Shapeshifters edited by Adele Wearing

This anthology follows on from Piracy and is the second of the Fox Pocket series. If you have read Piracy there are a couple of airship bandits you might recognize in this book. The paper version of these books are  ideal for a pocket or even a clutch bag (I’m pretending I know what one of those is, honest). It has Werewolves in it. That didn’t surprise you much did it. There are no sparkly bits on these puppies though. The aggressive and animalistic side comes across really well in these stories, but more disturbing is how crap humanity seems in comparison to these predators. It gives you pause.

There is more to this book than werewolves. It explores the mythology of various cultures from South American to Northern Europe to give a distinctly global feel to this collection of stories. There is also a cyborg, an alien and the more visceral type change.

Job Security by Francesca Terminiello is probably my favourite story. The ending is perfect and infuriating at the same time. It ends the story perfectly and left me licking my lips in sync with the character but I wanted more. Does he sate his hunger? What is really going on in that office building?

Reliquary by Rob Haines is another one of the cool stories. A house of mystical ladies that can transform their visage in to that of a loved one by contact with a personal object fascinated me. I’ve long been a fan of stories where objects have power. This story gets right to the heart of loss, heartache and what a person is willing to sacrifice to find peace. It is heart-wrenching and dark yet still manages to be uplifting. I have no idea how he’s managed that.

Every story is different but they are all dark and predatory in places. It is well worth a read and if nothing else the vivid contrast of the cover art deserves a spot on any bookshelf.

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