by Gerrie McCall, Chris McNab
This is a beautiful book! Full of amazing full colour illustrations of various kinds of dragons and related creatures and other mythical beasties. Most I had heard of but there were some new to me too!
Snippets of information and 'Did you know' sections inform the reader of accepted legend or any actual creatures that might have inspired the myths. A hard copy of this would make a great coffee table book.
edited by Neil Gaiman
This is a collection of mostly excellent stories edited by Neil Gaiman. Naturally the quality of writing is set to a high bar and I enjoyed most of them very much. Except for Gaimans own contribution, they are all previously published somewhere, one as far back as 1909! Many are by known authors, though I'm not familiar with a lot of them.
Ironically, the first one I thought was a little slow was Gaiman's own story, which was number 12 and followed by a werewolf story that was a favorite of his, but I couldn't get into it. The theme of the anthology is strange and mythological creatures. Each story has at least one of these unnatural beasties. Or something close to it. The second to last one was a stand-out for an original approach to this theme and very well written.
As anthologies go, this was very high quality, but what else could you expect from Neil Gaiman?
by Tim Curran
I've been hearing Tim Curran is good for some time and have had this one and Dead Sea on my Kindle for a while, so I finally decided it's about time I read one of his books! This one called me first.
I could see right away that the writing was good. The cover was enough to tell me to expect a good monster story and that's what I got. The beginning set up a situation that might be called predictable, but the execution is what carries it. A deserted beach with police warnings on a coast that is otherwise full of tourists and a monster on the cover... let's see... what might happen? As the protagonist is a photographer, it's guaranteed to happen up close.
Though I felt the character development could have been sustained longer, the story moved fast and was full of imagery and excitement. I read most of the last three quarters in one sitting which is a sign of a gripping story! I did feel that a few loose ends weren't adequately followed up at the end, but by then I was too out of breath to worry about it. I'll definitely be reading my other book by this author soon and probably more besides.