Read The House of Aunts by Zen Cho Online


Undeath had not lent Ah Lee any mystical glamour. It had not imbued her with magical powers, gained her exotic new friends, or even done anything for her acne.Free epub download....

Title : The House of Aunts
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 13431257
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 66 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The House of Aunts Reviews

  • Punk
    2019-01-28 03:52

    Short Story. Ah Lee lives on an abandoned rubber tree plantation in a house full of aunties, and even though she's dead, one day she falls in love.A lot of the finer details went over my head because of language and cultural differences, but it never got in the way of the story, and in most cases unfamiliar words could easily be understood by context. Cho writes with a light hand and a playful sense of humor, and there's lots to love in Ah Lee, and her relationship with her aunts. The dialogue in particular has a wonderful rhythm to it.The story doesn't shy away from the gruesome nature of the pontianak—vampires that lure their human prey in with soft cries before using sharp fingernails to dig out and eat their victim's entrails—and it's a credit to Cho's style that her main character eats human nuggets for lunch and you still like her, even as she makes no excuses for what she is.Three stars. A charming—and sometimes uncomfortable—story about love and monsters. Read it online at GigaNotoSaurus.

  • Shruthi
    2019-01-30 08:03

    This was such a cute story!!!! Ah Lee, a young teenage vampire in a house full of vampire grandmas and aunts, navigates the trials and tribulations of eternal teenagerhood, including a chance at young love. Her aunts, more than a little overbearing at times, want her to forget men (regaling her with stories of horrible men in their lives) and concentrate on her studies so she can achieve an almost normal life. But the charm of the story is certainly vampire girl protag dealing with the mundane things like homework, disguising entrails as chicken nuggets in the school cafeteria, and following in love with the new boy in school. SUPER CUTE!

  • Shira Glassman
    2019-02-08 07:54

    Copied and pasted from my review for Spirits Abroad: a sweet YA paranormal romance starring a teenage vampire who lives with all the protective, overbearing yet nurturing female relatives of her family who share her condition while posing as a living student at school. At one point in the story she won't let the Muslim boy she has a crush on share her lunch, telling him that it's pork. (Readers: it's not pork.) This is just so goddamn cute and grisly at the same time that it made me smile, and also is a model way to recognize ethnoreligious diversity in a spec fic setting.Added note that wasn't in the other review: I liked the directions the story took. Both kids made mistakes because they were kids, and the aunties were just being protective. I'm glad it all went the way it did.

  • Ярослава
    2019-01-23 03:45

    High-school vampire romance, the somewhat mellower version of Let the Right One In - only set in Malaysia! with lots of local things! and a charming all-female vampire family ("vampires doing affirmative action" indeed :) )! Awesome!

  • Madeline
    2019-01-23 01:46

    This is a cool novella (or w/e), more thought-provoking than satisfying, I guess. But it's the sort of story that makes you interested to see more from a writer.I do think I missed out on some of the experience because I'm used to reading "standard" "American" English sentences, and so I sort of re-represented Cho's use of "non-standard" or Hokkien-ized English into the kind of English I'm used to read. But that's actually an important part of the story, I think, and so I lost a bit of the rhythm. If I hadn't been reading on my phone, maybe this wouldn't have been much of an issue.I'm also not sure the "reveal" at the end was totally warranted. I know the mythology requires it, but I would have liked more foreshadowing on this issue. It seemed to be handled a bit suddenly. But maybe I wouldn't think that if I hadn't thought that her main squeeze was gay? I dunno.Anyway, don't read this on your phone, I guess. It's good, but you might not recognize that if you read it on your phone. Lesson learned!

  • Livia
    2019-02-18 00:49

    Due motivi (ma non i soli) per leggere questa novelette:a. Il piacere di leggere di vampiri non generici, strettamente legati al folklore dell'ambientazione, dei quali si viene ad apprendere il giusto necessario man mano che la storia si evolve. (E per una volta viene voglia di approfondire.) b. La rivisitazione dei trope dello YA paranormal romance con personaggi con cui ci si può effettivamente relazionare perché inseriti in un contesto reale e complesso. Il contrasto tra la protagonista e le zie funziona perché la ragione non sta da una sola parte: l'adolescente non è stupida perché decide di ribellarsi, e le donne anziane non sono stupide perché hanno una mentalità d'altri tempi e si oppongono ai desideri della nipote.Ancora più che una semplice risposta al genere questa è la storia di una famiglia (d'altronde lo dice anche il titolo). L'ho trovata molto bella e la consiglio vivamente.

  • Frogqueen
    2019-02-02 23:36

    Rather sweet (with a big dollop of sour) story about family, people and entrails all over the landscape. Maybe I love it so much because I'm partial to aunties, but I think I love it also because it's good, packing a lot of complicated love into a very small space.The structure is a little odd at first, but the more I think about it, the more I come to think it was the right choice. The other interesting thing is that it's free from the "really a screenplay" problem some stories have but is still peculiarly cinematic. It would be very easy for me to believe that I had watched this book, not read it.

  • Wealhtheow
    2019-02-15 02:44

    Ah Lee is supposed to go to school and be a good girl, but then she falls in love with a classmate. How can she date with a grandmother and a great-grandmother and innumerable aunts keeping watch over her? And how can she have a relationship without revealing that she died at 16 and has been killing and eating humans ever since?Hilarious and touching and lovely. Each of the characters has so much personality, and I love the way Ah Lee's family works.

  • Shannon
    2019-01-23 02:59

    This short story is *fantastic*. To my mind it establishes the relatively "unknown" author Zen Cho as being a major new talent on the level of Neil Gaiman or Ursula K. Le Guin. As soon as I'd finished it I went out and bought everything else by Zen Cho that I could get my hands on. It's absolutely thrilling to discover a new writer of this caliber, at the beginning of her career.

  • Tsana Dolichva
    2019-02-16 01:40

    A longer story (novelette) about a teenage girl with a surfeit of aunts, all of them undead. Being sixteen and undead is not so bad when you have so many aunts looking after you, but not being allowed to have friends at your new school is a bit harder. An excellent story on the longer side (novelette range by Hugo definitions) that’s slightly gory (people are eaten) but otherwise a fun read.

  • Veronica
    2019-02-09 05:44

    This is a really incredible short story that I recommend to anyone who likes speculative fiction! I read it on a whim after a friend mentioned it as a good example of bilingual fiction and I loved it to pieces.

  • Val
    2019-01-21 03:50

    There are already so many vampire teen romance stories in the world that is difficult to imagine that there would be room for another. This one is different however, because it is Malaysian and incorporates cultural references and folk traditions from Malay and Malaysian-Chinese culture. (There is a local equivalent to a vampire, which must not be mentioned.)The relationships between the teenage female vampire and the human boy is nicely written and believable, as is that between the girl and her aunts who look after her. The aunts are also vampires and they do kill and eat people, but only men and only ones they don't know, and they always cook them first, which is somehow endearing.I enjoyed this story, which is available as a free download, and will be reading more by the author.

  • Ian Miller
    2019-02-14 04:52

    Morally horrifying. I do appreciate the well-drawn look at other cultures and a supportive but not syrupy family, but the embracing and downplaying of murder pervades the narrative like blood ruining the pages of a book, starting out red and startling and then drying to an ugly, boring brown. Add to that an indifference to worldbuilding - can these vampires age? What is the mechanism of transformation? What is the point of a relationship with a mortal, other than selfish gratification (though, to be fair, this last is kind of like arson, murder, and jaywalking, after the complaint about the casual murder and eating of men)? I'm fairly certain that asking these questions "misses the point" of the story, which I believe is probably female relatives are super awesome with a side order of men suck. However, I came to the narrative hoping that the morality of the situation would at least be addressed. Instead, it was dismissed in possibly the most annoying way possible.

  • Dione Basseri
    2019-02-02 03:44

    I was reminded so strongly of "Wolf Children: Ame and Yuki" that I had to double-check the publication dates of these two stories. Luckily, "House of Aunts" came first, so no marks against it there.Ah Lee is a particular kind of Chinese zombie, but she's also a teenage girl. She lives with her aunties--also man-eaters--and is constantly subject to their advice as she navigates the world of "normal" people, and ESPECIALLY when she begins steering towards a romance with a Malaysian boy. Ah Lee must be careful to protect her secret, but it's a bit hard to hide that the only thing you can eat are the entrails of men even if your guy is hopelessly in love.Not my favorite short story of the day, but pretty good. I think there's a good chance this story would be better loved by first-generation children of immigrants, and, of course, Chinese children especially. There's a lot of cultural context that went right over my head.Available as a free audio production from Podcastle.

  • Sarah
    2019-01-31 01:39

    I really, really enjoyed this. It tells us a young girl's story about her school crush but also about her family's secret. I won't spoil anything for it - I think it's worth going into blind. I also think it's worth taking the time to read as it's very short.Possibly my favorite part of this was the way it was written. I'm not sure if it was translated or written to seem translated, but it added something very rich to the story for me. It was done just enough that I could follow perfectly but the added language that I'm not familiar with and learned along the way enhanced it.I was also totally unfamiliar with the... kind of person we encounter (no spoilers remember?). The reveal and story at the end was made that much stronger upon learning. This is going up there with some of my favorite short fiction. Try this out.

  • Princessjay
    2019-02-09 05:00

    A story of vampires, Malaysian-style, with aunts galore to critique over a young girl's every thought and action, with much close attention & stern love. Aside from the eating of entrails, life after death is not so different from life before death, after all.

  • Anaura Chen
    2019-01-26 07:33

    The House of Aunts was charming, tender coming of age / love story with a strong sense of place and myth, staring a 16-year-old female Chinese-Malay vampire/zombie, but thankfully low on the angst and goo-goo eyes that tends to surround such protagonists.

  • Kirsten
    2019-01-22 00:51

    Malaysian vampires! One of the better short stories I've read.

  • Gaby
    2019-02-05 23:50

    Found this freebie thanks to Ann Leckie. It was so great but it's a short story not a book really. I loved it's simplicity and sparse writing that conveyed a lot. Worth a look.

  • Julie
    2019-02-11 05:43

    Heard about this on the SF Squeecast. I hadn't heard of this folklore before. The humor and the pain were both lovely and in good balance.

  • Izilen
    2019-02-12 04:41

    I have been coming to the realisation that probably I will love anything that Zen Cho writes. What an excellent story!

  • Cat (WLWFiction)
    2019-01-25 23:47

    Adorable story about a vampire girl who lives with her many aunts and has a crush on the new boy at school.

  • Tammy
    2019-01-28 04:41

    Awesome and creepy. Family ties, burdens, and boundaries, when you're dead.

  • Bogi Takács
    2019-02-17 23:33

    I reviewed it on my site.