Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales

Author: Soman Chainani

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release Date: September 21, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A new look at old fairy tales written with exceptional depth! Fairy tale lovers and those who seek an eerie and fantastical journey to familiar worlds in a new light will love this book!

If you think you know these stories, you are wrong; you don’t, not like this. Twelve different tales of magic and mystery with a twist showing a different side of the characters we’ve never seen. Paths to true happiness are not always what they seem, and the villains might not be as bad as we were led to believe. Each tale is a beloved classic but spun in a way readers see different angles and point of views that will leave them surprised, satisfied and wanting more.

Beasts and Beauty was a fun and entertaining read that made me look at the fairy tales I had known since childhood in an entirely different light. I’ve always loved fairy tales and look forward to different takes on them, Snow White and the Huntsman movie gave us a new look at the characters from the beloved fairy tale that had never been seen before and I, for one, loved the version. The normal reaction when discussing fairy tales is your damsel in distress and a big strong man coming in to save the day. But with this collection, you see it all very differently, but in a way that makes the stories make sense and won’t leave the readers scratching their head in confusion. There is very little throughout the book that I didn’t like and would not recommend for younger readers. It is a little darker but nothing so scary pre-teens couldn’t read and enjoy. The pacing is quick, the writing is clear, even when there is dialogue and no quotation marks. At first, I thought this was an odd way of writing but didn’t take me out of the story. I recommend this book to readers that are looking for a fun new story that is different from a lot of what is out there.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Falling From Trees

Author: Mike Fiorito

Publisher: Loyola College

Release Date: February 9, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great collection of short stories that will make readers think about future!

Mike Fiorito crafts a series of short stories that contain both science fiction and speculative fiction.  Most of the science fiction stories are geared toward space travel, in one form or another, or with alien presence.  I like how the aliens in each of the stories are more altruistic than what they are usually presented as in books and/or movies. 

The stories with speculative fiction center around climate change and the future of our planet.  This trend has been increasing across the board as the genre seems to be leaving behind the traditional destruction dystopian stories for stories of weather impacts and how we as a race are going to manage those in the future.  I found myself thinking about these events as it seems all too realistic and what I would do if the world suddenly changed.  I think that is the mark of a good author when they are able to make you think beyond the story you are reading.

Some of the stories have some mild language, which makes this book more appropriate for older young adults forward.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

A Bundle of Colorful Yarns

A bundle of colorful yarnsAuthor: Louis Winslow

Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing

Release Date: March 21, 2018

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Eclectic is about the only word that you can describe this collection of short stories!

This book has several short stories that are enjoyable, different, and sometimes outright weird. These range from a story about a group of people hiking to an area in Mexico, a story about a vampire and wolfman, an abduction story, as well as story about the lottery.  Some of the stories are pretty straightforward, just a glimpse into a day of the life of the main character.  Other stories are really odd and we will just leave it at that for each reader to interpret for themselves.

Overall it was a very enjoyable collection because the stories were so different. Some of the stories had overlapping characters, which developed some of the characters a little bit more.  The stories range from three or four pages up to twenty pages.  If you are a fan of reading short stories that are a mixture of characters and themes, this book is for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.