Note: This review is part of the 2016 Summer Reading Diversity Spotlight.
Among The Shadows: 13 Stories of Darkness & Light
Edited by Kate Karyus Quinn, Mindy McGinnis, & Demitria Lunetta
Release Date: August 27, 2015
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Genre: Young Adult Horror Anthology
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Even the lightest hearts have shaded corners to hide the black thoughts that come at night. Experience the darker side of YA as 13 authors explore the places that others prefer to leave among the shadows.
As fall draws near, what better time than now to talk about creepy stories? Among The Shadows: 13 Stories of Darkness & Light was born out of a successful Kickstarter campaign which was very exciting to be a part of at the time. Though once the reward came (the book! yay!), I totally fell into the “I’m so excited about this book but I’ll hold off on it for now” camp. But now. I am so ready.
First up, I chose to dive into the stories of the diverse authors that I’m familiar with. Here are three:
Demitria Lunetta, author of one of my favorite duologies ever (In The After and In the End) wrote the short story titled, “Canary.” Whoa. The thing that I absolutely LOVE about Demitria’s work is that you know it’s going to go somewhere deep and you know the ride to the end is going to be worth every single word. Boy, was this as brilliant as ever.
We follow a young girl, Lizzy, who has been raised in the forest, high up in the isolated mountains that her family has claimed for hundreds of years. So when she comes upon a group of teenagers, what one of them learns about Lizzy and teaches Lizzy ends up becoming the reason for his own demise. This is such a fascinating and terrifying look at human behavior and identity, survival of the fittest, trust and perspective and companionship. Evil grounded in reality really is the most terrifying, don’t you think? I was nervous every step of the way and man, that ending…whoa. Talk about a completely horrifying and intensely rewarding ending. I will be disturbed and thinking about this one for days. Now this right here, that’s how you end a horror short. Whoa. Top notch writing, storytelling, character arcs, etc… and yay for a diverse cast! This is definitely a short story you want to read this fall!
I’m not sharing my favorite line from this short story because it totally spoils the entire thing. Guess you’ll just have to read it to see what line that is! 😉
Lydia Kang (Control and Catalyst) wrote the short story titled, “Blàrach Bridge.” In this short story, we follow Deven, a young Indian boy whose curiosity leads him to his fate. What is he so curious about? Dogs leaping off a bridge to their demise. Yep, this story’s got a lot of dead dogs so if you can’t handle that, this isn’t the story for you.
I truly don’t even know where to start with this story. It’s definitely the most bizarre of the three that I’m talking about today, that’s for sure. And I feel like if I read this multiple times, I’d get something completely different out of it. I like those short stories. They’re about something but there’s enough ambiguity to keep the mind racing long after the story has concluded. This is a peculiar tale about a peculiar boy and his peculiar habits turning out to be not so odd in fact. Not for him, not for fate.
He pushes for answers and then as he draws closer and discovers the answers he realizes he didn’t want, he pushes away. Not being able to conquer a fate you’ve been trying to carve out for yourself – or really take on anything but the fate that’s staring you down, that’s quite a horror. If there’s one thing that I want to mention now about this short story, that’s it. So what answers do you think you’ll stop pushing for today?
I’d moved to Saoirse, Indiana, only a few months ago, and so far my best friends are still the library and the bathroom.
Justina Ireland (Vengeance Bound and Promise of Shadows) wrote the short story titled, “Such a Lovely Monster.” In this story, we follow a black female main character, Tamara, as she determines how to handle the monster under her bed. It’s a classic horror trope told in such a deliciously satisfying way. I loved following Tamara, her life turned upside down, herself essentially turned off to the outside world because of this monster.
As she grows, so does her complications with the monster. Watching that play out was tons of fun. I loved that the monster isn’t just a mysterious creature under her bed but it brings out the monster in Tamara without even doing anything out of the ordinary. The thing is, loneliness is a monster in itself so to see how Tamara handles her social life when she gets a taste of what it could be, if only…well, let’s just say she’s willing to embrace the monster within. It’s pretty wild. I loved this short story. It was written so wonderfully, paced perfectly, and was really one of my favorite short stories all around. Also, yay for LGBT representation amongst her friends! What a great read!
“There is a monster under your bed. Everyone needs a place to live, even monsters.”
Among the Shadows is even more delightful in the darkest way than I could have ever anticipated. All of these authors are so evil and you’ll love all of their stories! So be sure to get your copy today!
Among The Shadows: 13 Stories of Darkness & Light edited by Kate Karyus Quinn, Mindy McGinnis, & Demitria Lunetta is available today.