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Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,543 ratings  ·  305 reviews
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 vam
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Candlewick Press
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ashes ➷ The way I thought it was meant to be interpreted: Bon's dad is cutting him up and using him, but Bon is torturing the MC and using those emotions for …moreThe way I thought it was meant to be interpreted: Bon's dad is cutting him up and using him, but Bon is torturing the MC and using those emotions for power. He's sacrificing someone's emotional instead of physical parts. Same with the kid he bullied.(less)

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 ·  1,543 ratings  ·  305 reviews

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Althea Ann
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Kelly Link is a great author - and here she proves she can pick 'em as well as write 'em. There's a YA theme here, but these all-new tales can definitely be enjoyed by all ages (and I'd argue that some aren't particularly 'youth-oriented' at all.) Definitely an above-average collection.

*****Paolo Bacigalupi—Moriabe’s Children
A dark and tragic fairytale of an evil stepfather, set on the shores and kraken-infested seas of a northern clime... This is a bit of a departure in style from Bacigalupi's
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was supposed to be a horror anthology (at least I think so), but I would never characterize it as such. Most stories are just plain weird and not a least bit scary. As I already mentioned, my favorite remains M.T. Anderson’s “Quick Hill”, which is terrific and I’d give it five starts, but unfortunately, it has some “lukewarm” company. There is also Holy Black’s “The Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (the Successful Kind)”, which was very entertaining. Other stories are pretty f ...more
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
An excellent anthology with lots of interesting stories, classical, mythological and psychological monsters.

There are some obvious standouts, and as with a lot of anthologies you should pay attention to the first and last stories. The first is excellent about a girl who listens to monsters, and the last has a brilliant title and excellent follow through. There are also some excellent cores of novels here.

I included some comments on each of the stories in my progress updates, so I suggest you loo
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Moriabe's Children: *screams quietly* 5/5
[but seriously release the kraken]

Old Souls: I'm always on board for a "realistic vampire" story. 4/5

Ten Rules for being an Intergalactic Smuggler: this story is my alien scifi aesthetic; I am here for this 100%. 5/5

Quick Hill: Not my cup of tea, I was outrageously bored.

The Diabolist: *screams desperately* 4/5

The Whole Demoning Thing: teen demons start a band and it is glorious. 5/5

Wings in the Morning: I want to marry this world and everyone in it. "I
Jul 01, 2020 rated it liked it
I bought a copy of 'Monstrous Affections' off eBay for one story, 'Wings in the Morning', which I understood was a sequel to In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan. As that was a YA fantasy romance, I anticipated that the rest of this anthology would be similar. The blurb states, 'Fifteen top voices in fantasy fiction explore the intersection of fear and love, of monsters and men, and our fatal attraction to what hides in the shadows'. From this I subsequently inferred that there would be banging. ...more
Anthology as a Whole 5/5
A fantastic anthology. Fair warning, though, it slanted a bit further into horror than I normally read. Like, quite a bit further. *shudder*

Moriabe's Children— Paolo Bacigalupi 4/5
Alanie has never seen a kraken, but her father died hunting them.

This one is a delicate, bloody tale about abuse, really. And how to be really, REALLY freaked out by the ocean.

Old Souls— Cassandra Clare

Leah has just had the worst kind of breakup, and her mum thinks that working at a retireme
Lauren Stotts
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Had to get this for "Wings in the Morning." Amazing, as the notorious SRB (Sarah Rees Brennan) tends to be. If you're interested, check out the entirely free and beautifully told prequel Turn of the Story that she has posted on her blog. It's not often that I get glued to something for an entire Saturday, but I was stuck on this like white on rice. ...more
Mar 12, 2014 marked it as to-read
For grouchy Elliot

ETA: Seriously NetGalley! I actually thought I would be approved:(
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm far more familiar with Kelly Link as an editor of fairytale anthologies that are gruesome and beautiful and terrifying, so the content in Monstrous Affections was exactly what I wanted, even if the profoundly embarrassing introduction gave me pause. Rather than try to rate the stories in terms of stars I simply ranked them from most loved to least.

“Quick Hill” – Timely and always relevant, M.T. Anderson's story has a strange conceit but familiar mechanics. The fundamental argument “Quick Hil
I was planning on writing a review for this and got halfway through, but school and life put writing this on hold. Unfortunately, I can’t remember enough to have a mini review for every story in this book, but I suppose half of a review is better than none. Sorry guys!

Let me address my first disappointment: I was hoping for more scares, more creepy and confusing atmospheres in the stories.

Since this is an anthology, I will be doing mini-reviews on my thoughts and the content of the stories:

First Second Books
Kelly Link and Gavin Grant are just awesome!

Sometimes I feel like short stories are just too short to be fulfilling, but they manage to prove me wrong every time they put together an anthology. This is the best one yet. And with a Yuko Shimizu cover and individual page number accent graphics for each story, it’s also the prettiest yet.

Also, monsters: pretty awesome themselves.
A collection of short stories about love and monsters. In the pros column, there's a broad range of monsters and types of love--this isn't just a collection filled with the usual kinds of vampires and romantic love. In the cons column, these stories are far heavier on the horror and disturbing content than I prefer.

Paolo Bacigalupi, "Moirabe's Children." Alanie and her step-brother escape a terrifying father and flee toward kraken. I am not into stories about fathers raping children, so I hated
Holly Harker
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
You find it on a pockmarked shelf between a jar of eyeballs and a talon-handled dagger.

‘Monstrous Affections,’ you mutter under your breath. ‘An Anthology of Beastly Tales.’

Anthology. Hmm. Short stories aren’t always your thing. But monsters definitely are. And judging by the beautiful hardback presentation of the book, you suspect it might be a companion to the excellent Steampunk! anthology edited by Kelly Link.

You check the authors at the top: yup, Kelly Link and Gavin J Grant. This looks li
Malcolm Everett
It’s clear from the introduction that this anthology is directed at tween and teenage female readers, but I wanted to sample writing from a variety of popular fantasy authors, and this fit the bill. Here’s a one-sentence summary of each story, along with my likes and dislikes about each:

“Moriabe’s Children” by Paolo Bacigalupi: 5/5
A girl with an abusive step-father discovers she has a special connection with the kraken. Easily the best story in this collection. Bacigalupi’s prose is atmospheric
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Second read:
This time around I'd rate "Old Souls" 4/5, "Left Foot, Right Foot" 5/5, and "The Woods Hide in Plain Sight" 4/5.

All but 2 stories are pretty strong, so this is a good anthology.

First read:
Overall: 3.83, rounded up to 4. (Yes, I literally added my individual ratings and then divided by 15.)

Moriabe's Children by Paolo Bacigalupi: 5/5. Excellent world building. Excellent characterization. All over just wonderful.

Old Souls by Cassandra Clare: 3/5. Maybe I'm just done with vampires as hot
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

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 i
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq
Petition to get another short story from Luke POV i love my gay useless son
YA short story, full of allegories and horror
Only reviewed the ones that I read.

Moriabe’s Children
A dark tale of a young girl living in a seaside village where krakens rule the sea. Her father consumed with the dream of slaying krakens and riches dies suddenly and leaving the girl and her mother in poverty. The mother remarries and the young girl and stepbrother are sexually assaulted by the step-father which the mother ignores in favor of security. It's a parable of real monsters, the kraken,
Stephen Newell
Jul 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Full Disclosure: I'm not usually a monster-horror reader, so take that into account or my review.

As with most short story anthologies, you have some good, you have some bad. Or in this case, you have some absolutely stellar, and absolute...well, you get it. Concerning the former, you'll find fantastically well-thought out stories such as "Quick Hill" by M.T. Anderson and 'The Mercurials" by G. Carl Purcell, which manage to do some intriguing world-building while not neglecting the characterizat
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star
average rating 3.3/5 stars, rounded up out of eternal gratitude for wings in the morning tbh

favorites: ten rules for being an intergalactic smuggler (holly black), wings in the morning (sarah rees brennan), and son of abyss (nik houser), though honestly many of these were very refreshing and interesting

1. "Moriabe's Children" by Paolo Bacigalupi -- 4/5
2. "Old Souls" by Cassandra Clare -- 2/5
3. "Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (the Successful Kind)" by Holly Black -- 5/5
4. "Quick Hi
This was more YA than I thought, by which I mean a lot of stories are about what it means to be a teenager with the twist of the protagonists being or interacting with monsters, and that's just not really my thing. Some stories were more for all ages and thus appealed to me much more, but though there were stories I liked, there weren't any new favourites and some stories I didn't even finish.
The way the theme of monsters was implemented in the stories was fun, often creative and done in various
Gray Cox
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I won't lie, the person I was here for was Patrick Ness and I wasn't disappointed with him or any of the other stories, although the first one was rather "mehish" for me. Overall enjoyable. ...more
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Usually in anthologies I find one story I like and a lot of meh. This one tipped the scales towards good more often than not and I was genuinely surprised.

I liked Paolo Bacigalupi, Cassandra Clare, M. T. Anderson - this one is sticking with me, Nalo Hopkinson was interesting, and Nik Houser managed to creep me out big time.

EDIT: Ok, it's a couple days later and one thing has annoyed me enough to want to write about it. When I was looking through other people's reviews to find out which authors
Like most anthologies, Monstrous Affections is a mixed bag of the good, the bad, and the ‘meh’. I’ve been disappointed by enough anthologies now that I’m usually wary of being sucked in by a gorgeous cover and an impressive line-up of YA authors, but when I saw Monstrous Affections on display at my local library, I couldn’t resist snatching up a copy. Unfortunately, while a few stories were definitely worth reading, I wasn’t particularly impressed by the majority.

Moriabe’s Children by Paolo Baci
First reading
Very very good. Absolute favourites:
1.Wings in the Morning ~ Sarah Rees Brennan
2.This Whole Demoning Thing ~ Patrick Ness
3.Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (the Successful Kind) ~ Holly Black

and I am still not sure whether I am
a) entirely creeped out by,
b) really love, or
c) just utterly confused by
Moriabe's Children by Paolo Bacigalupi,
Son of Abyss by Nik Houser and
Mothers, Lock Up Your Daughters Because They Are Terrifying by Alice Sola Kim.

Second time:
Fantasy Literature
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales, a new anthology by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant, was an interesting and surprising read. Interesting because, duh, anything the duo behind Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet puts together has to be great. And surprising because nothing on the cover prepared me for its YA-focus.

And let’s talk about the cover for a second, because it is incredible. Red thistles explode out of line-drawn stems. Blood drips from the maw of a fully-colored toothy blac
Wendi Lee
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was very excited to read this collection of fantasy short stories, because I’m a huge fan of editor Kelly Link. If you haven’t already, I strongly recommend reading her own short story collections. They are wild, fantastic journeys.

I was a bit disappointed that Link’s story was one I’ve already read. But the disappointment didn’t last very long, because most of the collected stories are spectacular!

My favorites are the “monstrous” tales written by:

Patrick Ness
Sarah Rees Brennan
Nalo Hopkinson
May 08, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm not a huge consumer of YA literature, but I have enjoyed Kelly Link's work before so I snatched this up for some light reading. I would say maybe half the stories are worth reading, and of those, maybe 2 or 3 of them are impressively good. The one that I found most compelling was written by an author I'd never read before (Sara Rees Brennan), so I'll consider the book a success. ...more
Okay I admit I'm mostly here for Sarah Rees Brennan's story because Luke and Elliot... Now that In Other Lands has been released, Luke's POV ruins me more ...more
Louise Page
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
There are some stunning stories in this collections - the ones that really stuck out to me were "Moriabe's Children" by Paolo Bacigalupi, "Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (the Successful Kind)" by Holly Black, and "Wings in the Morning" by "Sarah Rees Brennan. These stories especially appealed to me with their believable world-building, character development, balance of "monsters" with fantasy and true human emotion. I found a couple of the stories more silly than disturbing. I per ...more
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Kelly Link is an American author best known for her short stories, which span a wide variety of genres - most notably magic realism, fantasy and horror. She is a graduate of Columbia University.

Her stories have been collected in four books - Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, Pretty Monsters, and most recently, Get in Trouble.
She has won several awards for her short stories, including th

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