveaway!
This giveaway is UK ONLY (publisher’s request) and ends 31st Oct 2011
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