ellevirahspages's review against another edition

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5.0

A collection of stories by award winning authors with powerful social commentary on the struggles of not only being a woman, but of those experienced in Asian cultures. Each story transports you into another world placing you in the shoes of women who dare to fight, speak up, kill and step out of line. There is something in here for everyone. From folklore to a zombie apocalypse, the dark and disturbing imagery will surely give you nightmares.

teseyasfalcon's review against another edition

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dark
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot

3.25

I was really excited to read this, because the concept is fantastic and one we sorely need more of. I'll always advocate for more angry Asian women stories, and I strongly resonate with feminine anger and horror as a genre. There was an enjoyably wide range of genres and inspirations, and some truly incredible concepts, twists, and images throughout the book, with Grace Chan's horrific, layered and poignant "The Mark" as a true standout. However, a lot of the other stories didn't quite work for me in execution; a lot of them felt underdeveloped, and I wished a lot of them were better paced and had more depth, for such a meaningful theme. I was slightly surprised there was no queer rep in an anthology about othered Asian women.

I was also jarred by the italicisation of non-English words, and there was also reason we needed, in an anthology of Asian voices, a white writer doing the afterword talking about how the stories rang true based on her generalisations from living in Japan for 2 years as a teenager.

yellowmoonreads's review against another edition

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3.5

This book was good, but not as "horror-esque" as I expected. It's more along the lines of speculative fiction, mixed with dark fantasy/folktales and sprinkled with horror.
🖤
Since this is an anthology, I obviously found some of the stories more entertaining than others but overall the writing, settings, and themes were enjoyable throughout the entire book.
🖤
It had very strong feminist vibes and a running theme in the book seemed to be about Asian women fighting against, or at times even embracing, the old standards/expectations set for women in Asian society and culture. Which, of course, is always a great, empowering moment that I can respect and admire.
🖤
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the authors for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

erinxmegan's review against another edition

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dark mysterious reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? N/A
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

nerdydreamer107's review against another edition

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

4.0

I received this book as an eARC via Netgalley. This does not influence my opinion.

This was a delightfully creepy short story collection. 
As with nearly every anthology, of course I didn’t like all the stories, but I did enjoy most of them and even the ones I did not like were well written. 
Horror is a relatively new genre for me, but this was a great introduction.
I am fully aware that I will never completely understand what the authors wrote about and expressed through their stories, but all of them were written in a way that most people can understand them and feel for the characters. 
I loved all the furious women in this story, especially the monstrous ones and will definitely be diving into the lore of many of these stories and check out other works by the authors. 

All in all well worth reading, but be aware that these stories are dark and not light and fluffy. It is Horror, after all. 

katrin_loves_books's review against another edition

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adventurous dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.0

mindysbookjourney's review

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challenging tense medium-paced

4.0

readyourbookshelf's review against another edition

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challenging dark hopeful mysterious 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

5.0

ARC from NetGalley
Pub Day: 3/23/23

I love horror stories, but I have only been consuming them since I met my husband 12 years ago. A lot of those stories have been by writers, directors, and game designers who are all men and mostly white men. In 2020 I realized I had never read a horror novel by a woman and set out to fix that. A few months ago as I was browsing through NetGalley I saw Black Cranes with the tagline, “stories of unquiet women.” I requested it immediately. This is a horror story collection by Asian women and it was so fun to read.

Giving compiled short story collections a single star rating is tough and there are too many for me to rate them individually in an IG post, so I’ll just briefly run down why I gave the book, as a whole, 5 stars. 

Every story was well written. While I might find some stories more compelling than others, none of the writing itself was subpar. Each tale had a unique voice and interesting characters. A few of the stories ended too soon in my opinion, but that just means I need to seek out those author’s other works.

It was well compiled. The editors that put this collection together made really good decisions on which stories to pick and how to order them in the book. I never got whiplash from the ending of one story and the beginning of another and that is really important when trying to string together a bunch of different stories, with different styles and different points of view. I think it was masterfully done.

Finally there are so many different types of stories. There are tales of folk monsters set in the past. Tales of folk monsters set in the present. There are sci-fi tales of transhumanism gone wrong. There is even a zombie story and an addition to the Lovecraft mythos. There is something for everyone. I highly recommend this collection.

raforall's review against another edition

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5.0

STAR Review in my January 2021 Horror Review column for Library Journal: https://www.libraryjournal.com/?reviewDetail=black-cranes-tales-of-unquiet-women

Three Words That Describe This Book: stereotype smashing, immersive, inclusive

Draft Review:

As Alma Katsu, notes in the introduction, Asian women, despite being from vastly different cultures are stereotyped as a monolith: demure and subservient, either sexually fetishized or conversely seen as cold and domineering. But not here, not at all, as readers are presented with 14 stories that are as varied in tone and type as the women writing them. Tales of dangerous science fiction, bleak near future dystopias, reimagined folk tales, battle ready princesses, and just straight up furious horror. While the stories are individually entertaining, it is in the breadth of cultural experiences, storytelling styles, and originality of ideas as they pile on top of one and other where the preconceived notions of both the authors identities and of the limitations of the horror genre itself will be smashed to the delight of readers. Verdict: With the inclusion of biographies and photographs introducing each of the contributors at the back of this volume, readers will be able to fully appreciate the authors as humans, gain insight into their influences, and learn of their other works. Don’t be surprised if you get requests for more by these unquiet women.

dianamfcb's review against another edition

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3.5

As it always happens with collections of stories, there is a tendency for the reader to end up enjoying some more than others, and this book was no exception. Hence, it has not been totally perfect for me.
I generally take this opportunities to read a little from each genre, sometimes even combined. The experience in this case was surprisingly rewarding, because the stories have elements of horror, speculative fiction, and dystopian. Overall, I highly recommend this one.

Thank you to NetGalley, the authors and the publisher for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.