Tales For the Fae Inclined (The Poison Eaters – A Book Review)

The Poison Eaters And Other Stories
Author: Holly Black
Published: 2010

Poison Eaters

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Holly Black, the queen of fae, and probably best known for her Modern Faerie Tales trilogy, brings forth a collection of twelve short stories ranging from a prom gone wild because of the Latin club invoking Bacchus (also known as Dionysus) to a tale about a group of girls with poisonous kisses of deadly proportions. Magic comes in all shapes and sizes and variations in this book.

Poison Eaters

Whether this is the first book you’ve read by Holly Black or just one of the many, you’re in for a treat. All of the stories were magnificently written. They range from many different settings—a trailer park, medieval castle, to a fae café. And I really loved the specific details so subtly added to the characters.  Each story was beautifully constructed with the right amount of imagery and struck me with wonder.

While one or two of the stories can be connected back to Modern Faerie Tales, all of them can stand alone so you don’t need to worry about whether you’ll be missing important parts from her other novels or not.

For me, the most interesting stories were In Vodka Veritas, Paper Cut Scissors, and The Land of Heart’s Desire.

In Vodka Veritas followed a kid shipped off to boarding school. He’s discovers that not everything is as it seems and he’ll have to decide whether he wants to save his best friend from the effects of a wild prom turned Bacchanalia (crazy, violent, orgy; season two of True Blood anyone?).

The lore of Dionysus and Maenads have always been fascinating and to come across a story dedicated to that was an utter joy. I may have squeed. Holly Black didn’t have to get extremely vulgar and revealing to get across what kind of parties the god liked to throw. I loved the odd anti-hero coming to the rescue. Really showed the great debate of a teenager knowing what kind of person they really are. It’s a debate that follows a person for the rest of their life.

Poison Eaters

 

Paper Cut Scissors is unlike anything I’ve ever read when it comes to complete originality. My bookworm nerdiness and love for libraries really came to the surface. Imagine being able to change an entire book by putting something in it. Imagine being able to put yourself into any book. What about an epic party with characters from books all over? As I read this, it was like a dream come true. I wanted to be in this story. From Dr. Watson to Anne of Green Gables to Wolverine, this is a party I would definitely attend.

Poison Eaters

 

The Land of Heart’s Desire. I was instantly taken back to a place I know well and that I was more than happy to return to. Back to Modern Faerie Tales (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside). In a fae run café, Moon in a Cup, which is also populated by fae patrons among the good ol’ fashioned human ones, Corny puts out a little advertising to get some business. And he gets just that albeit not in the way he expected. Roiben, the faerie king, is put work with the overflow of customers. The two have an unexpected conversation.

If I’m honest, Valiant is my favorite out of the trilogy and I know that isn’t the case for a lot of people who are fans of it. I loved Val and Luis and Ravus. To see Val and Luis again and the other characters of Ironside made me all giddy. My eyes did a little bugging out.  This story really gave a great overview of how far each of them had come since the trilogy. There was heartache, struggle, and a bit of funny.

 

This book was a delightful read. It definitely left me wanting to read more. Not one story was similar to another. Something different for every occasion. That little book for when you want magic and by now you should know that I love magic.

I could see a Netflix show taking this book on like The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror, shows that have new stories every episode. It would be invigorating to see a new POV of the fae world. Faeries aren’t all light and sweet.  They can get nasty if you aren’t careful and I love that Holly Black shows this while making it fun. It would be interesting to see on the screen.

 

Quotables:

“I’m a collector. I have to have the whole set—complete. All souls. They’re going to look spectacular all lined up.” (A Reversal of Fortune-The Devil to Nikki, p. 41)

“A crow doesn’t rip out the eyes of another crow. Nice.” (In Vodka Veritas, p. 113)

“The Latin Club is totally evil.” (In Vodka Veritas, p. 118)

“He was just a read and readers can’t do anything to make the story stop—except close the book.” (Paper Cut Scissors-Justin, p. 152)

“I don’t think people usually have terrible secrets the way characters do, but people often aren’t amazing, either. We’re watered down.” (Paper Cut Scissors-Justin to Sarah, p. 164)

“I envy what I fear and hate what I envy.” (The Land of Heart’s Desire-Corny to Roiben, p. 178)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? The Great Escape by Boys Like Girls.

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Totally Witching (Summer on East End: Triple Moon – A Book Review)

Hey my loving bookworms!

I’m getting this review in here before I head out of town to the Supernatural Convention down in Pittsburgh. I’m super excited. It’s one of my favorite shows and I’ll be getting some much needed quality time with my mom.

So to the review!

 

Summer on East End: Triple Moon
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Published: 2015

Triple Moon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

“Beware the storm of retribution” (p. 143)

Young witches, Mardi and Molly Overbrook (and twins to boot) are sent to stay with their Aunt Ingrid on East End after a terrible accident that could expose their magic and send them back to the days of burning witches at the pyre. Problem is, they can’t remember what happened so they, along with their Aunt Ingrid and Aunt Freya need to figure out what happened before it’s too late. That means they’ll have to come together and that’s not easy since they can barely stand each other. One thing is for certain, there was somebody else with them during the accident. While in East End, the girls will need to keep cool with their magic and embrace the human life. Their lives depend on it.

Meeting cute boys, however, is a side perk to being stuck in the small, oblivious town too. The twins meet the Gardner brothers and sparks certainly start flying both metaphorically and literally. Can they handle getting caught up on in love dram and stay out of witch drama, or will this be the end of them?

Triple Moon

If you’ve followed the witches of East End then you’re already familiar with the characters. I followed them through the TV show on Lifetime so I know a little-tid-bit. It was delightful and made me quite reminiscent of Charmed. Plus, it’d been a while since I read a book with witches, so I was ready for this book.

Both old magic with potions and broomsticks meet the modern world of fancy parties and ritzy fashion. I wasn’t sure about the combination when I started, but it blended very well, much like salty and sweet. You think being so opposite of one another that they wouldn’t work, but they are tasty! I personally love Reeses Snack Mix (and I’ve realized I make food comparisons. Not sure if that’s just because I’m hungry or not. I love food.).

Myth and lore of magic is always important to me. One small tidbit can ruin a whole book for me. That kind of happened with Twilight. Loved the storyline and the characters, but didn’t love the vision of mythology of ‘vampires’ and ‘werewolves’. And while I don’t mind debates, this review isn’t about Twilight. To each their own. But I loved how this book stayed attached to magic in a way that while it was one of a kind, it was also still connected to the history of witchcraft.

Triple Moon

The blend of Nordic gods and witchcraft was such an amazing twist, even though I already caught a gist of it from the Lifetime TV show. There was more depth added to it here in the book. I was swimming in an endless pool of magic.

Triple Moon

The twins were fantastic characters because of how they made me feel. There was frustration and excitement and longing for them to find closure in certain aspects of their life, like their absent mother. There was a great amount of detail to them, right down to what made them so different and what their styles were. If I had to pick one I can relate to the most it would have to be Mardi. While she’s bold and relaxed, she’s shy and caring while her sister is sensitive and high-end. However, I’m not brave enough to try Mardi’s skimpy and flashy clothing style.

 

I’d read this book again because while I wasn’t surprised by some of the plot twists, I found the story to be a beautiful, magical, mess. The detail sucked me in and really put me right in the middle of a different world. I couldn’t find a problem, not even when I got frustrated with the characters, because they weren’t written terribly, they were just stubborn and making me go grrr sometimes just like people do in real life. I look forward to reading the sequel.

 

Quotables:

“The rush of gratitude she felt toward the universe was intense.” (Mardi, p. 36)

“Something about him felt like home. A home she had never had.” (Mardi about Trent, p. 61)

“…Take for instance, the very runner beans. They look pretty misshapen, and they have a few brown spots. Their color isn’t uniform. If you were looking for perfection in a gleaming supermarket, you might turn up your nose at these particular beans. But these particular beans are actually fantastic, bursting with flavor. All of their color and beauty is on the inside. So you have to know them in order to love them…” (Marshall about Molly, p. 103)

A fantastic analogy by the way. This book was littered with beautiful language and it was delightful.

“You always want to a fresh situation with a boy on a high note, with a lingering sense of possibility.” (Mardi, p. 240)

 

More to come soon…

– K.

P.S. Song today? Can’t Be Tamed by Miley Cyrus.