Chimera, An Anthology

My city has been in a so called red zone for the past two weeks, and being in lockdown again got me stuck in an apathetic mood. I worked while looking after my two very overwhelmed kids, and I spent most of my free time cooking like most Italians in quarantine tend to do. Cliches, anyone?! Truth be told, I’ve also read three books, but I couldn’t find it in me to review them because of the brain fog that always hits me when I feel trapped at home. But hey, now that I know we’ll be free again on Tuesday and I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I’m finally ready to share my thoughts on this one.

Chimera, edited by Ashley Hutchinson and published by Lost Boys Press, is a collection of short stories by ten talented authors, all having a common theme: monsters. I’ve been gifted with an ARC in exchange of an honest review, which I’m more than happy to supply.

Being asked to review a book is always amazing to me, and it’s even more beautiful when I’m able to say I’ve enjoyed it. The title is fitting, and can I say how much I love the aesthetics here? Both the cover and the graphics inside are a real beauty. I mean, look at this!

Impressive, right?

Most of the stories lured me in on the spot. They’re well written and compelling, and the themes are so interesting that they’re almost irresistible. I loved how diverse they all were, and how the authors offered their own unique perspective and writing style to create this little gem. It really is a great anthology for us horror lovers.

What? You’re asking me if I have a favorite? Well, while I loved the whole book, two of the short stories drew me in so much that I’m still thinking about them a week after reading them. The first one is Banshee Song, so beautiful and nostalgic that it broke my heart. The writing here is just exquisite, the pain of the main character so tangible and tragic. What a masterpiece, I could talk about it for hours.

The second one is called When the Basilisk Wakes. The reason why I adore this one is the creature the main character adopts. I know it is inherently lethal and I know I wouldn’t survive it, but boy, would I want to have it! I have an unreasonable passion for chaotic and potentially life-threatening little creatures, so reading about this one brought out the Newt Scamander in me. I am officially in love.

Now, on with the only issue I have with this book based on the ARC I’ve been given. Some of the dialogues in the last short story are in Spanish. Nothing wrong with that per se, I speak enough of it to get a good grasp of what’s going on anyway, but not everyone speaks more than one language. In my opinion, losing bits of what’s happening because one is not able to understand what the characters are saying is a real pity; as I was reading, I kept wondering why there was no translation, and it bugged me a little.

That said, I enjoyed Chimera a lot. I mean, A LOT. It is definitely worth the read and I’d rate it 4/5. Great job, everyone!

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