Title: Unnatural Creatures
Author: Various (Edited by Neil Gaiman)
On the Shelves: Fiction> Anthologies/Fantasy/Sci-Fi
The griffin, the sunbird, manticores, unicorns – all manner of glorious creatures never captured in zoos, museums or photographs are packed vividly into this collection of stories. Neil Gaiman has included some of his own childhood favourites alongside stories classic and modern to spark the imagination of readers young and old. All contributors have given their work free to benefit Dave Eggers’ literacy charity, 826DC. Also includes a new Neil Gaiman Story
Being a fan of Gaiman as I am, I am highly likely to buy anything with his name published on the front of it. So when I saw this hauntingly beautiful book about fantasy/supernatural creatures and spooky tales, I was instantly all “gimme! gimme! gimme!!” grabby hands all over this book. It is a thing of beauty. And yet…not quite. I can’t lie- I did find this anthology a little underwhelming. The stories themselves are written by a large variety of authors, with only one story being by Gaiman himself, which is fine- but I do find it a little misleading to have his name in massive font on the cover and then only have one story by him. I enjoy anthologies because it means I can be a lazy reader- I can explore the work of numerous authors whose work I’ve never read before, with minimal effort. Which may lead to me finding more authors to love and books to read- what isn’t to love about that?
Some of my highlights of this book include Gaiman’s story “Sunbird” which was written for his daughter, the very first story revolving around a mysterious black spot which was slowly growing was creepy and worthy of a doctor who episodes, it literally made me shudder while reading it multiple times. There are others but since I don’t have my copy of the book with me at the moment, I can’t really spend this whole review saying “oh! the one with the snakes was great!!” because that is unfair as I can’t accurately tell you the title of the story- the downside to being a month or two behind on reviews, oops!
Long story short, I recommend this to Gaiman fans, fans of the supernatural, fans of creepy creatures and mythological beasts and wonders, and also to anyone who wants to read more anthologies!