Different from normal, I want to start this by just saying that I hope that you are all staying safe and well, and that you are all healthy in the current situation.
Now, I know this is the second short story collection for me to read this month, but they have been a real help to get me over my nearly year long reading slump! Having short little stories for me to dip in or out off, is perfect for getting back into reading. Although I think I am finally getting to the point where I want to pick up a novel.
But back to this book; I want to say a huge thank you to the lovely people at Titan for sending me a copy for review, I really do appreciate each and every book you send me.
This whole book of short stories, are all around a theme of the dark side of fairy tales, and being a lover of fairy tales this just sounded perfect. There was definitely some in this one that I had not heard of before, so it was really refreshing for them to be predictable- to be fair even those I had heard of I didn’t even find to be predictable. I have added the Goodreads blurb for Cursed below for you to get an idea of what I mean by the premise.
Here in this book you’ll find unique twists on the fairy tale conceit of the curse, from the more traditional to the modern – giving us brand new mythologies as well as new approaches to well-loved fables. Some might shock you, some might make you laugh, but they will all impress you with their originality.
As with all short story books, there was some that I loved, and some that I could of left unread (one I actually moved on from after only a page or two). But I still stand by this doesnt mean those stories are not good, but rather that I do not get along with that authors writing style, or even just the way they wrote the story. To be fair I didn’t walk away from any of the stories thinking it was boring or uncomplete, but rather just overwhelmed through confusing writing style more than anything.
But thats enough negativity, as I really want to make the point that this is a fantastic collection of stories that I have really enjoyed. Even more so than previous short story collections that I have read.
By far my favourite of the stories was As Red as Blood, as White as Snow, but I am biased as it is written by one of my altime favourite authors, Christina Henry (to be fair I read the book because of knowing this story was in it!).
As with all Christina Henry stories, it was dark, and took a surprising twisted turn! It left me wanting more, but not in a bad way. In a way that I felt there was enough concept to make so much more out of this. Now this is no criticism for Christina, but rather a huge praise! Even when writing a short story, her writing just makes any story feel like it could go on for pages and pages and I’d happily sit and soak it all in!
The final story that stands out to me is Wendy, Darling by Christopher Golden. Having been a Peter Pan fan since a child, I was really hoping that there would be a take on this story within the collection, and it certainly did not disappoint. Although a lot of more deep and twisted than the story that is commonly known, this left me with a lump in my throat and a whole lot of thoughts and feelings. The thought of your actions haunting you like that, till they ultimately come back to bite you is definitely one to get anyone thinking. This has left me wanting to go and find other versions of Peter Pan, especially as they are going to be as dark as this, it was creepy, beautiful and oh so harrowing, and yet it was perfect!
All in all, this whole collection (bar a couple) is my favourite collection I think I have ever read, I do love short stories! For anyone who loves childhood fairy tales, or even horror stories, this is definitely one to give a try. I would say it is a good collection to read if you are new to short stories, as they dont all feel like a short story as they are all well rounded stories. I gave this a four star rating, as it was so close to perfect, but then I think it would be hard for a group of short stories written by various authors to be wholely perfect. There would always be an authors story that you don’t get along with. Hence why I think this is about as close as you could get to perfect for such a book!
I believe this is already out, so while we are all hunkered down in our homes, I definitely think you should give this one a try!!