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Posted December 18, 2012
I've been getting interested in short stories since taking ficti
I've been getting interested in short stories since taking fiction writing classes for my English minor. It's fascinating how much a writer can tell within a limited word count. At the same time, I'm a fiction reader at heart. There's simply not enough room in a short story to expand upon a world and fully develop it. Nevertheless, with fourteen stories in this collection, there are sure to be stories for different fans of the paranormal. I myself found several stories that I adored, and this collection is worth getting for the precious gems that you'll find in this book.
The story that interested me the most by far was "Homecoming" by Richelle Mead. I confess. I'm a big VA fan and was super excited to find out that this story is set after series ended. Rose and Dimitri visit his hometown for the first time since the last time they were there, and the mood is very different in a nice way. The story is centered on Yeva's predictions, which always result in confrontations with Rose that had me laughing. Fellow VA fans know how headstrong Rose can be even when she knows that she's on the losing end of an argument.
A story that surprised me was "Gentlemen Send Phantoms" by Laini Taylor. The beginning had me thinking that is was going to be some kind of chick flit with a supernatural angle with the girls' belief that baking a cake can help them learn who their future husband will be. My mom and her friends once did a similar thing with a hairbrush, candles, and a mirror when they were younger for the thrill. It didn't show them anything, and I was thinking that maybe this would be similar, except that the visions might be real. It is a bit of a chick flick. There aren't major changes in character, and the plot is fairly straightfoward. However, it's sweet at the same time. It's about love, insecurities, and pride almost standing in the way of true love. In a way, Pippin reminds me of Anne of Green Gables with her insecurities about her appearance and her silly pride.
I also enjoyed "Misery" by Heather Brewer. Misery is a dark and creepy town where everyone acts pleasant but never smiles. Alek knows that there is something wrong with the place, but he doesn't know what to do about it. Then the resident fortune teller makes a prediction and things get freaky after that. This is a clever, creepy story. Some may guess the twist before it's revealed. I had some guesses, but I got too absorbed in Alek's fate to worry much. This is a short story and gets into the heart of the plot without dawdling much.
Another story that I really liked was "The Killing Garden" by Carrie Ryan. It's about girl who beats her father in a race and takes over his position as the Emperor's Gardener, pruning both his garden and his court as the official executioner. She does this to win her father's acceptance only to learn that he never wanted her to take over his duties. The story follows her as she finds herself and learns what a father really wants for his child. It's a morbid story of a girl finding her self-identity.
Other stories I want to bring up: "Burned Bright" by Diana Peterfreund was strange but interesting. "Out of the Blue" by Meg Cabot is funny, delves a little into the absurd, and not to be taken seriously. "Improbable Futures"by Kami Garcia is about a fake fortune teller's unfortunate predictions coming true and wrecking havoc around her. I liked it, though it isn't my usual kind of read. "Fate" by Simon Elkeles is a silly, sweet romantic story, also not my usual kind of read, but refreshing. I really thought that Willow was a child from her way of talk, which threw me off at first before she grew on me.
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Posted December 26, 2012
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