Tag Archives: Gemma Files

The Monstrous edited by Ellen Datlow

Overview
Image result for the monstrous ellen datlow book cover

Title: The Monstrous
Author: Ellen Datlow, Jeffrey Ford, Peter Straub, Dale Bailey, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Gemma Files, Livia Llewellyn, Adam-Troy Castro, Kim Newman, Jack Dann, Gardner Dozois, Carole Johnstone, Brian Hodge, Stephen Graham Jones, Adam L. G. Nevill, Sofia Samatar, Terry Dowling, Glen Hirshberg, A.C. Wise, Steve Rasnic Tem, Christopher Fowler & John Langan
In: The Monstrous (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Horror, Short story collections
Dates read: 8th January – 3rd June 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Tachyon
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: “I supppose I do,” I reply.

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Synopsis

Horror’s most acclaimed editor reveals twenty riveting tales of the Other gone wrong. Monsters who suffer from heartbreak, betrayal, ungrateful kids, and unpaid overtime. Creatures of darkness that struggle to adapt to modern living. Ordinary folks who find themselves inexplicably transformed. 88 But if you dare, come a bit closer and discover the most terrifying of beings – those who are living under your own skin and peering out from behind your eyes.

Thoughts

This collection is brilliant. It is dark, creepy and intense. It is fun. It gave me goose bumps. And it is filled with monsters who come in ALL shapes and sizes. And I mean ALL. A wonderful, fantastic and seriously enjoyable collection filled with the things that go bump in the night. The things that you really hope aren’t hiding under your bed.

Although this anthology sits in my horror shelf, it isn’t really all that scary. Sure, there are multiple moments of discomfort throughout. But they’re that, you have to think a little too much, or consider the many moments of confusion throughout this story that you really don’t necessarily want to think too much about. And, honestly, it’s not the things that jump out and yell BOO that make me love horror. It’s that underlying discomfort that makes you look at your own life that I am quickly becoming obsessed with.

I absolutely adored this collection. It was filled with some familiar names and new ones. Each and every story made me stop and really think about what the storyline was saying. And even now, when I have still finished the whole collection… I am still thinking about some of the stories that I read.

<- Run, Rabbit, RunA Natural History of Autumn ->

Image source: Amazon

A Wish from a Bone by Gemma Files

Overview
Image result for the monstrous ellen datlow book cover

Title: A Wish from a Bone
Author: Gemma Files
In: The Monstrous (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Gods
Dates read: 8th March 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Tachyon
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: Reluctantly: “The last couple times I did this, there was a physical copy of the Liber Carne in play, so getting rid of that helped – but there’s no copy here, which makes us the Liber Carne, the human pages being Inscribed.”

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Synopsis

They just wanted to discover something new and exciting. And catch it all on film of course. And they did… sort of. Just not the kind of excitement they really wanted.

Thoughts

This short story seriously reminds me of another story that I’ve read. Something about the nine pre-gods of ancient times. But I can’t quite pinpoint which story it was… I did love that feeling of aching familiarity that I felt though. It was kind of fun, definitely intriguing. And something that I will continue to think about, long after I’ve turned the final page of this story.

It did take me a little while to get into this story. Hence the lower rating… if it takes me a little bit to get into a short story, then I don’t tend to love it as much. There just isn’t enough time otherwise. But it was still enjoyable. I especially liked the slightly jumpy way in which the story leapt forward in snatches.

Most of all I liked the ending of this story. There was something about that statement that we are never truly alone that was far more creepy than comforting. Which, really, is exactly how it should be.

<- The Beginning of the Year Without a SummerThe Last, Clean, Bright Summer ->

Image source: Amazon

Evolve edited by Nancy Kilpatrick

Overview
Evolve

Title: Evolve
Author: Nancy Kilpatrick, Sandra Kasturi, Kelley Armstrong, Ronald Hore, Jennifer Greylyn, Mary E. Choo, Rebecca Bradley, Michael Skeet, Victoria Fisher, Kevin Cockle, Heather Clitheroe, Colleen Anderson, Sandra Wickham, Claude Bolduc, Claude Lalumiere, Rhea Rose, Gemma Files, Bev Vincent, Steve Vernon, Rio Youers, Bradley Somer, Natasha Beaulieu, Jerome Stueart, Kevin Nunn & Tanya Huff
In: Evolve (Nancy Kilpatrick)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Short story collections, Vampires
Dates read: 6th November 2018 – 1st April 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Edge
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: You are never in a hurry.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

New Vampires have evolved, and they are coming for you! Kelly Armstrong, Tanya Huff and twenty-two other dark fantasy and horror writers come together to re-imagine the future of vampires in this new collection of all-original short fiction – one of the most unusual and original vampire anthologies ever assembled.

Thoughts

This wasn’t my favourite collection of short stories. Maybe I’m not all that much into vampire stories, maybe because these are just the type of vampire stories that I really love. The only two tales I really loved in this were by Kelley Armstrong and Tanya Huff. They weren’t necessarily bad tales, just not ones that I was completely enthralled by.

If you like the more traditional and darker aspect of vampires, I think that this is for you. Some of the stories were a little contemporary, but they weren’t that romanticised, humanised version that we all know and love in modern literature. Maybe if I had have read some of the vampire classics such as Dracula before this, I would have been a little more intently interested. But as things stand, I found this collection quite… meh. Not bad, not great. Definitely worth reading, but not one I’ll be rushing to reread anytime soon.

 <- The Slowing of the World ReviewLet the Night In Review ->
Image source: Goodreads