I decided to check out this book as I’m currently writing a story which features a minor, animal-like god. Perhaps I can gain a little nudge at some inspiration for it. I may review this anthology differently this time, however. This is the largest collection I’ve read so far (23 stories) and I’ve been itching to read this one for quite some time now.
With how large this is, I’ve decided to write short reviews of each of the stories as I read them. These won’t be posted in my review on Goodreads, but I feel like I wouldn’t do this anthology justice if I only did an overall review. Again, this is a decently-sized collection that features a lot of different furry authors and has an interesting theme (see title).
Read on for the review of the first story in this collection!
“400 Rabbits” by Alice “Huskyteer” Dryden
The first story in this anthology had me thinking it was about an alcoholic leaving the bottle for good (and by extension, addictions in general). However, she brought up an interesting lesson for this parable-like story: when it comes to mind-altering substances, such as alcohol and/or partying, take it in moderation; it’ll be more enjoyable in the long run.
It’s awesome that she chose to focus on minor Aztec gods, which culminate as one if you think about it. To my knowledge, Aztec culture isn’t explored much in entertainment media; if it is, they tend to only touch on the major, encompassing aspects, such as human sacrifice, the Aztec ballgame, gold, their unique pyramid designs, and the overall, visual aesthetic typically associated with this culture. I’ve never heard of the 400 rabbit gods of revelry before reading this story.
I mentioned this read like a parable. What I meant was that there seemed to be more focus on the lesson or moral rather than the characters, setting, or plot. Maybe I read too quickly or it’s simply the way it was written, but the overall story felt…simple. Familiar? Yes; it’s about a character’s quest to find something more to life and bring that back to his home. Quite frankly, I don’t mind this at all; it’s almost better to leave out the majority of the details as to not bog down the reader. So yes, I’d consider this a parable or passed-down tradition: simple, entertaining, relatable to the culture, and has a unique moral behind it.