Top positive review
One of the rare horror anthologies without a weak entry
Reviewed in the United States on September 15, 2020
I'm a sucker for a good horror anthology; even though by definition, anthologies can be a grab bag, a few good authors can be enough to pull me in, and if I'm lucky, I get a whole lot of other goodness to boot. That was definitely the case with Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities, and Other Horrors, a dynamite anthology featuring works by Victor LaValle, Laird Barron, Josh Malerman, and plenty more, all writing around the broad theme of "monsters." That very broadness gives the anthology a lot more variety than many of its ilk often can manage, meaning that you never get the same idea more than once, much less the same concept or notion. Want a semi-sequel to Frankenstein written in the same rich epistolary style as the original? Check out Theodora Goss's "Frankenstein's Daughter," the collection's closer, and one that earns that position and then some with its rich followup to a classic. Or there's Joanna Parypinski's "Matryoshka," a story that uses Russian nesting dolls to dive into some truly unsettling family dynamics. Michael Wehunt's "A Heart Arrhythmia Creeping into a Dark Room" feels like nothing else in the collection, opening itself up as the writer's efforts to write a story for this very collection before turning...sort of...into something else. Beyond that, there's so much more, from poems about the day everyone turned inside out (Linda D. Addison), Lisa Morton's unsettling variation on the Frankenstein trope "Imperfect Clay," or the knockouts by all of the authors who drew me into the collection in the first place, from LaValle's quietly heartbreaking "Spectral Evidence" to Barron's truly unclassifiable "Ode to Joad the Toad" to Malerman's clever, effective werewolf story "One Last Transformation." It's the rare collection without any serious misfires, and plenty of hits to go around, and that's not something you can say often. Highly recommended for any horror fans out there.