Wednesday, January 29, 2014
The Curiosities: A review
Info: Lerner Publishing Group, copyright 2012, 304 pages
A review in 10 words (or thereabouts): Three lovely authors show how terrifying they can be...and I desperately want to be Maggie Stiefvater's best friend :)
From acclaimed YA authors Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff comes The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories.
- A vampire locked in a cage in the basement, for good luck.
- Bad guys, clever girls, and the various reasons why the guys have to stop breathing.
- A world where fires never go out (with references to vanilla ice cream).
These are but a few of the curiosities collected in this volume of short stories by three acclaimed practitioners of paranormal fiction.
But The Curiosities is more than the stories. Since 2008, Maggie, Tessa, and Brenna have posted more than 250 works of short fiction to their website merryfates.com. Their goal was simple: create a space for experimentation and improvisation in their writing—all in public and without a backspace key. In that spirit, The Curiosities includes the stories and each author's comments, critiques, and kudos in the margins. Think of it as a guided tour of the creative processes of three acclaimed authors.
So, are you curious now?
I'm not a fan of short stories. I don't like the feeling of getting dumped into the middle of a plot with the nagging feeling that I'm supposed to know what is going on. I don't like the quick world building that feels unfinished or getting to know a character and then forced to leave them so quickly.
But I am a fan of Maggie Stiefvater, so I thought I'd give The Curiosities a chance. And I LOVED it! Oh my goodness did I love it. The three authors are absolutely amazing, creative, and terrifying. Each story includes an introduction that puts you into their head a bit, and notes in the margins provide insights and inspirations that flush out all of the issues I typically have with short stories.
Besides all of my previous gushings...by the end of the book, you really come to know and adore the different voices of each of the authors. You can pick out a Brenna story. You fall in love with the Tessa tales. You adore the Maggie creations. They are each different and unique. The authors work within their comfort zones and stretch into new territories, but in each you get their voice. Awesome. And these ladies are terrifying. Truly terrifying which is brilliant and delicious.
My favorites, just in case you're curious...
Tessa Grafton's Date With a Dragon Slayer, Ash-Tree Spell to Break Your Heart, Berserk
Brenna Yovanoff's Scheherazade
Maggie Stiefvater's The Wind Takes Our Cries & The Deadlier of the Species