REVIEW by EN Blake: Shades Within Us Anthology Edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K Law

Recommended by Library Journal, School Library Journal, Booklist (American Library Association), and Foreword Reviews 

Journey with twenty-one speculative fiction authors through the fractured borders of human migration to examine the dreams, struggles, and triumphs of those who choose–or are forced–to leave home and familiar places.

An American father shields his son from Irish discrimination. A Chinese foreign student wrestles to safeguard her family at the expense of her soul. A college graduate is displaced by technology. A Nigerian high school student chooses between revenge and redemption. A bureaucrat parses the mystery of Taiwanese time travellers. A defeated alien struggles to assimilate into human culture. A Czechoslovakian actress confronts the German WWII invasion. A child crosses an invisible border wall. And many more.

Stories that transcend borders, generations, and cultures. Each is a glimpse into our human need in face of change: to hold fast to home, to tradition, to family; and yet to reach out, to strive for a better life.

Featuring Original Stories by Vanessa Cardui, Elsie Chapman, Kate Heartfield, S.L. Huang, Tyler Keevil, Matthew Kressel, Rich Larson, Tonya Liburd, Karin Lowachee, Seanan McGuire, Brent Nichols, Julie NovÁkovÁ, Heather Osborne, Sarah Raughley, Alex Shvartsman, Amanda Sun, Jeremy Szal, Hayden Trenholm, Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, Christie Yant & Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

With An Introduction by Eric Choi & Gillian Clinton

Edited by Susan Forest & Lucas K. Law


Purchase Your Copy Today!




About the Book

Shades Within Us Anthology
Edited by Susan Forest & Lucas K. Law


Young Adult
Dystopian Fantasy

Laksa Media Groups Inc

Publication Date
September 8, 2018

Purchase Your Copy Today!



EN’s Review

The theme of this book was amazing, and I think it succeeded in encouraging diverse voices and creative world building, while also providing timely and relevant commentary on social issues (xenophobia, racism and environmental concerns being common recurring themes).

By far my standout favourites were SL Huang’s story Devouring Tongues, From the Shoals of Broken Cities by Heather Osborne (I’d never read anything by her, but now I really want to) and Remember the Green by Seanan McGuire (she’s one of my favourite authors, so no surprise there). All three of these stories had a clear message, while still telling an engrossing and believable story.

I also very much enjoyed Imago, Porque el Girasol se llama el Girasol and In a bar by the ocean, the world waits; the world building in the first two in particular being fascinating to me. I want to read a novel length work by the authors right now!

My only complaint about the anthology is that not all of the short stories ended as strongly as they began, though I did enjoy reading every story included in the book. There are definitely some confronting stories included in this anthology, but I think the messages conveyed by Shades Within Us is an important one. If you enjoy challenging fiction with incredible world building that doesn’t skimp on social commentary, this book is for you.

See All Reviews by EN Blake


The review copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All titles reviewed on this blog are a fair and honest assessment of the book. No monetary compensation was received in exchange for this review. For more information regarding our review process, please visit our Review Policy & Review Request Submission page.



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