REVIEW: “Cuddles” by Ariel Ptak

Review of Ariel Ptak, “Cuddles”, in Myths, Monsters, and Mutations, edited by Jessica Augustsson (JayHenge Publications, 2017): 224-226. — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)

Who knows what lies in the depths of the deep dark sea? Well, deep sea survey crews, for one, after all, it’s part of their job to know these things. Most of the time they stick to surveying and studying, but sometimes things go wrong and an animal is injured. That’s how Cuddles, “some sort of cross between squid and octopus, with hallmarks of both but belonging to neither” (224) comes to live at the Seaside Aquarium and Rescue Center, and when his life intersects with Sarita, the narrator’s.

Those who like Cthulhu will probably enjoy this. I did for the most part, right up until the very end when the story commits one of the cardinal sins of 1st-person narration — how does a person narrate their own story after they are dead?

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