[Read] ➬ Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters By Tim Marquitz – Vivefutbol.co

Giant Monsters And Tremendous Havoc Brought To You By Master Authors Larry Correia, James Lovegrove, Peter Clines, And Many, Many Kaiju Rising Age Of Monsters Is A Collection Of Stories Focused Around The Theme Of Strange Creatures In The Vein Of Pacific Rim, Godzilla, Cloverfield, And 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 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 StoriesTABLE 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 JC 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 CL WernerThe Turn Of The Card James Swallow


10 thoughts on “Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters

  1. says:

    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 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.http www.shelfinflicted.com 2014 02


  2. says:

    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


  3. says:

    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 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 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.


  4. says:

    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


  5. says:

    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 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 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


  6. says:

    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 Island by 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 Round by 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


  7. says:

    Really fantastic anthology about big monsters Everything is covered from POV s, different time periods, small, large and epic scale battles It s no surprise that the stories with a bit of Asian flavour come off as authentic and cultured, I think giant robots fighting monsters was probably their first concept and it has been refined and re explored since then.


  8. says:

    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 childhoodthen 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 WWIIto 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 undertonesstories 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.


  9. says:

    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


  10. says:

    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 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 of a parody of Hollywood and the kaiju story at the same time With me looking for 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 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 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 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 Heart Seventh 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 from this author Monstruo Eighth 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 Behemoth Ninth 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 Hunger Tenth 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 Heartland Eleventh 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 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 Brawl Twelfth 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 Shaktarra Thirteenth 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 , 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 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 Sea Fourteenth 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 Monsters Fifteenth Story A well written entry, with good prose and an interesting point of view The style seems to place 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 than aiming low and achievement 3 stars Operation Starfish Sixteenth 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 Faces Seventeenth 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 Cross Eighteenth 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 Babylon Nineteenth 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 Bones Twentieth 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 it s another example of the kaiju genre done right, with a focus on character over spectacle 4 stars Stormrise Twenty 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 Dog Twenty 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 Beast Twenty 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 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 Mishipephu Twenty 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 Card Twenty 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.