Monday, October 08, 2018

Review: Women who Love Monsters -- Lori Perkins (Editor)

While I ultimately really enjoyed WOMEN WHO LOVE MONSTERS, but the connection between the stories and the title and stated theme is a bit slippery.  The best of the stories really do explore the connection between women and the monstrous -- be that horrors from the dark, abusive men, magical races, or those who seem to be our enemy.  The best of these stories also explore different motivations for loving the monster like need, conquest, a desire for power, a wounded soul,  an ancient urge, or even the desire to become a monster herself.

That said, the frame shifts jarringly between stories.  The most constant theme is the erotic desire to make love to a monster and very few of the stories touch upon happily-ever-after situations.  Some of the excerpts and stories seem to offer very little in relation to the theme at all, unless you stretch its boundaries very wide.  If I were to rate the tries separately they would range from a grudging 1/5 to an enthusiastic 5/5 with the best being reminiscent of my favorite anthology of all time ALIEN SEX (Ellen Datlow, editor).

I have a particular interest in the borders between erotica and horror, and explorations of monstrous love interests that are not basically superheroes with no down side or neutered versions of their ancient selves.  Several of the stories in this anthology directly and successfully engage with this theme, and given the rarity of this kind of bold originality I can somewhat forgive the rest that were irrelevant, openly self-promotional, or merely benignly entertaining.

Review copy courtesy of Netgalley, 4/5 #DarkerThanThatFTW

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