Book Review: Grotesque Monster Stories by Lee Murray

It’s all in the title – these are monster stories!

And they’re good ones, too. Highlights include ‘Hawaiki,’ a mythical tale of ancient Maori warriors with a dark fantasy vibe; the eponymous ‘Grotesque,’ a tale of regal France and its subterranean terrors; ‘Edward’s Tale,’ an eerie Lovecraftian story set in New Zealand’s colonial past; and ‘Maui’s Hook,’ which blends Maori legend with cataclysmic Kaiju action. Of all of these I really can’t praise ‘Hawaiki’ enough. I absolutely adore this story. I’ve always wanted to read a sword and sorcery tale about Maori warriors and this story finally delivers! It has action, magic, monsters, and gore. It’s a pleasure to see Maori mythology, so under represented in horror and fantasy fiction, get such a good outing in such good hands. Murray’s prose is crisp and lucid. Her actions scenes are cinematic and riveting, often written in a racing present tense that makes them even more vital and immediate. I highly recommend this book for fans of horror, fantasy, action, and mythology.