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Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Boys, Beasts & Men by Sam J. Miller ARC Book Review


Disclaimer: My thoughts are my own. 

First, I want to thank the publisher and author for the opportunity to read and review this short stories collection. 

It is hard to review a collection of short stories, there are always some hit and miss.

I would like to start by saying : please check the content warnings, hopefully in the final copy a list will be at the beginning before you read the book. 

-- back unto the review--

A lot of miss for me unfortunately, my favorite part was the a page or so of writing before each stories, there's these little text written beautifully that just hit me harder than the actual stories in most cases. A couple of them like "The beasts we want to be" , were stories I would've loved to read in a full novel format, others like the "Allosaurus Burgers" I couldn't bring myself to care about and didn't enjoy. 

It was a shame, for me, that the writing of the "in between parts" was not consistent with the writing style of the actual stories as I loved it so much. It felt like some of the stories needed to be longer and had much left to be discovered/answered while others were too long. I loved the queerness of the stories and how the title made sense once you read the collection as a whole, however some of the stories could've been left out and it would have not made much of a change in my opinion.

All in all, it was not a bad experience even though there were a lot of lows the highs were extremely addicting and I would love to read a full novel by the author with a similar theme is a fantasy or magical realism setting. The concept was good and well executed in most parts, there was a lack of character development due to the length of the stories which made it hard to really root for or connect with any of the characters. But their individual worlds, if we can call them that, were full of potential which made it fun to learn more about. (or as much as we could about each of them in the short period of time we got)

Overall, 2.75-3/5 stars

Recommended for : fans of magical realism, speculative fiction, (weirdly enough) Junji Ito's short stories/short manga collection and short stories.

most stories were at a 3 star, 2 (5 stars), 3 (4 stars)   and 3 (2 stars).