YOU WILL GROW INTO THEM

PrintE-mail Written by Ian White

A young girl helps the police retrace the last steps of her missing classmate, all the while knowing that a sinister entity called the cross-hatch man is responsible… when a young boy’s brother returns home from boarding school, he is suddenly changed – could this be the reason why his feral doppelgänger is hiding in the woods?... a young girl’s fevered imagination turns the city into a fairytale landscape of vicious thorns and brambles, transforms her neighbours into woodland creatures, and turns herself into something terrifying… on a remote planet where nothing grows, a young woman with spores on her back attends the harvest ball, where the Cultivators are waiting… a year ago, Gil – and many of the world’s population - briefly turned into werewolves. Now, the world is waiting for the transformation to happen again, and a knife-wielding thug has Gil’s pelt in his sights… a demon-hunter returns home, only to discover that her boyfriend is not quite what he seems beneath his skin…

 

Those are only a handful of the short stories in Malcolm Devlin’s excellent debut collection, an anthology wherein the only constant is the inevitability of transformation. His range of storytelling is quite superb – from childhood horror to gruesome coming-of-age fairytale to the first bloom of adulthood as science-fiction metaphor to our very grown-up fears of isolation and alienation told as gothic chillers in a modern world. Devlin’s characters are believable and sympathetic, his prose walks that genius knife-edge of being sparse and scalpel-sharp while also having depth, texture and lyricism, and the structure and balance of each of his stories – all of which conceal an intriguing sting-in-the-tail – are reminiscent of the best of Angela Carter or Roald Dahl in their ability to build entirely believable universes but skewer everything down into small, intimate human moments. There isn’t one bad apple in this nightmarish crop, and if You Will Grow into Them doesn’t grow on you from the very first page we will be extremely surprised.

 

YOU WILL GROW INTO THEM / AUTHOR: MALCOLM DEVLIN / PUBLISHER: UNSUNG STORIES / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW



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