Saturday, January 23, 2016

Hunting Monsters by S.L Huang

“Happy birthday, child. Careful not to shoot any grundwirgen.”

Ever since she was a small girl, she has learned to be careful on the hunt, to recognize the signs that separate regular animals from human-cursed grundwirgen. To harm a grundwirgen is a crime punishable by death by the King's decree - a fatal mistake that her Auntie Rosa and mother have carefully prepared her to avoid.

On her fifteenth birthday, when her mother is arrested and made to stand trial for grundwirgen murder, everything she thought she knew about her family and her past comes crashing down.

Auntie Rosa has always warned her about monsters. Now, she must find and confront them to save her mother, no matter the cost.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

I loved this short story by S. L. Huang!

Xiao Hong has known how to hunt since she was a little girl, but she has always been thought the same thing: never shoot a grundwirgen.

Grundwirgen are all thinking animals whether they are cursed, able to shift between human and beast form at will or animals born with the ability to think like humans. Killing them is punishable by death for it is equal than killing a human, so every hunter has to know exactly how to spot them and differentiate them from regular animals, if they are killed by accident it doesn’t matter, the crime and punishment is the same. When Xiao’s mother is taken away from her home and accused of killing a Grundwirgen knowingly, she’ll uncover her mother’s and aunt’s secret past.

I loved the diverse cast, and the focus it had on abusive relationships:

“He knew what to do. How to control. He played with your mother’s emotions with kindnesses, was a perfect gentleman between bouts of temper—and even then he never physically touched her. He convinced her that he cared for her, that she should care for him. Guilted and shamed her. He told her if she left him, he’d die.”

Lately I’ve started reading more and more short stories, all of them wonderful. Hunting Monsters was no exception!
This story was published by The Book Smugglers and you can read for free here or you can buy the ebook!

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