A review by anastasia_raf
Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, by Grace Chan, Gabriela Lee, Nadia Bulkin, Alma Katsu, Geneve Flynn, Rin Chupeco, Angela Yuriko Smith, Rena Mason, Elaine Cuyegkeng, Christina Sng, Lee Murray

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


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.

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