Updated: Jan 20, 2020
My usual rating for a short story collection is ⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. It seems there are always a few stellar stories, a few clunkers and then the middling rest. An obvious by-product of a work with lots of different authors.
But THIS COLLECTION. The anthology’s theme is the Frankenstein mythos - monsters as our creations, our rescuers, our tormentors and ourselves. I will admit to:
actually getting the shivers,
to saying out loud, “oh my god” or “ew” more than once,
to side-eyeing the uncovered window by my bed a few times, and
to feeling my heart sink into my stomach at least once.
Inside these pages are:
Russian nesting dolls hiding a grotesque secret (Joanna Parypinski),
a blank-faced mummy boy hidden away in a basement (Max Booth III), and
a demon summoned to replace a bad mother (Bracken MacLeod).
There are viruses, science experiments, serial killers, and internment camps, too.
Theodora Goss gives us a sequel to Frankenstein that both honors and lifts the original. Josh Malerman, a gritty addiction story (ahem, werewolves). And, Laird Barron the weirdest and loveliest story about King Mingy’s bastard son, Larry, and a giant Ur toad.
You should read it as soon as possible.
(A review copy was provided by the publisher.)