Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters

Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters Book Cover Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters
Various (see Description)
Short Story
Ragnarok Publications
January 1, 2014
Paperback
550

Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters is a collection of 23 stories focused around the theme of strange creatures in the vein of Pacific Rim, Godzilla, Cloverfield, and more.

The anthology opens with a foreword by New York Times bestselling author JONATHAN MABERRY, and closes with an afterword by JEREMY ROBINSON, author of Project Nemesis, the highest selling Kaiju novel in the United States since the old Godzilla books—and perhaps even more than those.

From New York Times bestsellers to indie darlings Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters features authors that are perfectly suited for writing larger than life stories.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword – Jonathan Maberry
Big Ben and the End of the Pier Show – James Lovegrove
The Conversion – David Annandale
Day of the Demigods – Peter Stenson
The Lighthouse Keeper of Kurohaka Island – Kane Gilmour
Occupied – Natania Barron
One Last Round – Nathan Black
The Serpent’s Heart – Howard Andrew Jones
Monstruo – Mike MacLean
The Behemoth – Jonathan Wood
The Greatest Hunger – Jaym Gates
Heartland – Shane Berryhill
Devil’s Cap Brawl – Edward M. Erdelac
Shaktarra – Sean Sherman
Of the Earth, of the Sky, of the Sea – Patrick M. Tracy and Paul Genesse
The Flight of the Red Monsters – Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
Operation Starfish – Peter Rawlik
With Bright Shining Faces – J.C. Koch
The Banner of the Bent Cross – Peter Clines
Fall of Babylon – James Maxey
Dead Man’s Bones – Josh Reynolds
Stormrise – Erin Hoffman
Big Dog – Timothy W. Long
The Great Sea Beast – Larry Correia
Animikii vs. Mishipeshu – C.L. Werner
The Turn of the Card – James Swallow
Afterword – Jeremy Robinson

 

Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters is a short story collection and that makes it a bit difficult to review as a whole. Each story will receive its own little blurb below since the content and quality of the stories change quite a bit from one tale to the next. Given that there are 25 stories (the offical synopsis incorrectly lists it as 23 stories), these will be very miniature reviews. While not every story in this book will appeal to all kaiju fans, the book does have something for everyone who is interested in kaiju as a topic. The overall rating for the book is the average of the stories (slightly rounded down).

Big Ben and the End of the Pier Show was unique, showing how civilians are affected in a world of kaiju battles. 4/5

The Conversion shows how people cope during an apocalyptic scenario, demonstrating the effects of monstrous events on the human mind. 3/5

Day of the Demigods was a pretty oddball story, taking place from a kaiju point-of-view that sounds like a weird teenager. 1/5

The Lighthouse Keeper of Kurohaka Island takes on a spin on the classic idea of “there is magic in the world that only children (and a few select others) can see”. 3/5

Occupied swings back and forth between the perspectives of a human and the monster, getting a little biblical in the process. 2/5

One Last Round is based on the Colossal Kaiju Combat series and makes much more sense if you read the backgrounds for the monsters involved on their website. 3/5

The Serpent’s Heart is a classic tale of a sea monster in a time where merchants and pirates took wooden ships across the seven seas. 4/5

Monstruo deals with a kaiju that can be killed rather swiftly, but only at the cost of an innocent life as it follows the man charged with pulling the trigger. 3/5

The Behemoth also involves killing kaiju at the cost of innocent lives and how the human race stays alive at the cost of their own humanity. 3/5

The Greatest Hunger puts mankind on top in a world where kaiju are captured and pitted against each other in arenas for public entertainment. 4/5

Heartland is a classic virgin-sacrifice type of story, following what happens when one man finally decides to say “no”. 3/5

Devil’s Cap Brawl is based on the Dead West series and depicts what happens when a stupid white guy ignores warnings from the locals about unleashing a terrible monster upon the Earth. 4/5

Shaktarra features a monster of the same name that comes from another world once a dimensional portal is opened (probably the military’s fault, they are usually the ones to mess that stuff in these stories). 3/5

Of the Earth, of the Sky, of the Sea features Japan invaded by other nations with vastly superior technology and weapons, forcing them to unleash near-uncontrollable weapons: kaiju. 5/5

The Flight of the Red Monsters puts kaiju in the role of the victim, merely trying to survive in a world slowly being ruined for other species by mankind. 4/5

Operation Starfish takes place during the Cold War and shows the US and Soviet Union uniting in the face of a common kaiju threat. 2/5

With Bright Shining Faces begins with a classroom of children acting odder and the story itself growing odder as the kaiju element slowly appears. 2/5

The Banner of the Bent Cross will make more sense to readers familiar with Jason and the Argonauts, but enough gets explained within the story for readers to still understand and enjoy this tale. 3/5

Fall of Babylon is another story with biblical elements, featuring the end times and humanity’s attempt to put a stop to them. 2/5

Dead Men’s Bones is a WWII story related to Germany’s experiments with the occult in that time, resulting in an experiment of truly monstrous proportions. 2/5

Stormrise features the slow and steady evolution of a mechanical monster, demonstrating the potential dangers AI could pose to humanity. 3/5

Big Dog is another WWII story where Japan allies itself with alien kaiju to hold off Western forces shortly after the defeat of the other Axis powers. 2/5

The Great Sea Beast is Kaiju Rising’s obligatory shout-out to Cthulhu as it tells a tale of honor and revenge as one man pits himself against a monster. 4/5

Animikii vs. Mishipeshu is another story where stupid white people ignore the warnings of Native Americans and big, bad things happen as a result. 3/5

The Turn of the Card is a second story based on Colossal Kaiju Combat, which once again will make much more sense if you are familiar with the profiles of the monsters involved in the story. 4/5

October 9, 2016

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