Plot: Ah Ma died when she was 16 and then she came back as a pontianak, a vampire from Malay mythology. Since then she has lived with her 6 aunties, gone to school in hopes of a good university and a good marriage. Everything changes when she meets the new boy Ridzual. Will he be able to accept her true self? Will she be able to protect him from her overprotective aunties?
This is a wonderful short story: I completely lost myself in Ah Ma’s world and I loved learning about a mythology that was completely new to me. Somehow Cho managed to make seven characters who eat human vicera human and lovable. And she did it in a fraction of the words available in a novel. Meanwhile the romance is sweet though there are some bumps in the road; Ridzual is shy andsurprisingly awkward and their romance builds on friendship. But I won’t say more or my review will be longer than the story.
Well, maybe one last thing: more than a romance or a horror story this is a subtle feminist analysis of the troubles women have faced over the generations.
You can read The House of Aunts for free online and I encourage you to go do that now, it will change how you think of vampire romances forever.
Meanwhile, I will be working my way through the rest of Cho’s short stories which you can find listed here.