Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Rags and Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt Review

Title: Rags and Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales
Editor(s): Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Anthology; different genres
Series: N/A
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A great collection for anyone looking for twists on classic, forgotten stories should pick up Rags and Bones--it is a treat for all ages!

This is an anthology, so I'm going to be reviewing this a little bit differently: Instead of reviewing the anthology as a whole, I'm going to review each story at a time. The theme is retellings, new twists on classic stories.

That the Machine May Progress Eternally by Carrie Ryan, inspired by E.M's Forster's "The Machine Stops": 5 out of 5 stars. A deliciously creepy, scary, dystopian story about a boy who ends up underground in the Machine, and ends up worshiping it as a god. Wonderful!

Losing Her Divinity by Garth Nix, inspired by Rudyard Kipling's "The Man Who Would Be King": 4 out of 5 stars. A darkly ironic, funny, wry story of a man's journey, finding a goddess and helping her turn into a mortal--and taking something for himself too. I loved it, every part of it, especially the narrator! It was great!

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman, inspired by "Sleeping Beauty": 5 out of 5 stars. A new, dark twist on the traditional fairy tale, this uniquely layered tale was a spectacular homage to the original, done with Gaiman's signature flair! Amazing!

The Cold Corner by Tim Pratt, inspired by Henry James's "The Jolly Corner: 3 out of 5 stars. A strange tale that made my head hurt at first trying to follow it of a man who is seeing ghosts of his pasts--literally. It was a fun, time-bending tale I enjoyed once I got my head around it.

Millcara by Holly Black, inspired by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's "Carmilla": 4 out of 5 stars. A sweet, tender tale of dark friendship between a vampire and a young girl, written as a confessional. Sad and heartbreaking and beautiful. This one made me cry!

When First We Were Gods by Rick Yancey, inspired by Nathaniel Hawthrone's "The Birth-Mark": 3 out of 5 stars. A seriously twisted, crazy story of a terrifying future in which the rich can live forever--quite literally--and a couple whose love is tested by such boundaries. It was confusing throughout the story, but Beneficent and Georgiana's love story made it bearable.

Sirocco by Margaret Stohl, inspired by Horace Walpole's "The Castle of Otranto": 3 out of 5 stars. A little confusing at first, but a genuinely creepy, spooky story that had chills running up and down my spine! It reminded me of her Beautiful Creatures series a little bit.

Awakening by Melissa Marr, inspired by Kate Chopin's "The Awakening": 5 out of 5 stars. Possibly my favorite of the whole collection, this story rings true to its forebear, with a magical component mixed in: selkies! Dark and gritty and romantic, I loved this story of a young woman's freedom--it was beautiful!

New Chicago by Kelley Armstrong, inspired by W.W. Jacobs's "The Monkey's Paw": 4 out of 5 stars. A fitting homage to the original horror story, Armstrong tells a spooky, frightening tale of a poor, desperate boy who makes three wishes.. Three wishes that could cost him his life. Wonderfully thrilling and scary!

The Soul Collector by Kami Garcia, inspired by The Brothers' Grimm's "Rumpelstiltskin": 5 out of 5 stars. A gruesome tale of a young woman trapped in terrifying circumstances, she turns to a stranger for help--and ends up paying the ultimate price. Gritty, gory, and wonderful--a great modern spin on a well-loved fairy tale!

Without Faith, Without Law, Without Joy by Saladin Ahmed, inspired by Sir Edmund Spenser's "The Faerie Queene": 2 out of 5 stars. This story was really confusing to me--it was kind of hard to follow, though the ending was good. I didn't like it very much until the end.

Uncaged by Gene Wolfe, inspired by William B. Seabrook's "The Caged White Werewolf of the Saraban": 4 out of 5 stars. A creepy, delicious, sensual story of a man who may or may not be married to a leopard-woman who seems to be going on a killing spree.. This was a great thrill ride for me!

Charles Vess's illustrations also added great depth and an old-school feel to the collection--for such illustrations to be included was a lovely treat in and of itself. An amazing, lovely collection for everyone of all ages to enjoy, I'm so glad I bought Rags and Bones! Next on deck: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson!


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