From the time we are young, we fear the monster under the bed or in the closet, making it impossible to sleep without a nightlight. Then, we hear stories of Bigfoot, and maybe even the Mothman around campfires. When we are adults, we wonder if there might actually be supernatural creatures lurking in the shadows. Are these tall tales and urban legends only metaphors for what horrific things humanity is capable of—or do monsters exist?
Go to some terrifying places with this cast of authors. You will be dragged into mystifying realities where demonic fairies hide, where devil monkeys lure carnival-goers to their demise, where Goatmen seek to destroy their prey, and where the goddess of death puts out a hit on victims of her choice. These shocking tales will have you biting your nails and locating that childhood nightlight. Because, in the end, we all know monsters do exist.
Anthologies are not something I tend to read a whole lot of, as my previous posts show. Nonetheless, I received a request (probably about a year ago, whoops) to give Monsters Exist a read, and I finally got around to it. Considering I don’t tend to care for short stories, I found this collection excellent and will probably start giving anthologies a more fair shot.
Monsters Exist is a themed anthology, with its stories centering around… well, monsters. The idea, according to one of the authors, was to “take a mythology and contemporise it.” With that in mind, the various authors did a wonderful job of doing just that. I won’t go over every story, but I will go ahead and briefly mention those I enjoyed most and why.
“Lake Monster” by Mr. Deadman is easily my favorite of the tales within this anthology. Perhaps because the writing made me feel like I was literally right there as things were going on. The characters felt exceedingly real, even if they lacked several brain cells. The ending came as a surprise and I was actually sad.
“Eclipse at Wolf Creek” is a close second. Covering the tale of a boy who takes care of his grandma doing what boys do (not listening and doing something he’s not supposed to), things unfold quickly and dangerously. Why? Mothman is out to get him and the most unlikely hero pops up to save the day. The writing was beautiful and I could perfectly see the setting and found myself longing for the woods.
“Kelpies” was insanely imaginative. I loved the idea of an underwater bar and the way in which Robertson writes has, time and time again, provided some real enjoyment for me.
Lasty, I loved “Bloodstream Revolution.” It’s gritty and dark while simultaneously covering a creature from my own ethnic background: el chupacabra.
I’d like to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this anthology in exchange for an honest review. If you’ve got the time, you should definitely give it a read.