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Review: We Mostly Come Out at Night Anthology

We Mostly Come Out at Night Anthology

Genre: YA, Horror

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

An empowering cross-genre YA anthology that explores what it means to be a monster, exclusively highlighting trans and queer authors who offer new tales and perspectives on classic monster stories and tropes.

Be not afraid! These monsters, creatures, and beasties are not what they appear. We Mostly Come Out at Night is a YA anthology that reclaims the monstrous for the LGBTQA+ community while exploring how there is freedom and power in embracing the things that make you stand out.

Each story centers on both original and familiar monsters and creatures—including Mothman, Carabosse, a girl with thirteen shadows, a living house, werebeasts, gorgons, sirens, angels, and many others—and their stories of love, self-acceptance, resilience, and empowerment.

This collection is a bold, transformative celebration of queerness and the creatures that (mostly) go bump in the night.

Contributors include editor Rob Costello, Kalynn Bayron, David Bowles, Shae Carys, Rob Costello, H.E. Edgmon, Michael Thomas Ford, Val Howlett, Brittany Johnson, Naomi Kanakia, Claire Kann, Jonathan Lenore Kastin, Sarah Maxfield, Sam J. Miller, Alexandra Villasante, and Merc Fenn Wolfmoor.

The Review

I selected a few of the stories to mention that I really enjoyed.  All of the stories are entertaining and worth reading, and there’s something here for everyone.

“Bastian and the Beast” by Jonathan Lenore Kastin

Bastian’s father didn’t want them to go, but it was too late, and the carriage was here to take them to the Beast. As they rode away and looked back, they saw their brothers playing in the mound of gold.  The brothers didn’t treat them very kindly, and their mother had always tried to make them wear dresses.

When they arrive at the Beast’s home, it’s very quiet, and there’s no one to greet them.  Everyone believes the Beast is mean, but Bastian is amazed at the banquet laid out before them. They eventually meet the Beast, and find that he’s not mean at all.

Bastain gets home sick and wants to leave, and the Beast doesn’t stop them. But home is not the same, and their brothers and others are mean to them and critical of the Beast.  Bastain will have to make a decision. Will he stay with his family, or return to the Beast?

A wonderful new take on “Beauty and the Beast,” two different people who just need to be wanted… and loved.

“Be Not Afraid” by Michael Thomas Ford 

Willet, now fifteen, and Pike, eighteen, come to live with their Mamaw after their parents’ death.  Willet knows how to take care of himself. Mamaw is up there in age and smokes too much, but she doesn’t worry about any of that.  

As it’s getting close to Christmas, it’s time to decorate, and they need to remove any yellow bulbs from the string of lights.  Willet had made one mistake when he said the name “Mothman.” Mamaw believes the Mothman is bad luck.

Pike goes to jail for selling drugs, and Willet’s good friend in Burlie leaves home and Willet hasn’t heard from him.  He dreams of Burlie at the old cabin, and decides to see if Burlie has been hiding out there, but when he gets there, eerie things start to happen.

Michael Thomas Ford explores the legends of the Mothman in “Be Not Afraid.”  I really liked Willet’s character, and the bravery he brings to the tale.  The worldbuilding sets the tone for the story, filled with quirks and superstitions.  

“The Color of Sky on Earth” by Rob Costello

He calls himself the resident expert on everything queer, and he has all the answers.  It was because of Hoon, who he really likes. Hoon has all sorts of questions, and he has to have reasons for everything. Hoon’s father always gave him little lessons to help figure out the rules of everything on Proteus.

He and Hoon are working on a graphic novel, and Hoon leaves it up to him to draw what Hoon has described to him. On his travels on the bus to Union Station, he meets an old man who shares his drawings with him.  

Random people always seem interested in him, and he doesn’t  know why. He is not that attractive, so he doesn’t understand the attention. He also really likes Hoon and thinks Hoon likes him.  But the bus ride is upsetting, at least until he finally meets Gadriel.  

Rob Costello creates an intriguing story about a seventeen year old with hopes and dreams of his own in “The Color of Sky on Earth.”  A unique written story where the narrator doesn’t have a name, a kid growing up and the feelings that come with love, jealousy and all the things that happen in life.

Costello has compiled an anthology of stories for the YA set with the genius of fifteen talented authors. It’s not about terrifying monsters, per se. These monsters range from angels to aliens, gargoyles and even legendary creatures, all of them LGBTQ. Each story has a special message of hope, with characters trying to figure out who they are, how they fit into the world.

I highly recommend this YA anthology.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California. Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018. My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen. New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012. She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series. Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book!

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing. I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews. One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group. Joining her site was such an eye opener. I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.