When we were children, we dreamed of being heroes. We wanted to slay dragons and defeat the monsters that scared us.
As we grew older, we were forced to try and find our monsters. We had been told they would be easy to spot. Monsters had too much teeth, too much fur, too much size.
These were lies. We stopped wanting to be heroes. We started to want to be more, to be too much. We wanted, needed, more than the world could give us. We wanted more than what we were told we should be. We wanted to become monsters.
I want three things for you as you read these stories. I hope you find a story that brings you joy. I hope you find a story that gives you some discomfort. Finally, I hope you find a story here that makes you too much, that makes you just a little bit monstrous.
May you be enthralled and entertained by my accounts of monsters… and may these stories help you wake up the monster inside.
Title: Monstrosity | Author: Laura Diaz de Arce | Publisher: Creativia | Pub. Date: 6 April 2019 |Pages: 184 | ISBN13: 978-1092880343 | Language: English | Source: Received a copy in exchange for review | Starred
Monstrosity is filled with delicious short story morsels that combines wit, horror, science fiction, and feminism. The collection is divided into three parts: hominum, mutatio, and monstrum. Each section contains four gripping stories guaranteed to connect with readers.
In hominum, we meet a woman who morphs into the perfect partner for her various boyfriends, a lady who seeks therapy to quench her anger, an addict, and a love story written in Spanglish. Mutatio focuses on body horror and mutations including a story of a young woman fleeing an abusive stepfather, a goddess finding her place on Earth, a science fiction story of an explorer seeking a better planet and future for her family, and another scifi tale of space exploration and mining. The final section monstrum tells the story of a young woman lost on a hike, a group of sisters with a secret, an AI sexbot, and a mysterious bookstore owner just trying to take care of her child in a small town.
With a largely female cast, there is a strong wave of female empowerment through these stories as well as memorable strong-willed characters with dark secrets. There are graphic moments of disturbing images balanced with beautiful imagery and insight into human behavior. Readers of various age, gender, and life experiences will interpret these stories completely differently. For me, I sympathized with the raw anger and frustration felt by the woman protagonists trying to navigate a demanding and often unfair society. The stories of mothers protecting and sacrificing for their children will resonate with many readers. This would make a great book club selection as I imagine the discussion would include a lot of rich and eye-opening insight.
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