Read Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters by Tim Marquitz Peter Clines Timothy W. Long Peter Stenson Kane Gilmour Erin Hoffman Paul Genesse Edward M. Erdelac Online


Giant monsters and tremendous havoc brought to you by master authors Larry Correia, James Lovegrove, Peter Clines, and many, many more!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 JEREMY ROBINSON, author of ProjectGiant monsters and tremendous havoc brought to you by master authors Larry Correia, James Lovegrove, Peter Clines, and many, many more!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 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 CONTENTSForeword – Jeremy RobinsonBig Ben and the End of the Pier Show – James LovegroveThe Conversion – David AnnandaleDay of the Demigods – Peter StensonThe Lighthouse Keeper of Kurohaka Island – Kane GilmourOccupied – Natania BarronOne Last Round – Nathan BlackThe Serpent’s Heart – Howard Andrew JonesMonstruo – Mike MacLeanThe Behemoth – Jonathan WoodThe Greatest Hunger – Jaym GatesHeartland – Shane BerryhillDevil’s Cap Brawl – Edward M. ErdelacShaktarra – Sean ShermanOf the Earth, of the Sky, of the Sea – Patrick M. Tracy and Paul GenesseThe Flight of the Red Monsters – Bonnie Jo StufflebeamOperation Starfish – Peter RawlikWith Bright Shining Faces – J.C. KochThe Banner of the Bent Cross – Peter ClinesFall of Babylon – James MaxeyDead Man’s Bones – Josh ReynoldsStormrise – Erin HoffmanBig Dog – Timothy W. LongThe Great Sea Beast – Larry CorreiaAnimikii vs. Mishipeshu – C.L. WernerThe Turn of the Card – James Swallow...

Title : Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters
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ISBN : 20508388
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 550 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters Reviews

  • Dan Schwent
    2019-05-29 10:10

    Kaiju Rising is an anthology of stories about giant monsters.Not only did the concept sound fun, it sounded so fun that I kicked in some money for the Kickstarter. Hopefully, along with Pacific Rim, Kaiju Rising will usher in a giant monster Renaissance.The stories in Kaiju Rising run the full spectrum of rampaging giant monster tales. Since I've calculated that I'll run out of room if I review all of them, here are some standouts.Big Ben and the End of the Pier Show – James Lovegrove: This story does a great job setting the tone for the rest of the collection and sucking the reader in. I love that it takes place in a world where Kaiju attacks are so common that giant robots are sold specifically to combat them. The story of the owner of a money-losing pier and the impending battle between a kaiju called Red Devil and a KRV called Big Ben is a delight to read. I also liked that the ending wasn't what I expected.The Lighthouse Keeper of Kurohaka Island – Kane Gilmour: A lighthouse keeper takes his son to an island not on any maps, an island where kaiju go to die, and tells him what really happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. I liked this one quite a bit, especially that not everyone can perceive kaiju as they are and instead see natural disasters. I also love the concept of a kaiju graveyard.One Last Round – Nathan Black: Loved this one. A giant undead crocodile ravages New Orleans and the only people who can stop it are the team that operate KRASURE, a giant kaiju-fighting robot.Monstruo – Mike MacLean: This one is another favorite. A kaiju is approaching a Mexican resort and a man is dispatched to put down the young boy a parasite is using as a host to fight the beast. There are a lot of interesting concepts and contributions to kaiju lore in this one.The Behemoth – Jonathan Wood: The Behemoth is the story of a mech pilot whose life is slowly disintegrating after his wife becomes a proxy. Wood introduces the concept that mech's need extra people inside to act as a buffer to all the sensory input the mech receives. Unfortunately, proxies have their memories erased. Great stuff!And that's just a sampling. There are 18 more tales inside chock full of giant monster goodness!Kaiju Rising was a nostalgia-fest of giant monsters, sometimes fighting equally-giant robots, and wanton destruction. While I didn't think they were all home runs, it was the best themed-anthology I've read in years. Four out of five stars.Wait! I forgot to mention how sweet the art is. Every story has a full page illustration of the monster within. How cool is that?Bonus Feature: Here's an interview I did with J.M. Martin, the editor.

  • Nickolas
    2019-06-09 12:12

    Yes, I am the project creator and co-editor of KAIJU RISING: Age of Monsters. Yes, that does make me super biased. Yes, KR:AoM is the greatest anthology ever assembled, bias or not. KAIJU RISING is the realization of a dream. It is the product of a lot of hard work from a lot of amazing people. I don't give KAIJU RISING 5-stars because it's my baby (and Joe's and Tim's -- strange parents I know). I give it 5-stars because our authors were able to make a pipe dream a reality. And then our artists were able to illustrate that reality. But honestly, it's the backers that have earned these 5-stars. KAIJU RISING is the best anthology we could make because it's exactly what you deserve. Within the pages of this book you'll find stories that will make you laugh and punch the air and maybe even cry. There's so much diversity in these stories, it was a blast to read and reread and edit them. It was an honor to work with all of these great minds. I hope you enjoy KAIJU RISING: Age of Monsters as much as I do. Cheers!

  • Ryan Lawler
    2019-05-31 08:56

    Okay so this will be a running log as I progress through Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters. Common themes so far are that all these Kaiju seem to have originated from the ocean or are ocean dwelling. Oh and the illustrations for each Kaiju so far have been awesome.Big Ben and the End of the Pier Show by James Lovegrove - Great start to the anthology, although very similar in tone and style to Pacific Rim. Probably not as short and succinct as it could have been. Great ending.The Conversion by David Annandale - This story hits up a religious angle, with the Kaiju named Eschaton doing its best to bring about the apocalypse. Very dark, very different.Day of the Demigods by Peter Stenson - Dude-bro Kaiju frequents the sewer beneath the gym so he can guzzle down some steroid laced urine and get huge for the ladies. But the lady he is after is not interested, so our dude-bro Kaiju goes on a bit of a rampage. Very funny story.The Lighthouse Keeper of Kurohaka Island by Kane Gilmour - very cool story about a father / son bonding trip off the coast of Japan. This short employs the story within a story. Not sure if I like alternate history parts, but at least it was done with gusto.Occupied by Natania Barron - this story had a very interesting style, going back and forth between maker and creation. There are some religious overtones, but its more reserved than The Conversion. Possibly my favourite Kaiju creation so far.One Last Round by Nathan Black - The first of the "Backer Stories", this one was very good. The story is about an old military robot that is leased out commercially so that its fights can be filmed, and deals with its final fight before being decommissioned. This story feels like its been written by a fan who says "Wouldn't it be cool if..." a whole bunch of times.The Serpent’s Heart by Howard Andrew Jones - I enjoyed this story, something a little different in terms of the timeline and cultures being explored. This wasn't the big explosive story, but rather a slow burning build-up towards a big climax. A good way to follow up the previous story.Monstruo by Mike MacLean - Snarky attitude and great voice in this story. In this story an alien Kaiju has fun stomping all over a Mexican beachside town. I'm not sure I liked how it ended, perhaps a little too open-ended for my taste, but I really enjoyed the story right up until that moment.The Behemoth by Jonathan Wood - This was a cool story that starts out almost as a direct riff on Pacific Rim (with the mechs and the neural load sharing), but quickly turns into a very dark character study. I didn't really get into it straight away, but by the end I was hooked. The Greatest Hunger by Jaym Gates - Yay, finally a story that doesn't involve ocean dwelling kaiju (although it is acknowledged that they exist). This is an odd but entertaining story about capturing kaiju and forcing them to battle to the death in an arena for entertainment purposes. It asks a great question: who are the monsters, really?Heartland by Shane Berryhill - Probably my favourite story so far. Towns are ruled by religious sects who appease their kaiju overlords by sacrificing maidens. Had a Cabin in the Woods feel to the story.Devil’s Cap Brawl by Edward M. Erdelac - This story is a tie-in with the Dead West series being published by Ragnarok and I loved it. When trying to blast a path through a mountain for the new railroad, the team of workers awaken something horrible. Be thankful for Shaolin monks.Shaktarra by Sean Sherman - This is the second of the backer stories. A very strong start with a real "War of the Worlds" feel to it. But as the story progresses things start to get a little silly and I kinda lost interest. That said, the main Kaiju Shaktarra was cool.Of the Earth, of the Sky, of the Sea by Patrick M. Tracy and Paul Genesse - this is a long, slow and deliberate story about the might of feudal Japan being crushed by Western war machines. It explores the lengths people will go to defend honor. I found this story to be engrossing despite the pace and length.The Flight of the Red Monsters by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam - This story felt rushed. It had a neat plot, and a nice mechanic where the POV would shift between heroine and Kaiju, but I found it hard to get invested in this story.Operation Starfish by Peter Rawlik - the memoirs of an old man who uses his stories to explain why you shouldn't pour water on anthills. I really enjoyed this story. With Bright Shining Faces by J.C. Koch - weird and creepy story about kids drawing kaiju, the having their drawing come to life. Well written story, but I thought the ending could have been much bigger.The Banner of the Bent Cross by Peter Clines - In this awesome story, Clines brings Greek mythology into a modern-ish war with devastating consequences. This story had me enthralled start to finish.Fall of Babylon by James Maxey - Another fantastic story, this time concerning the apocalypse and the fight for survival against angels and a giant seven eyed, seven horned, disembowled sheep! Dead Man’s Bones by Josh Reynolds - It's The Great War, and while militaries are busy fighting each other, the British Empire's royal occultist and his plucky team of ne'er-do-wells are investigating the latest mad experiments and abominations being cooked up by crazy German scientists / alchemists. This is one of my favourite stories, and the anthology at this point is building up a lot of steam.Stormrise by Erin Hoffman - An entertaining piece of high-concept sci-fi - Hoffman interprets her Kaiju as a self-replicating AI who continues to grow and grow. The piece reads like a collage of vignettes stitched together, but in the end this story felt a little short and a little rushed. It would probably work better as a novella.Big Dog by Timothy W. Long - Kaiju vs Mech. These are the types of stories I think that we all wanted to read when we backed the Kickstarter. Long delivers an explosive action driven story - I wanted to like it but I found it really hard to read. Clunky dialogue, cheesy one liners (not the good cheese), and an over-reliance on sensationalism. "You know what I mean. You're the reason my husband is dead!"The Great Sea Beast by Larry Correia - We're back in feudal Japan, following one mans quest to slay a great beast and restore his families honor. For me this is the most complete story in the anthology, right up there in my top five stories. A couple of other stories may have been more entertaining or outrageous, but Correia does everything right with story.Animikii vs. Mishipeshu by C.L. Werner - Well, crap. Time for humanity to check out. Two monstrous kaiju go mano-a-mano in this awesome tale that feels kinda Lovecraftian mixed with native American Indian mythology. It is a winner takes all contest, and the way Werner writes makes these beasts feel very menacing.The Turn of the Card by James Swallow - this is a tie-in story set in the Colossal Kaiju Combat universe. Kaiju are attacking all over the world. London is being evacuated, so our plucky heroes decide to take a helicopter ride right into the epicenter in order to save our main character's uncle. Chaos ensues. This story is a great way to sign off the anthology. Of all the stories, this one probably feels the closest to a Hollywood blockbuster, and I would definitely go see that movie.So, there we have it. 25 stories full of kaiju-driven mayhem with cities destroyed all over the world. Not every story worked for me, and the order of the stories was not always balanced, but the good and awesome stuff completely outshines anything bad I've said about this anthology. Sometimes humanity wins, sometimes humanity loses, but in the end this anthology, its cast of authors, and its editorial staff are the real winners. Highly recommended.

  • Bob Milne
    2019-06-25 12:26

    Clocking in at over 500 pages, with 25 stories, Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters is a somewhat daunting read. Assembling that many authors to write about giant monsters is an awesome feat all on its own, but to do it as a Kickstarter project is just mind-boggling. Tim Marquitz & Nickolas Sharps are absolutely to be commended on pulling off something I honestly wasn't sure would work.For me, some of the stories that worked the best were those that were already solid little tales on their own, and where the addition of giant monsters enhanced the story, rather than just being awkwardly shoehorned in - largely because of the contrast they created in themes and subjects. Big Ben and the End of the Pier Show by James Lovegrove was a perfect example, as was Monstruo by Mike MacLean, and Of the Earth, of the Sky, of the Sea by Patrick M. Tracy and Paul GenesseAnother batch of stories that really impressed me were the ones that managed to establish a complete mythology, to tell a multi-layered tale within the very narrow confines of a short story. That's hard enough for some authors to manage in a novel, much less a short story. The Lighthouse Keeper of Kurohaka Island by Kane Gilmour illustrates this beautifully, as do The Conversion by David Annandale, Heartland by Shane Berryhill, The Banner of the Bent Cross by Peter Clines, and The Great Sea Beast by Larry Correia, albeit all in very different ways.The final batch that I thoroughly enjoyed were the ones that embraced the concept, claimed it, owned it, blew it up, and then stomped around on its ashes. I'm talking about the over-the-top, let's just have fun with monster stories, the ones where you can feel the author's excitement. Devil’s Cap Brawl by Edward M. Erdelac was one of those, as was Dead Man’s Bones by Josh Reynolds, and the cheesy-but-awesome Big Dog by Timothy W. Long.There were a few stories that just tried too hard, and a few that may have been entertaining enough on their own, but which suffered from being packed in such a dense collection of similar stories. With that in mind, Kaiju Rising is definitely a collection best enjoyed in small doses, a few stories at a time, lest the repetition begin to dull the overall effect. That said, those small doses are great fun, with some genuine surprises for fans new and old.Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins

  • Abhinav
    2019-06-08 11:22

    The full review can be found on my blog: and artist team of Tim Marquitz and J. M. Martin got together last year to form their own publishing company, the small press known as Ragnarok Publications. As one of their first projects, they launched a kickstarter for an anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories with a very common theme: kaiju. The man with the idea here was Nickolas Sharps, a fellow blogger and writer who had recently seen the movie Pacific Rim and after enjoying the hell out of it, he got the idea to do an anthology about kaiju since it seemed as if the genre was rather sparse in terms of original fiction.Needless to say, the kickstarter was mightily successful and just yesterday I finished reading the anthology in its entirety. As someone who had a tiny hand in bringing the project together (I suggested some of the authors who were accepted for the anthology), I’m really pleased with the final product. The anthology has exceeded my expectations and I’m quite happy to say that it is one of my most fun readings of the year so far, and we are only like 36 days in! Tim and Nick assembled some great talent for this anthology and their hardwork and that of J. M. has definitely paid off I think.Starting with an excellent introduction by kaiju-writer Jeremy Robinson, the opening of the anthology is quite a smashing one. If you’ve seen Pacific Rim and enjoyed it, then James Lovegrove’s very British story about Big Ben vs Red Devil hashing it out at a pier in Southern England is right up your alley. Its a somewhat simple story, but don’t let that fool you because its simplicity is what makes its great. David Annandale (one of the aforementioned authors I suggested for the anthology) then carried on with the story of the beast known as Eschaton as it rips through the city of Manchester and this one is full on man vs beast in a rather heart-warming way. The third opener is Peter Stenson’s story about a sea-kaiju who wants to make it big in Hollywood and be the star of his own franchise of kaiju films. Its a very unorthodox story and I loved the humour throughout. If not for the other great contributions here, this one might as well have been the best story in the anthology!And so on and on it continues. The middle of the anthology, populated with other known authors of various SFF genres, is similarly good/great. Some of the stories, a very very small handful didn’t quite click with me, either because of the characters or the plot or sometimes both, but overall, I had fun reading every story. There was never a moment when I wanted to give up on a story altogether. Never that.And I think that speaks to the editing skills of Nick and Tim. Tim especially has edited several anthologies previously, and he brings a lot of that expertise to the fore for this anthology as he guides Nick with his first editorial credit. I have to say that assembling all this talent is quite a stroke of genius because each story had something different to offer. Even when they had the same basic plot, the authors always went in different directions and they kept things really interesting.Howard Andrew Jones, J. C. Koch, Mike MacLean, Jonathan Wood, Jaym Gates, Peter Rawlik, James Maxey, and Josh Reynolds (the latter another author I recommended), all have to be credited as writing some of the most entertaining stories in the anthology. Josh’s story actually ties in to his St. Cyprian stories which he has had published in other venues and is the first of his non-Black Library work that I’ve read, and which I loved as well. His story is one of the other non-orthodox ones, in that the kaiju presented is nothing like you can have imagined. And with the others, some of the defining elements were their characters, especially James Maxey. That was another absolutely hilarious story, and a really fast paced one. It tied together religion and urban history in a really interesting way.The close-outs of the anthology are the trio of Larry Correia, C. L. Werner and James Swallow. For readers of this blog, you will know that I’m a huge fan of Herr Werner, all through his work for Black Library for the Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 universes. And similarly for James. They are both authors I recommended for this, and I’m really stoked that their stories were in the closing and were so good to boot. In fact, James’ story is a tie-in to Colossal Kaiju Combat from Sunstone Games, an online game that is currently under development. SG were kind enough to lend some support and the results are fantastic I have to say. And of course, Herr Werner is a kaiju mega-fanatic and his story more than lived up to my expectations of it.All in all, everyone involved in the making of this anthology, the authors, the editors, the artists, everybody, they did a great job. Each story is bookended with a special illustration (done by either Robert Elrod, Chuck Lukacs, or Matt Frank) that shows off the the kaiju involved in the story. This was part of a special tier that was unlocked during the kickstarter and the artist certainly delivered on the promise. It was a great aid to see how the monsters were supposed to look after reading the corresponding story.This anthology has really made me want to read and watch more kaiju fiction. I really, really want to watch the original Japanese kaiju movies. Herr Werner has certainly recommended quite a few to me, and when I do end up starting on them, I’m afraid it will be a monster binge.To be perfectly honest, I really can’t wait for that. I’m a huge fan of Pacific Rim and I’m really excited that Guillermo del Toro has begun work on a sequel. Plus, in a few short months we will have the king of kaiju, Godzilla himself, return to the big screen in a new movie, and that I’m super excited about.For Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters itself, here’s my verdict -Rating: 9/10

  • Arun Divakar
    2019-06-20 09:09

    Monsters in film and literature, now there is an exciting plot device to look at ! No matter how ugly the movie is or poorly written the story, I do try to find a bit of excitement among them all. The concept of Kaiju as a monster threat was something I came to know only post Pacific Rim and the new Godzilla. So you can imagine my joy when coming across a 500 page book with short stories that only feature the giant monsters ! I wasn’t disappointed & this is one real badass collection of Kaiju stories.For the uninitiated, the word Kaiju is said to mean ‘Strange Creature’ in Japanese. There are monsters that rise from the sea and the ones that drop from the sky, there are the ones that are malevolent and some that are neutral but they are all on a scale of size which will make a full grown T-Rex run shrieking back home to his/her mommy. They run rampage through our cities, conventional weapons are useless against them and we only have two options : perish quietly or die trying. There are stories here that shadow Pacific Rim (a huge Robot battling the monster) and stories told from the monster’s POV but what stands out are the stories of inconsequential humans desperately trying to stay alive in their own homes. A detailed review of each of the stories in the book will make this an incredibly long review so here are some of my favorites : Big Ben & The End Of The Piershow by James Lovegrove : Borrows heavily from Pacific Rim but the story of a small town businessman and how he manages to make his little business thrive following a robot v/s Kaiju battle is oddly funny and had me shaking my head with a smile by the time I finished the tale.The Conversion by David Annandale : The last stages of the apocalypse are here. This is one of the grimmest tales in the whole collection. There is also a religious touch to the story but the climax is utterly despairing.The Lighthouse Keeper of Kurohaka Islandby Kane Gilmour : A father and a son who travel to a deserted island as keepers of a Kaiju sized secret. The best part of this tale is the backdrop and the ambience that it creates. It is eerie and rather effective.One Last Roundby Nathan Black : You all know this guy, the veteran of a hundred fights and skirmishes who lives somewhere in your neighborhood. An utter and absolute thug but still a lovable one, if someone does trouble him you elbow your way up front and say ’He might be a thug but he is ours, so get outta here !’ Reimagine the thug as a Kaiju-battling Robot and watch him go head on with a big, mean bugger on the streets. This story is like watching Rocky, you know he is gonna win but he is beat to pulp by the time he does win. The Behemoth by Jonathan Wood : What if the bigger monster was not the Kaiju but the men who drove the robots into battle ? In this story, the Kaiju takes a backseat and just appears as another character in the backdrop. It is the story of a robot pilot : ambitious, brash, arrogant and a substance abuser. A fine and dark character study. Four and half stars worth of material.Of the Earth, of the Sky, of the Sea by Patrick M. Tracy and Paul Genesse : This can be called a novella for the sheer length. The presence of Kaiju as spirits of nature in feudal Japan is a totally different shade of color. This story is written in a very impassioned way such that it is difficult to not feel for the land and the Kaiju.Big Dog by Timothy W. Long : Another fine story length robot v/s Kaiju battle. This is extremely visual storytelling. So much so that you can feel each punch landing and each gun getting fired. While the earlier stories were about watching the battle, this one is like taking part in one.Not all of the stories are good but all considered this is one kickass collection ! Recommended if you are a monster lover !

  • Scott
    2019-06-17 10:58

    If you ever grew up a fan of Saturday morning monster movies, if you ever played in the yard as a kid making like Godzilla tossing around your Hot Wheels, if you ever dreamed it would epic to pilot a giant robot into combat against giant dinosaur like creatures, if you ever wanted, as an adult, to reclaim some of your childhood...then the collection of short stories in Kaiju Rising is exactly what you are looking for. This collection runs the gamut of incredibly well crafted stories, from Alien invasion, to futuristic armagedeon scenarios to alternate histories set in WWI & an amazing story of how children's imaginations and those child's artworks become a bizzare and horrific, yet fun, reality. Kane Gilmour also gives us an an incredible alternate history of the atomic bombings in Japan combined with a tale of magic of childhood dreams and imagination. There is a stunning gothiclike tale of monsters in the sewers, a WWI trench drama with a horrifying zombie like twist. There are also a handful of stories that carry enviromental undertones...stories of how mankind's continued disregard for the Earth and the environment can have, literally, monstorous consequences. There are one or two stories that may have benefited from some better editing as they lack quality but overall, this collection is well worth the time, either reading it all from front to back or simply reading a story or two at a time in between other reading endeavors as I did. Also, do not overlook the fabulous artwork that accompanies each tale from some of the comic and sci-fi worlds premier artists.

  • Geoff
    2019-06-12 08:13

    Four stars for total quality, and an extra one for the brilliant theme.Nearly every story is a winner. There were a few that didn't quite hit the right spot for me, but they were all well-written, and we all have different tastes, so I am sure others will have different views.I'd even throw an extra star in there for the amazing artwork supplied with each story.Read it. You won't regret it

  • Fil Garrison
    2019-05-27 11:25

    Individual reviews below:Big Ben and the End of the Pier Show:The first story in this collection, and it's great introduction so far. Focusing on a small pier owner in England and the effect of a Kaiju attack on his failing business, I get the feel that focusing on human element of the kaiju situation is the right way to tell these kinds of stories in fiction, and it's something I hope to see more of in the future stories. The monster fight between Red Devil and Big Ben (awesome awesome awesome to see a giant robot this early) was well described and interesting, and a giant robot BONUS! I'd rate this story as 3 stars, since it doesn't do anything particularly new, but is well written nonetheless, and enjoyable.The Conversion:The second story in this collection, and we move into the idea of a Great Beast as a kaiju and sign of the end times. I saw this in the previous kaiju book I read, and honestly, the religious connotation bored me a little bit. It seems like an easy out. That said, again we hit the human element in this story, a crisis of faith of sorts. It's well-written, and a fun addition. I'd go 3 stars on this. The introduction to the story is fun, with two characters arguing, but I felt like it took away from the rest of the story and the focus on the sister and brother with their differing views on religion. The heart of the story is the most interesting part, as is the description of the kaiju, actually, which excites the imagination. So, a little bit of wasted space and the inclusion of the religious element make it not quite a fantastic story, but still well-told and fun.The Day of the Demigods:The third story. Thoroughly not my cup of tea. Kaiju stories lend themselves to a humorous overtone, because they are pretty inherently silly, ridiculous even. This story takes it further than that, and tells what is barely a kaiju story, it seems to be more of a parody of Hollywood and the kaiju story at the same time. With me looking for more serious stories, this one doesn't do it for me. The satire on Hollywood seems obvious, and the voice is too easy for me, it undermines any real conflict in the story - which is a problem with a lot of comedy, if you don't have a real story under the hood to connect to, then your writing had better be damn good or stylistic enough to forget that. This story has neither, and so leaves you with the feeling that it could have used another round or so of solid rewriting. In keeping with the star reviews, I'd give this a one.The Lighthouse Keeper of Kurohaka Island:The fourth story. This one took me by surprise. The first few pages of this one are the best in the book so far it deals with a father/son team of a lighthouse repair crew going to a kaiju graveyard island. The atmosphere here is amazing, and the lack of kaiju is actually what sells this story for me. The beginning focuses more on the ramifications of the father/son relationship and their reactions to the kaiju than the kaiju themselves. Then halfway through, we switch to a WWII narrative of the boy's grandfather to follow a kaiju fight in Hiroshima, as it seems that both Nagasaki and Hiroshima were the result of some giant kaiju fights. The Kaiju themselves are interesting and fun, and the author's language in this was amazing, the descriptions of the kaiju fight and the destruction are compelling, but ultimately it takes a great father/son story and slides into mediocrity when the author realizes that he needs to include a kaiju battle in the story. Because of the writing and the amazing bookends between the actual kaiju fight, this one garners 4 stars, it's well written, interesting, and has pretty great characters.Occupied:Fifth story. Probably a better writer than the others with regards to mood and tone and feeling, this story was hard to read because of its obtuse approach and refusal to baby the reader into the story. This initially put me off it, but gradually the mystery and superb writing drew me in. It's another religion tie-in, this time dealing with fallen angels and the non-canon "Watchers." from the apocryphal Book of Enoch. Four stars. It's interesting that so far, 2/5 stories have had to do with Biblical content, as Kaiju are something I would normally reserve for kind of silly or less serious storytelling. I'm not sure the connection works a hundred percent, and a lot of the time it seems like the Biblical connection is really only there to lend weight to the story, like a "see? The Bible has kaiju in it! This is serious storytelling!" kind of thing. It's not a bad connection to make, but so far, it seems tenuous rather than story-necessary. This one had an interesting take on the POV, bouncing back and forth between a possessed character and a fallen angel, less of a giant kaiju attack and more focus on the ramifications of the Fall and an angel's actions. I think the biblical doomsday kinds of stories just don't grab me for that reason alone, they tend to take themselves much too seriously, and I like the idea of Kaiju as a natural impossibility rather than a divinely inspired monster.One Last Round:Sixth story. The first thought that went through my head reading this was - "This is fanfic." At the beginning, listed under author, this has a "Kaiju Rising backer" disclaimer on it, so I'll be taking that into account with the review. For a novice, a decently told story, badly in need of proofreading. The characters, plot, kaiju, and setting are all initial sketches, not finished. One star. As a first attempt, or perhaps a first published attempt, I applaud the author for boldly submitting something like this, it feels proud and it feels unashamed of what it is. There's merit in that, a story that draws upon the rich history of kaiju, mecha, and superheroes all in the same wacky world. In a way, this is the most pure expression of the Kaiju story I've seen so far - a fully id-driven love for the genre expression. With some work, the three main characters could be fascinating, the world could be fleshed out (I'm sure the author has more in his head, but for the limitation of time and space) and the reasoning behind the kaiju and superheroes could be explained. It's a good effort, but not in keeping with the quality of the rest of this collection so far.The Serpent's HeartSeventh story. I've found my favorite story in this collection so far. A great tale with a sea serpent and a wildly imaginative setting, great characters, and a fantastic, self-contained plot, this story has the makings of a series. We follow a mysterious crew after being shipwrecked and their encounter with a Chinese sorceress with a terrible secret hunting the serpent. This will garner 4 stars! After I finished the story, I went ahead and looked up the author, and there is indeed a series of stories featuring these same characters. I'll definitely be checking those out soon, as this tale was well put together, focused on the human drama in a way that other stories seem to forget, and propels the narrative in an imaginative and interesting way. Although, on a technicality, I don't know if the sea serpent counts as a kaiju, so I'll cite this as my favorite story so far, not my favorite kaiju story. Excellent read, and I look forward to more from this author.MonstruoEighth story. This one had the potential to be a great story, we have an interesting perspective, from the story of a kid and an agent, a simple delivery system for the kaiju. But ultimately, the story is written like it's a hard-boiled detective, something that doesn't fit with the somber tone of the subject matter - possibly killing a kid. There's a flippancy that doesn't quite work. Three stars here. The problem is the subject matter doesn't quite gel with the voice, so any weight the story has naturally is dissipated because the narration and voice is so casual. Other than these issues, it's an interesting story, well-told, and at least semi-focused on the characters rather than the monster. The end is rushed a bit, but the implications are interesting. As far as the kaiju goes, it's fairly standard, but fun.The BehemothNinth story. I think this is my favorite in the collection so far. We have an excellent focus on the characters, a unique world where fighting against kaiju has a desperate human cost to it, a great structure, and ultimately, was incredibly well-written. This story is what I would want the base-line of a kaiju story to feel like, it delivers perfectly. Jonathan Wood delivers. Four star story. This one gave me a lot of the same feelings that The Serpent's Heart did - it's a piece of a larger story, with well-fleshed characters and a well-put together world, with the setting only being kaiju-related. It's incidental, but key to the world and the conflict. The human cost of the fighting is an interesting angle as well - something to hope for. And the most surprising aspect of the story - a main character who just loves his goddamn fighting. It's refreshing to see a flawed protagonist in a kaiju story here. Usually these stories have humanity rising above itself, but this one really deals with the inner turmoils of a flawed addict and fighting junkie. I'll be looking into Woods' stories due to this one as well.The Greatest HungerTenth story. I liked the idea behind this story, a monster being utilized in psychically controlling kaiju to fight each other, and the monster woman's (witch's?) eventual rebellion against her captors, but ultimately, the writing, while solid, was a little ambiguous for me, leaving a lot of questions and confusion when the story was finished. Enjoyable but murky. Two and half stars rounded down to two. The weird thing is, there were a lot of GREAT descriptions in this one, like highlight-able poetic stuff, but the rest of the story was opaque when it would have benefited from some simple description. The POV character's nature and life is obscured for what seems like no good reason, the world is described, the rules aren't, and the infrastructure of this post-apocalyptic world is glossed over in such a way that stakes are hard to divine. It's weird that it's right on the line, but I liked it well enough, it just needed an editor, perhaps?HeartlandEleventh Story. One of the best stories in the collection so far. It focuses on a woman trying to escape from her hometown and her cheating wife with her children, one of whom has been chosen to be sacrificed to the kaiju god who lives in the town. This is an example of a kaiju story that focuses on the characters, has a good style, and narrow focus that creates drama and tension. Four stars for this one. There's not much more to say about this fantastic story - it just reaffirms pretty much everything I assume works about a great kaiju novel/story - being a visual medium, kaiju prose has to REALLY focus on the characters and the repercussions in their lives of these monstrous demigods - describing them on terms we can understand is almost impossible, so we have to keep the focus tight.Devil's Cap BrawlTwelfth Story. Like the Serpent's Heart story earlier, it was great to see a kaiju story that doesn't take place in modern times or in Japan. The addition of a Western setting and a whole new world built around a weird west theme really interested me. The story itself was decent, not amazing, with stock characters, kind of pulpy and fun - but the world-building on display is awesome. I'd give 4 stars here. Reading up on it a little bit tells me that this is actually meant to tie in to another weird-west themed universe, and so I find another kaiju story leads me to another series of books to put on my plate. This one teaches me that the setting is important in any kaiju story, immersive storytelling is essential, because once you get to the brawl, all you have is your world and your characters - no visuals for the fight, only an idea or the stakes. I think this is key to telling a great kaiju story - character stakes and build up.ShaktarraThirteenth Story. A fun premise that never really delivers, this is the second of the backer stories, and it shows. It's an admirable attempt at world building, and the plot is intriguing, but the writing just isn't quite there yet, along with key things like character development and emotion. As a pulpy fun story, it works, but ultimately falls down when compared to the rest of the collection. 2 stars. It's strange, but I come at these pulpy two-fisted tales with Indiana Jones always in mind. There's a way to do pulpy silly tales and still have it mean something to the characters and the reader, there's a way to engage and have great action while still being motivated. A lot of new writers seem to forget that everything is rooted in character. EVERYTHING. This one has a cool premise, but nothing more, and it always shows in the execution of a story. A kaiju story that has 2 pages of kaiju and 15 of character will be more engaging than one that has helicopters and robots and tanks and shotguns and blood and battles constantly. It's fanservice. But again, as a beginner, it's tough to see that. It takes years of practice. And this one has the potential, for sure.Of the Earth, of the Sky, of the SeaFourteenth Story. One of the best short stories in the collection so far. It examines kaiju in a metaphorical way, as the clashing might between feudal Japan and the invasion of the Western people at the height of the Edo period. Tied together with dueling cross sections of naturalism and industry, mysticism and rationality, this makes for a satisfying, if long, read. 4 stars."The Flight of the Red MonstersFifteenth Story. A well written entry, with good prose and an interesting point of view. The style seems to place more emphasis on the feelings of the characters than the actual giant monsters, wanting to say something about environmentalism, again, a great aim which the story never wholly grasps. I appreciate aiming high and falling short more than aiming low and achievement. 3 stars.Operation StarfishSixteenth Story. An aspiring Lovecraft tale, the previously respected narrator, now dismissed as mad due to his ramblings, and cosmic unexplained incident. It mostly succeeds, this still feels like an imitation, however. There isn't as much mystery or wonder. The descriptions use the same tired tropes and buzzwords. The structure doesn't lend to something new or fresh. Fun but unoriginal. 3 stars.With Bright Shining FacesSeventeenth Story. Very interesting twist on the kaiju story, this one involving ancient spirits and magic, channeled through a child's drawings. Puts in mind a Warren Ellis story I read some years ago, the idea that kaiju spring from children's unfiltered ID is an interesting idea, explored here with decent writing and a fun premise. This could have been longer, perhaps a novel. 3 stars.The Banner of the Bent CrossEighteenth Story. An Indiana Jones story set in an archaeological kaiju universe. The beginning is great fun, watching a very familiar "in the know" type situation with archaeologists and historians working together against Nazis, along with a Jones analogue to free the mythical Scylla and Charybdis. The final bit peters out, but overall a fine entry in the collection. 4 stars.Fall of BabylonNineteenth Story. Another religion-inspired kaiju story, one that starts with promise of something different, dealing with character over plot, following a brother and a sister. However, it eventually degenerates into a story where we're being told about a clever idea - the author is interested in creating a mythos around Revelation, not in telling a story. It stumbles soon after with focus. 2 stars.Dead Man's BonesTwentieth Story. Like the Dead Western type story, this one has a LOT going for it. World War I, likable and fun characters, a great mythic base - along with a plausible and slightly sad plot about a German scientist creating a flesh golem for use in war, spreading mustard gas. I'll seek out more; it's another example of the kaiju genre done right, with a focus on character over spectacle. 4 stars.StormriseTwenty-First Story. A complete break from what's come before, a kaiju interpreted as a cloud artificial intelligence. The story follows two women, the designer, and a prisoner, and their interactions with the newly formed beast, Keto. It's something that feels like it belongs in a science fiction anthology rather than a kaiju anthology, but I'm glad it was. Classic science fiction, well told. 4 Stars.Big DogTwenty-Second Story. A great WWII kaiju story, complete with an alternate universe feel in a pulpy universe. The Japanese are in control of alien kaiju, and this is the first test of a giant mech to combat them. The focus on the characters is key here, and it works beautifully, a Nazi tank commander working with an American engineer. 4 stars.The Great Sea BeastTwenty-Third Story. A Japanese-inspired tale, with an interesting anchor: we follow a man who is destined to become a kaiju hunter after his life is ruined and he becomes ronin. This is one of the more solid stories, focus on the character is paramount and it proves it works here. The Beast isn't as interesting as the man, and serves as a focus into a decent but not amazing tale. 4 stars.Animikii vs. MishipephuTwenty-Fourth Story. Very well-written, as expected from C.L. Werner, but the story ultimately falls flat. The beginning works, setting the story as an allegory against strip mining, environmentalism, then devolving into a simple smash-em-up between two kaiju. Although this is what's sold in the collection, there's not enough depth in a simple fight between two behemoths to satisfy. 3 stars.The Turn of the CardTwenty-Fifth Story. James Swallow delivers an excellent, character focused, but epic in scope story about multiple kaiju attacking all over the world at once. The stakes are clear, the focus is small, a woman goes into a combat zone to save her uncle. The kaiju are imaginative and insane And the writing is clear and concise. This is the kind of story I expected from the collection. 4 Stars.

  • Timothy Ward
    2019-06-18 09:56

    I'll do a rundown of each story as I read:"Big Ben and the End of the Pier Show" - James LovegroveSadly, I did not like this story. It read like the intro and finale of Pacific Rim, with the summary of events of the world and a single kaiju vs robot battle, but without enough of a main character to hook me into caring. 2 Stars"The Conversion" - David AnnandaleMuch, much better. The monster terrified in more than just its description as tall and powerful. "It makes no evolutionary sense... It comes from the sea, and yet breathes--" Annandale tells a story about characters at battle not only with an indestructable monster, but with the idea of God and eternity.I loved this description, which is an example of how well he evokes feeling and empathy through his characters:"'Our deliverance is at hand!'" he shouted, and the cheer washed over Caldwell like a tidal wave.It chilled her. The cold came not because of the belief of others, but because of her own. Denial became slippery. Faith was contagious, and it terrified her as the battlefield never had.Annandale captured my interest in the characters and climax, as well as scared me through their fear.And then the roar. That roar. The roar of the end of all hope.Masterful prose that affects long after it's been read. 5 Stars."Day of the Demigods" by Peter StensonFunny and with a nice touch of heart to a story about a kaiju mut who just wants to show the girl he wants that he is someone to be respected. Peter blends three things very well in this story: a unique voice that easily adds humor to scenes of horror while also making this a firm character piece (no pun intended). Stenson is not ashamed to cuss it up, so if that's not your thing, you might not like this story. I did though, even if I found it a bit much at times, or unbelievable (I still can't imagine someone jerking off to their own reflection... even if the intent is sarcasm, that line separated me from being in the character's head to being in Stenson's, as he no doubt laughed at the words he wrote).One of my favorite parts, where Stenson does a great job of making the crowd's pain empathetic, as well as the monster's:I'm sorrying-ing and I didn't mean to-ing with increasing volume. But these people evidently don't want to hear it, because they're covering their ears, many of them leaking blood.4.5 Stars"The Lighthouse Keeper of Kurohaka Island" by Kane GilmourWhile the description in this story was well-written, and overall the writing appeared professional, I didn't care about the characters. The idea was cool, imagining a family line that watches over the remains of kaiju, and who alone can see them, as well as how that could have explained Hiroshima, but I never cared about the people involved. I didn't like how it cut to a backstory of Hiroshima. I skimmed after a few pages of that pov and wasn't interested with anything else about it. 2 Stars"Occupied" by Natania BarronThis story picked my interest back up with a very cool idea of people charged with keeping the pieces of a very dangerous monster in jars deep underground. I cared about the characters, and the mental piece of one part of the monster, as well as about that eye's struggle not to become part of the monster again as it grew and went on a rampage. The ending lacked punch, unfortunately. 3 Stars"One Last Round" by Nathan BlackI'm sorry, but I didn't care about this one either. The writing was amature in places. 1 Star(At this point, please understand I'm not trying to hurt anyone's feelings. This is simply my experience reading. I thought about putting the book down and not reviewing--I'm an aspiring writer, too, and don't want to come off like an arrogant prick--but I have hope that there will be more good and great stories in this book, so I'm sticking to it.)"The Serpent's Heart" by Howard Andrew JonesDifferent kind of kaiju battle than I expected (house of horrors part), which was cool until I realized it was over, and then I was disappointed that the most action I got was some man-on-man sword play, though well done, and a bunch of idiots/peons outmatched by the angry kaiju. Not much character in this one either. 3 Stars(I've heard great things about Mr. Jones, and it could be that I'm missing the style of this anthology, but I want to care about characters. I'm not really interested in action plus cool world-building if the characters are shallow, and unfortunately that seems to summarize the book so far.)"Monstruo" by Mike MacLeanI liked the writing in this one--all but the Black story have been well written--but, again, not a whole ton of character. This story is split between a disgruntled kaiju fighter and the innocent boy who becomes his target. Our main character has inner conflict about killing a kid, and the author does a good job of creating an impossible situation as well as sympathy for the kid, but nothing really noteworthy about the finale (view spoiler)[unless you count the feeling of oh no we lost and everyone dies as something you enjoy reading. I don't need a happy ending, but maybe I just didn't care enough to really be moved by this gloomy conclusion. (hide spoiler)]. 3 Stars

  • Dustin
    2019-06-13 06:06

    Monsters monsters monsters! Kaiju Rising is an awesome anthology, the kind of anthology the giant monster/kaiju genre needed. Godzilla, Gamera, King Kong, Pacific Rim, Jeremy Robinson's awesome Nemesis books(Project Nemesis and Project Maigo). If you like anything I've listed above, you'll probably like or love this book (like I do)! If you're still debating, stop and do yourself a favor and just buy it already!

  • Dustin
    2019-06-13 09:19

    Monsters monsters monsters! Kaiju Rising is an awesome anthology, with talented authors, the kind of anthology the giant monster/kaiju genre needed. Godzilla, Gamera, King Kong, Pacific Rim, Jeremy Robinson's awesome Nemesis books(Project Nemesis and Project Maigo). If you like anything I've listed above, you'll probably like or love this book (like I do)! If you're still debating, stop and do yourself a favor and just buy it already!

  • Dee Haddrill
    2019-06-07 08:58

    What a great book of escapism!!! Lots of very talented authors combine to bring us a vast array of Kaiju stories. Standouts are Kane Gilmour, Larry Correia and JC Koch, but I enjoyed almost all of them!!!! A great anthology

  • Chris Bauer
    2019-06-11 10:10

    To be blunt, I have not read an anthology with such diverse stories in long time. Most were between "Good" and "Really Good" but there were a few (2 or 3) which frankly befuddled me as to why they would be included in the first place; simply not satisfying stories at all. Fortunately, the "Top 5" stories in the book were excellent and as a kaiju fan I really enjoyed the entire work.TOP 5 (IMHO)- Peter Cline- Larry Correia- James Lovegrove- Kane Gilmour- James Swallow

  • Sharon
    2019-06-12 12:22

    If you like monster stories (Godzilla types) you will love this book of short stories. Some of my favorite authors got together and wrote about things that rise out of the ocean to destroy us.I really enjoyed the imagination of these authors. Some of these stories are downright scary - Some are told from the monsters point of view. Very intriguing.

  • Travis sivarT
    2019-06-15 12:15

    Enjoyed the bulk of the stories. It was interesting to see so many different views of Kaiju. Nice bunch of short stories.

  • Keith
    2019-06-07 14:22

    Review coming soon

  • Matt
    2019-06-08 06:02

    Lots of great stories. My favorite was The Behemoth.

  • C.T. Phipps
    2019-05-31 10:00

    Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters is an anthology by Ragnarok Publications created via Kickstarter. A wildly successful Kickstarter, it attempted to rectify the appalling lack of original Kaiju fiction in the West. As the introduction for the book says, do you know how many books NOT about Godzilla were published in America before this book? Two. Kaiju Rising provides us twenty-three short stories about a variety of Kaiju ranging from Pacific Rim types to Godzilla to folklore monsters. So, how are the stories themselves? Eh, they're hit and miss. Some of the stories are quite good, managing to encapsulate the fear and power of a giant monster as well as their relationship to man. Basically, the idea humanity is not the most powerful thing on Earth and what it's like to be subject to forces beyond your control. Other stories are incredibly fun and humorous, showing humanity is not helpless against Kaiju as long as they have both courage and a giant robot. Other stories really made me wish I hadn't read them. These stories tended to either have a curious anti-religious bent which placed humanity directly against God or insulted the belief in him in a world with monsters. Only two of these stories had these as direct themes but they made it feel like the book was taking shots at me. Which is a shame because one of them was really funny. I just wish it hadn't felt like it was laughing at me rather than with me. The darker stories in the book weren't necessarily bad, though, even if I didn't enjoy them as much as the lighthearted ones. This book makes use of war and the environment as themes, often bringing up human beings having brought down the wrath of the monsters by either misusing the world's resources or attempting to wield them as weapons. We also get themes of morality as individuals struggle with what they're willing to sacrifice in order to prevent the majority from suffering. The book has no consistent position with the sacrifice of the few often viewed with scorn and derision while, at other times, the only sensible choice. The fact this book was written by a variety of authors with varying opinions on what Kaiju mean, represent, and embody is obvious by the time you finish the book. I think this variation is the biggest issue and strength with the book simultaneously. This is a book with horror, comedy, depressing tales of tragedy, melodrama, regular drama, and action. Those individuals looking for more upbeat stories of Kaiju punching action will be disappointed while those seeking darker stories will often find their desires interrupted with bold humor. The fact you never know what you're getting in this book adds a certain element of surprise, though. Whether the protagonists will live, die, or be crippled is very much in the air in this book. I also applaud the author for including illustrations of every Kaiju from the stories at the end of chapters. I wish they'd been at the start of them but, otherwise, I think this is an awesome inclusion for Kaiju fans. So, should you buy this book? I think if you like Kaiju and horror, this is a good book for you. It's primarily a horror novel rather than a "fun" Kaiju novel and the cover is a bit misleading. Something which showed the Kaiju in its terrible destructive fury would have probably been better. The tone of the book is very dark, on average, and the Kaiju threatening rather than reassuring. Less Power Rangers and more Cloverfield. As for my individual story, thoughts? Big Ben and the End of Pier Shore by James Lovegrove: A story about a boardwalk fairgrounds owner who tries to figure out how to profit from the Kaiju vs. Robot fight going on outside of his door. Not a bad story at all but perhaps not best introductory story to the world. I did develop a swift fondness for the titular robot, though. The Conversion by David Annadale: This is the only story which made me actually angry, a feeling I haven't received from a piece of media since Bioshock's Burial at Sea and before that Brian Herbert's Dune prequels. As a religious person, the story offended me and made me upset I'd read it. Non-religious readers may feel differently about the story but I strongly disliked it. Day of the Demigods by Peter Stenson: I absolutely loved this story, however. A young Kaiju male wants to impress his girlfriend so he decides to attack the place which will make him the most famous monster of all-time: Hollywood! This short-story is hilarious and fun! It's in contention for the best story of the anthology. The Lighthouse Keeper of Kurohaka Island by Kane Gilmour: A serious take on a Kaiju attack and, surprisingly, the idea of Godzilla as a protector of humans. The use of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was probably in poor taste but it's still one of the best Kaiju stories I've ever read. Occupied by Natania Baron: A surreal story which ties the Kaiju to the ancient Nephilim. I found it rather hard to follow in places but the world-building was excellent. It's nice to see someone go somewhere different with the setting. One Last Round by Nathan Black: A Pacific Rim-esque team of has-been monster fighters lose their chance to be robot pilots. When the mother-of-all Kaiju comes to attack New Orleans, they do their best to go out in style. The ending is a bit of an ass-pull but I think fits tonally with the rest of the story. The Serpent's Heart by Howard Andrew Jones: An interesting story following a Chinese dragon which has been wrecking ships, a Muslim crew which finds itself shipwrecked by it, and the Pirate Queen which picks them up. It's a much more high-fantasy sort of story than the rest and gets kudos for using non-white non-European protagonists. The ending is an excellent twist too, with a few surprises I didn't see coming. Monstruo by Mike Maclean: A horrifying tale about the greater good versus the life of a little boy. This is very similar to a classic science fiction dilemma where a child's life is weighed against a cargo ship full of supplies going to a colony world. The ending of this one is depressing but fits with the story's themes. The Behemoth by Jonathan Wood: A story of a world which requires human sacrifice to get the various terrifying machines which fight against the monsters invading the planet going. The protagonist is distinctly unlikable but that's the point. What does one do to survive? What is one willing to do to sleep well at night? The Greatest Hunger by Jaym Gates: A story of lust, greed, and wealth which says, as always, humans are the real monsters. I have mixed feelings about this work but it does have some evocative ideas. Heartland by Shane Berryhill: A story about human sacrifce in the Modern World and how humanity copes with having to deal with monsters which cannot be defeated, but only appeased. I like how people react to this with more hatred and anger than resignation. Devil's Cap Brawl by Edward M. Erdelac: A combination Western gold rush story and a Kaiju story. Yet another innovative use of the monsters in a non-traditional environment. Shaktarra by Sean Sherman: A story of an alien world, psychic powers, and science-fiction weirdness in Las Vegas. I was rather fond of this one. The fact our heroes try to be reasonable in an unreasonable situation make them quite likable. Of Earth, Of the Sky, Of the Sea by Patrick M. Tracy and Paul Genesse: The Imperial Japanese attempt to make use of the Kami in order to fight against the encroaching foreign influence. An environmental parable which isn't preachy but beautiful, a bit like Princess Mononoke. The Flight of the Red Monsters by Bonnie Jo Shufflebeam: A story of a man, a monster, and how both of them face their peculiar doom in a world which doesn't care. Operation Starfish by Peter Rawlik: A woman drowning an anthill in her backyard triggers a veterans memory of a terrible Cold War mission. This is, in my opinion, one of the best "Kaiju" stories in the book. With Bright Shining Faces by J.C. Koch: A short story about the relationship between young children, giant monsters, and their fantasies of smashing everything. It's a little surreal but very enjoyable. The Banner of the Bent Cross by Peter Clines: The Nazis have gotten themselves the Argo of Greek Myth and are using it to eradicate the Allied fleet. The Allies thus must recruit sea monsters of myth to smash it. Awesome premise, awesome story. Fall of Babylon by James Maxey: The Lamb of God fights the Statue of Liberty and somehow it's offensive and boring rather than awesome. That takes skill. I think it has to do with the fact I'm religious, much like how much I disliked the Conversion. It's at least KINDA funny but funny in a tasteless, crass, and mean-spirited sort of way. Dead Man's Bones by Josh Reynolds: A fairly straight-forward story of a massive undead monster being created by World War I mad scientist in order to win the war. I liked this story a great deal and rooted for the English the whole way. Stormrise by Eric Hoffman: A very strange environmental story which only introduces its particular Kaiju at the very end. Still, I enjoyed it for one of the best put-downs of the human race I've read in a very long time. Big Dog by Timothy W. Long: An alternate history story of a world where World War 2 was interrupted by the arrival of Kaiju. A Nazi, a woman who hates him, and a gigantic tank struggle to deal with one of them. Not bad at all. The Great Sea Beast by Larry Correia: A version of Captain Ahab's journey with a samurai warrior and a kaiju. The ending was a surprising twist and I'm glad it ended the way it did. I liked the main characters and, again, another non-white non-European or American protagonist. Animikii vs. Mishipeshu by C.L. Werner: Another environmental parable which doesn't end well for humanity. Very well written destruction. The Turn of the Card by James Swallow: Kaiju attack London and humans try to understand them. Another twist ending which I really liked.7.5/10

  • BJ Haun
    2019-06-08 12:15

    As happens with pretty much all short story collections, this one has it ups and downs. There were a couple of stories a loved, a couple of stories I straight up hated, and a bunch that I was okay with. As such, I'm going to give this one a 3/5. Note that this my feeling on the anthology, rather than an average of the score I gave each story.The rest of the review is a summary and score for each story individually. If you want to go into the book fresh, you might want to skip the rest of the review.Big Ben and the End of the Pier Show by James Lovegrove: A man trying to decide the fate of a failing amusement park that has been in his family for generations suddenly has other things to worry about when a kaiju comes to town, and England’s aging anti-monster robot comes in to fight it. A pretty good romp. 4/5The Conversion: by David Annandale: When the kaiju that destroying mankind’s cities one by one attacks Manchester, the general in charge of defending the city faces a crisis of faith when her preacher brother claims he has a way to bring the monster down once and for all. A story with a serious tone, it does have religion as one of the central themes and is set-up in such a way that the ending was going to give a portion of the audience a bad taste in their mouth one way or the other, so just keep that in mind. 3/5Day of the Demigods by Peter Stenson: Ugh. You wouldn’t think a story told from the point of view of a kaiju could be sleazy, but this pulls it off. Call me a prude, but I don’t mean that as a compliment. I made it a few pages in before I decided this one was not for me. 1/5The Lighthouse Keeper of Kurohaka Island by Kane Gilmour: A young man is told of his family destiny, and that the things he sees are real. An interesting story, much of which is a fictional take of the bombing of Nagasaki. 4/5Occupied by Natania Barron: A legion (see what I did there?) of insane demons possess a mass of cadavers, and it’s up to a fallen angel to stop them. That’s a bit of a reduction, but it’s the best synopsis I can give without spoilers. This one is alright. 3/5One Last Round by Nathan Black: After being decommissioned by the government, a down on their luck crew steals their giant robot to do battle with a mammoth undead alligator that attacks New Orleans. This is a fun story that has a ‘super sentai’ feel to the battle. I quite enjoyed this one. 4/5The Serpent’s Heart: by Howard Andrew Jones: When a Persian ship is wrecked by a massive sea serpent, the survivors are picked up by a strange vessel. They soon discover who the true monster is. I really liked this one. 5/5Monstruo by Mike MacLean: An AWOL Marine is called upon to save the millions living in Mexico City from a giant monster. However, the way to stop the beast might be a darker road than he can bear to go down. Liked and dis-liked parts of this one. Call it a 3/5.The Behemoth by Jonathan Wood: Kaiju are fought with giant robots crewed by people called “proxies”, who have their memories wiped and serve as buffers to protect the pilot from the mental feedback of being plugged into the massive machine. One such pilots faces the choice between saving the city he protects and the woman he loves when she is randomly selected to be “proxy”. I didn’t really feel this one, mostly because I didn’t find the main character to be very sympathetic. 2/5The Greatest Hunger by Jaym Gates: Psychics are used to control kaiju that take part in gladiator-style blood sports. An interesting premise that kind of went off the rails for me at the end. Could have been much better. 2/5Heartland by Shane Berryhill: A mother risks everything to save her daughter, whom is chosen as a sacrifice to appease the monster that terrorizes the town of Heartland. From that description alone, you probably know how this story will end if you are genre-savvy at all. Still alright despite the predictability. 3/5Devil’s Cap Brawl by Edward M. Erdelac: A 1800s rail crew blasts through a mountain said to be the prison of an ancient evil with predictable results. Another alright story where I just couldn’t care less about the main character. 2/5Shaktarra: by Sean Sherman: When a flash a of green light shuts down lost Vegas, a camerawoman and a ex-solider head out into the desert to investigate. This one is a bit middle-of-the-road, but I more or less enjoyed it. 3/5Of the Earth, of the Sky, of the Sea: by Patrick M. Tracy and Paul Genesse: A steam-punkish alternate history. When technologically advanced invaders attack Japan, the only way to save their land is to risk it all by awakening ancient monsters. This one was pretty good, but just didn’t grab me. 3/5The Flight of the Red Monsters by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam: Giant-lobster like creatures attack mankind to take revenge for the destruction on their homeland, which leads to a band of humans waging their own war for vengeance. Didn’t really like this one. 2/5Operation Starfish: In the Cold War, world powers join forces to lure and attack extra-dimension monsters. Another one that just didn’t click for me. 2/5With Bright Shining Faces by J.C. Koch: When a student hands out drawings of monsters to her classmates, her teacher beings notice unsettling changes in her students. Wasn’t a fan of this one, either. 2/5The Banner of the Bent Cross by Peter Clines: When the Nazi’s get a hold of the legendary Argo and start to use it as a weapon of war, the Allies must make a deal with horrors from ancient Greek mythology to bring it down. A good premise, but fell flat the end for me. 3/5.The Fall of Babylon by James Maxey: The Book of Revelations, giant monster style. I would say more…but I’ll just go with staying that this one wasn’t up my alley at all. Yeesh. 1/5Dead Men’s Bones by Josh Reynolds: 3 Allied occultists join forces to find out why the dead of WWI are rising from their graves and walking away. A fun, pulpy little jaunt that was breath of fresh air after the batch of serious stories. 5/5Stormrise by Erin Hoffman: An nanotech-AI goes rogue, and takes a young woman hostage to act as her voice. An alright story…though if I am honest it pretty much lacks an ending and you have to stretch pretty hard to call it a kaiju story. 2/5Big Dog by Timothy W. Long: In alternate history of World War II, the Allies and defeated Germany join forces to combat Japan’s newest weapon: kaiju pulled from a crashed alien spacecraft. The commander of the Allies prototype anti-kaiju machine battles both monsters and herself as she is unable to bring herself to trust her second in command, a German panzer commander. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. 4/5The Great Sea Beast by Larry Correia: A young samurai tracks a monster for over ten years to avenge his father and restore his family’s honor. Really liked this one. 5/5Animikii vs. Mishipeshu by C.L. Werner: A greedy mining executive unwittingly unleashes a monster from Native American folklore, and another monster appears to challenge it. This one a bit of a letdown for me. 2/5The Turn of the Card by James Swallow: A police helicopter crew enters London, now a battle ground between kaiju, to rescue their pilot’s uncle. An alright one to finish off the anthology with. 3/5

  • Casey Hampton
    2019-06-21 07:03

    Most might read the title and glance at the cover, and dismiss it as schlock genre fiction, just more monster stories. But I know you aren't one of these quick-to-judge readers, that's why you're reading this review. You want to know more. You're a responsible reader. "Good on you," I say.The first ¾ of this anthology is well-written monster stories that deliver fresh and new takes on an old idea. And really, there's something here for everyone. Whether you like huge robots, or want to be inside the head of a Kaiju, you're going to be happy with what this collection delivers. There are stories set in the past, the future, and the present-day. There are even Nazis, and dirigibles.The diversity surprises the reader. I mean how many different ways can we explore giant monsters? More than I might have first imagined, and it's exciting to find fresh angles on old tales. As stated above, there is some terrific writing on display, and while I personally feel the last handful of stories lacked in writerly craft, the overall experience of this anthology is a resounding thumbs-up! Audiobook:This was an enjoyable audiobook experience. There's a large cast of readers, most do a fantastic job, and the less polished narrators are quickly forgotten in the mix of solid reading performances. I understand that the print version is illustrated, but this is in itself an outstanding audio production.Lastly, understand that you don't need to be a Kaiju enthusiast to appreciate this work. Unless you just absolutely hate hate hate giant monsters, I'd encourage you to give this a try. You don't have to read it from beginning to end, most all of the stories are self-contained and few, if any, take themselves too serious. This is what I'd call a fun nightstand book. It's something to pick up and peruse when the mood strikes.Actual rating = 3.5

  • Tarl
    2019-06-08 06:17

    Interested in Kaiju fiction?This is the anthology for you!I admit, I picked this up in a flurry of purchases involving Kaiju fiction, and I have to admit, it was pretty good. A huge anthology, the amount of differing types of kaiju presented will leave any fan of the giant monsters feeling satisfied. Couple this with the illustrations at the end of every story makes this anthology a unique beast and one I quite enjoyed.That said, the reason I didn't give this anthology a 5 star rating is that there were a couple stories in this anthology that soured the entire collection. One of them (the name escapes me) was written by one of the donators and contained dimensional aliens. Unfortunately the story felt childish and far weaker than the other stories. The second, involving the end of the world, angels and a rock star, felt like a mash up with no real point to the story.However, the other stories in this collection are all strong stories and interesting. There are many interesting monster battles, as well as stories about people during kaiju events which keeps the reader engaged and moving from one story to another. This is one reason I recommend this anthology, is that the writers know their material and show just how unique and varied the kaiju genre of writing can be.All in all, this is an interesting anthology full of good stories. Well worth picking up if you are interested in kaiju of any kind.

  • J.
    2019-06-12 11:11

    Overall this anthology was very entertaining. I saw the names Larry Corriea and Peter Clines and was sold. Though now, I can't recall which stories these authors wrote.The memory loss story was beautiful.The book's only real blemishes were that the environazi and anti-religious crowd get their shout-outs. And, as with many compilations, there are stories that I feel don't tell enough of a story. They're more of a glimpse than a short story, which I find irritating.All said, I would recommend this book to friends.

  • Andrew Rose
    2019-06-03 10:22

    Strange Monsters AboundThis is a wonderful collection of short kaiju stories written by some of science fiction's best new writers. Every age and setting is explored to great advantage and the collection is nothing less than incredible. If you like Pacific Rim or Godzilla then this is your next read.

  • Matt
    2019-06-10 10:14

    For the most part this collection had some really good giant monster stories. There were a couple that I wasn't too thriller with (just not my kind of story), but most were well done. I enjoyed the read and am glad I took part in the Kickstarter that helped publish this collection.

  • Sabrina
    2019-06-22 14:13

    Sometimes with a collection you win some and lose some. In this collection there was more, what no that can't be how it's ending, no don't leave me hanging. Would I read this again, why yes I would. Would I like the stories develop more, yes I would. I enjoyed listening to these stories.

  • Staticblaq
    2019-06-08 10:59

    Fans of the genre will probably love the different perspectives on the Kaiju mythos. It's a well put together collection, with some truly interesting takes. It does get a bit much to digest it all in one big bite..boom tish.

  • Brian Penick
    2019-06-03 14:16

    Like any collection of short stories there were some weak ones. However, the artwork more than makes up for those shortcomings. Besides, it's a book about big freakin monsters! Wish this book was in my school library when I was a kid. A definite read for any monster geek.

  • Nathan Johnson
    2019-06-04 10:19

    I figured this book would be a silly little book to read. Big monster fanfic. And to an extent, it really is just that.However, I found myself enjoying the book more and more. Each author has their own interesting take on the Kaiju story.

  • Donald
    2019-06-17 09:12

    More good stories than bad and the illustrations really add to the enjoyment. It's giants frigging monsters, what more do you need?