Reviews

Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, by Geneve Flynn, Lee Murray

anastasia_raf's review against another edition

Go to review page

adventurous dark informative inspiring sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

Thank you to Netgalley and the RDS Publishing for providing me with an e-book!!

"In Black Cranes: Tales of unquiet Women, Southeast Asian writers of horror both embrace and reject these traditional roles in a unique collection of stories which dissect their experiences of 'otherness,' be it in the colour of their skin, the angle of their cheekbones, the things they dare to write, or the places they have made for themselves in the world."

This collection of short stories was very enticing and intriguing. Some of the stories I loved and some I think, would benefit better as a novella or even a novel.

 The foreword by Alma Katsu was my favorite part of this anthology. It was passionate, so unflinchingly real, and so unapologetic. It was a statement that "Asian women can be many things. The only thing we can't be is defeated." Here are more quotes from it:
"We are expected to attend to the psychical needs: lifting, carrying, feeding, bathing. We change their diapers and wipe up their diarrhea, the insult stinging twice as bad for knowing we were always the less-favored child, being women."
"These stories demonstrate the diversity of Asian life as reflected in its storytelling. Just as there is no one type of woman, there is no single, all-encompassing notion of Asia. It is too multifaceted to be contained in one identity."

My favorite stories were:
1. The Genetic Alchemist's Daughter by Elaine Cuyegkeng. The storytelling was flawless. I want a whole book dedicated to this story.
2. A Pet is For Life by Ganeve Flynn. A horrifyingly delicious story.
3. Fury by Christina Sng. I'm a sucker for anything dystopian, and this delivered on so many levels; especially the characters. They were so well rounded and felt like we even got a backstory for them. I would  follow them to every apocalypse.
4.Little worm by Geneve Flynn. Haunting and memorable.
An honorable mention is Mark by Grace Chan. I liked the atmosphere of this story and how unrevealing it was but I believe it was way too short for it to actually stay with you.
The only criticism I have, as with most horror books, is the use of some ableist phrases and/or words, but on that we all have to check further with disabled reviewers, readers,writers.

I had a splendid time reading each and every last one of these stories, and I can't wait for more people to experience them and love them.




Expand filter menu Content Warnings

sarasoleil's review against another edition

Go to review page

adventurous dark emotional funny informative inspiring reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.5

An excellent collection of short stories ranging from horror to sci-fi written by Asian women who have a story they need to tell, and they all do it so uniquely. Each of these stories has a message and they're told from a variety of lenses. Different POVs, different writing styles, different cultural takes, and while I wasn't fond of every single one, they all left me thinking and appreciating the writing.

It's hard to pick a favorite, so I won't. "Skin Dowdy" by Angela Yuriko Smith stuck out to me differently than anything else I've ever read. Its concepts are so real in how people try and change for others rather than themselves, and it often leads to negative consequences. 
"The Ninth Tale" by Rena Mason was dark and fun, everything that it should have been.
"Frangipani Wishes" by Lee Murray tells a story about ghosts and how they haunt us, and the writing was so beautiful and unique. I absolutely love it.

An amazing read and one I will not hesitate to recommend!

Thanks to NetGalley & the publisher for giving me access to this!

thedreadcat's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

The Genetic Alchemist’s Daughter by Elaine Cuyegkeng: 5

Kapre: A Love Story by Rin Chupeco: 4

A Pet is for Life by Geneve Flynn: 4

Phoenix Claws by Lee Murray: 3.5

Of Hunger and Fury by Grace Chan: 3

Skin Dowdy by Angela Yuriko Smith: 4

Truth is Order and Order is Truth by Nadia Bulkin: 2

Rites of Passage by Gabriela Lee: 4

The Ninth Tale by Rena Mason: 4

Vanilla Rice by Angela Yuriko Smith: 3.5

Fury by Christina Sng: 2

The Mark by Grace Chan: 4

Frangipani Wishes by Lee Murray: 3.5

Little Worm by Geneve Flynn: 5

51.5 / 14 = 3.67 rounding up to 4

kpkulski's review

Go to review page

5.0

Powerful. As a half Korean woman, this collection resonated on a very personal level. These stories are often painful as they are about strength, they are just as much about cultural confusion-- confusion of loyalty and how to be loyal to family and self... as well as about clarity. About feeling hollow and how otherness plays a role in each aspect. It is also contains damn good horror stories that include monsters, lore and ghosts that are not often brought to English speaking audiences. I loved it and is it one of those works that will now occupy a very meaningful place on my shelf of books that left not just a mark but an influence.

mgsardina's review against another edition

Go to review page

dark funny tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

she_who_reads_'s review

Go to review page

dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

alexiusr's review against another edition

Go to review page

dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

stephctopping's review

Go to review page

4.0

Most of these stories are DOPE, but a few sucked hard, so, 4 stars.

sherrise's review against another edition

Go to review page

adventurous dark emotional reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.0

beesreadings's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

3.9/5

Black Cranes is a short story anthology written by Asian women and their gripping take on the stereotypes that they’ve seen their entire lives blended in with legends and myths and it didn’t disappoint. I didn’t read this book in one go. I took my time with each story and even though I clearly have favourites, each story left something stirring in me. I think this book is a take on horror literature at its best as every story punches you in the gut and makes you think, relate and dread. As an Asian woman myself, a lot of stuff in here was relatable, especially accepting and/or moving away from your culture and diaspora experiences. Would love to check out the writing of each author in this collection. All in all, this book was both a delightful and eerie read.