Honestly, I wish they hadn't tried to emphasize that these short stories are based on other works. For most of these I had never read the inspiration s...moreHonestly, I wish they hadn't tried to emphasize that these short stories are based on other works. For most of these I had never read the inspiration story and therefore had no basis on how "rags and bones" the story had been boiled down to. Since I, and many readers, are not familiar with the inspiration stories it would have been much better to have the Author's Note for each story at the beginning, rather than end, so when reading the short story you'd have a basic idea of where they were going with it. Overall, though, I would have much preferred just to read original stories that drew inspiration from previous works the same way all art is inspired by previous works.
A few of these were very good. The Monkey's Paw retelling by Kelly Armstrong was pretty freaky. The Machine, the first story, was a solid interesting and surprising science fiction. Many of the stories I could have skipped.
Not a bad collection of stories, on the whole, but I don't think the plan behind the anthology really came through.(less)
I love this book - the artwork is STUNNING and I love the descriptions given for characters. The one reason this cannot get a full 5 stars from me is...moreI love this book - the artwork is STUNNING and I love the descriptions given for characters. The one reason this cannot get a full 5 stars from me is that Menolly, my favorite character in the whole series, looks incredibly horsey. How did that happen? She wasn't supposed to be a beauty, but from the book covers she always looked prettier than in this illustration.
I highly recommend it to lovers of Pern. It's a great addition to the series.(less)
I found the world very interesting. Dark, sexy, good intrigue, fairly sympathetic characters. Great paranormal/fantasy with a splash of romance. And w...moreI found the world very interesting. Dark, sexy, good intrigue, fairly sympathetic characters. Great paranormal/fantasy with a splash of romance. And while you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover... the cover *is* gorgeous. Two problems - the world is really complex and while the author doesn't throw you in completely without a guide to the world, there really isn't as much narration as there could have been. Second Problem - the main character, Chrysabelle, gives up comarre secrets left and right. Like, REALLY fast. I felt like that removed the mystique of the comarre way to quickly. I would have rather seen her sheltered, pampered life more beforehand, and then slowly had the house secrets be revealed. Wait, make it three problems. Her name is Chrysabelle. Never shortened to Chris, or Belle...I don't know why I dislike her name so much, but I found myself glossing over it each time. Overall, really interesting start to the series. I would not buy any more of the series, but I would rent them from the library, or order them from Paperbackswap.(less)
Wow. I'm glad I finally read this - it's really short! Everyone who loves any of the film or play adaptations of this story should of course read the...moreWow. I'm glad I finally read this - it's really short! Everyone who loves any of the film or play adaptations of this story should of course read the original! In all honestly, though, the Muppet Christmas Carol movie has spoiled me for any other version. How can you beat produce and mice singing about Scrooge? And Charles Dickens actually narrating for you? This was a great founding story for the wonderful Victorian Christmas tradition. It has given us so many characters to show how to live, and not to live, and how to hold the love in our hearts all year round. And it's short!(less)
2.5 Stars. this book could have been great. I usually love retellings of fairy tales. Camille was an OK character - her innocence was a strength in the...more2.5 Stars. this book could have been great. I usually love retellings of fairy tales. Camille was an OK character - her innocence was a strength in the book, but annoying as personal trait. Overall I liked the world, I liked all the characters Camille met, and it was a pretty good Quest. Two things kept this book from being anything more than a 2.5 (or 3, via Goodreads). The first is the deliberate choice of the author to throw in random French words because he "felt" that East of The Sun, West of the Moon should be a French story. At least the French wasn't italicized each time because a third of the books would be in italics. The second problem is also related to the author's use of language. In an attempt to make the story feel more archaic, he used flowery language that grew tiresome right away. Words like 'abed,' 'ahorse.' and 'arear' didn't make this book sound old fashioned, they made the book sound annoying. I don't care that "gloaming" is a real word and can be used for describing twilight falling, but honestly the word shouldn't be used outside of Scottish romance novels.
If the author hadn't tried just so hard to make his retelling sound "authentic" and old, this would have been a much better book.(less)
Honestly, I felt like this book was a big f-you to anyone who ever wanted to go to Hogwarts or dreamt of finding a secret cupboard to Narnia. Quentin w...moreHonestly, I felt like this book was a big f-you to anyone who ever wanted to go to Hogwarts or dreamt of finding a secret cupboard to Narnia. Quentin was an unlikeable main character who is constantly bored and unsatisfied with his life, no matter how miraculous it becomes. He even stops and says at times how he should be happy, but he just isn't. Someone should have given him a Prozac and the story would be much better. Probably.
The world was neat and I liked the magic school when Quentin wasn't mucking it up. I didn't like how the author took what should have been an amazing experience - Magic is Real!!! - and turned it into hard work. What I love about fantasy and magic is that they are better than the real world. There is Good and Evil and Quests and Glory. The Magicians turned magic into Difficult, Dangerous, and Useless.
I can give this 3 stars because it did hold my interest. It was a different take on your typical fantasy. Trying something new and succeeding should get at least that many stars.
I'm sure there are those who really enjoy this and can see beyond the main character's flaws, or actually can appreciate the main character for his flaws. For me, however, all I wanted after finishing this was to curl up with a childhood favorite where the good guys win and magic always sparkles.(less)