Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Review: Though a Tangled Wood (no spoilers)

Book: Through a Tangled Wood
Authors: Katie French, Ariele Sieling, Sarah Dalton, Marijon Braden, Jamie Campbell, H.S. Stone, Zoe Cannon
Publication: December 6th, 2013
Source: Amazon Kindle Freebie
Read: March 9th-April 26th, 2014
Summary (From Goodreads):
A variety of writers come together to twist traditional fairy tales into unusual and mysterious stories. From Beauty and the Beast, to Hansel and Gretel, to the Ugly Duckling, these stories will be sure to pull you into a fantastical world of princes, romance, and maybe a little science fiction.

 "Plan B" by Katie French. When Nolan is selected as one of the few candidates to work in the Breeders' hospital, he thinks all his troubles are over. Now he can afford precious medicine to save his ailing father. He’s heard of the Breeders’ cruelty, of their inhuman experiments, but he’s sure they’re fabrications. Then he stumbles into the Plan B room and learns how truly awful the Breeders can be.

"Tailless" by Ariele Sieling. A retelling of the Ugly Duckling, set on a far away planet in an unknown galaxy. While fighting a war with her people's biggest enemy, young Bode struggles to understand why she feels out of place in her community, and why she, unlike her comrades, was born without a tail.

"I Am the Maid" by Sarah Dalton. A hostile zombie killing Maid Marian meets an ill-behaved ex-soldier Robin in this post-apocalyptic retelling of Robin Hood. When a young girl falls deathly sick, the two are forced to join forces in order to outwit the Sheriff, and the mysterious Guy Gisbon.

"Three Wishes" by Marijon Braden. When Aladdin rubbed the magic lamp, things went pretty well for him. But a few thousand years later, the world has changed and the genie is old, cranky, and doesn't play fair. Young Alison thinks she's found the answer to all her prayers, but instead finds that having wishes come true isn't all it's cracked up to be.

"Killing Snow White" by Jamie Campbell. A magical retelling of the story of Snow White, told entirely by the Evil Queen who supposedly tried to poison her. Think Snow White is innocent? Think again.

"A House in the Woods" by H.S. Stone. At the conclusion of a scavenger hunt for Old World artifacts, Hansel and Gretel find themselves lost on the outskirts of the city after dark. They stumble upon a house in the nearby woods, hoping that they will find help inside, but the house's inhabitant has other ideas.

“Flight” by Zoe Cannon. A retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Dragged to the palace at swordpoint, commanded to cure the cursed prince with a kiss, Lucia wants nothing more than to return to her solitary world of books and magical study. But she soon discovers that she and the prince share more in common than she could have imagined… and that the truth behind his curse could destroy—or save—them both.

My Thoughts:

Plan B
I really didn't know what to expect of this series of short stories coming into the novel. I knew it was a set of fairy tale retellings. The first is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, but in a way I have never seen it done before. Nolan goes to work for the Breeders hospital to get money to help his ailing father. It isn't long before Nolan sees the Breeders cruelty and lives through the nightmare with his supervisor Samuel. This first story was achingly beautiful. Nolan cared deeply for his father and the sleeping girls. He wanted to do what was right in every situation even if it meant losing his life. What a nightmare Nolan went through, but the ending of Nolan's story was so beautiful that everything he went through was worth it.

I don't think this will be my favorite short story of the novel, but it was pretty good. This one was a retelling of The Ugly Duckling. Bode is a soldier. She has no tail and can not shoot the same kind of gun the other soldiers can. I can't say too much more because I would spoil the ending. The implications of the Ugly Duckling of wanting acceptance were a big part of this story. I feel like that is problem enough just being a woman in the military, but adding these other flaws make it even more difficult. The ending the of the short story was great. It explained so much about her situation and had the aha sweet moment attached.

I am the Maid
I didn't overly care for this retelling of Robin Hood. The story was way too long for this set of short stories. I found myself bored with Marian and Robin talking and not doing anything. The ending of the story proved to be excited and intense as they reached their conclusion. I love the story of Robin Hood, but I have difficulties with book adaptations of it. I haven't really found any that I have loved. I think this might just be another example of a Robin Hood adaptation that didn't fit with me. I did like that the story took Marian's side of the story more and made her the hero versus Robin Hood. Robin Hood was more of a sidekick in this story.

Three Wishes
This is my favorite story of the book so far. This one was a retelling of Aladin or One Thousand and One Nights. The girl in the story Ali has a lot of spunk. She thinks about her decisions carefully and weighs her options. Her best friend Shel is also a noble character in this book. She helps Ali to make her wishes and stands by her side. Then there is Etok, the genie. Etok proves to be a sneaky genie that makes these wishes sound great, but doesn't follow through. Not all genie are as helpful as Genie in the Disney movie. The ending of this story is truly shocking and that is what won me over. Unlike other stories in this anthology I was able to read this story in one sitting without feeling bored. I think so far this is the story that has won me over.

Killing Snow White
I have Cinderella is Evil on my computer also from Jamie Campell and after reading Killing Snow White I can't wait to dive into that one. I loved how this story switched places. The queen was not evil, Snow White was. The queen felt guilty for never building a mother-daughter relationship with Snow White. It also followed the original Grimm Fairy Tale extremely well. It also added to the Grimm fairy tale also because who said that only Snow White gets to have a happily ever after. This was by far my favorite story of the anthology.

A House In the Woods
This one was a retelling of Hansel and Gretel. A fairy tale I actually don't know a whole lot about. I really like the changes the author made to the story and the author added a lot of depth to the fairy tale. I overall thought this story was a great addition to the book and had a modern feel to it, but still felt like a fairy tale in the wood.

This was one I did not like at all. I don't actually know which fairy tale it was off of. It had a feel of beauty and the beast, but it wasn't totally beauty in the beast. This one was much too long and left me feeling bored while reading it. It got to be repetive. Lucia was a strong female character which I liked while the Prince was bitter and mean.

That's a Wrap
Overall I think Through a Tangled Wood was worth my time to read. I did not like some story and I liked others. Killing Snow White was my favorite of this anthology. I also really enjoyed Three Wishes. Through a Tangled Wood is still a Kindle Freebie on Amazon so if this review has made you interested go ahead and check it out.

I'm linking this review up to Fairy Tale Fortnight, a celebration of fairy tales. I'm excited to add another review to their list. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi my name is Rachael and I want to thank you for commenting on my blog. I appreciate every single comment I receive and I reply back to all comments.