Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Rags & Bones edited by Melissa Marr & Tim Pratt

I always enjoy short story collections because you get to experience a varied range of stories, ideas and perspectives within the pages of a single volume. 

With this book I was thrilled to see the names of a couple of my favourite authors (Neil Gaiman and Kelley Armstrong). There were a few names I've heard of but had yet to read and some that were new to me entirely, which is always exciting. 

Rags & Bones introduces (or re-visits for some) classic stories that have been re-imagined here by a colourful mix of authors. The contributors are Saladin Ahmed, Kelley Armstrong, Holly Black, Neil Gaiman, Kami Garcia, Garth Nix, Carrie Ryan, Margaret Stohl, Gene Wolfe, Rick Yancey and the two editors Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt. There is also some artwork from Charles Vess, which breaks the tales up nicely. 

There are a couple of takes on fairytales here which I really enjoyed. I always find different interpretations of fairytales fascinating. The other stories were all wonderfully varied with dabbles in science fiction, fantasy and dystopian fiction. 

I often find in short story anthologies that I love some, like some and some are forgettable once I've finished the book. With Rags & Bones I genuinely, thoroughly enjoyed every tale in its own right. All the stories were very engaging and incredibly thought provoking. The authors were asked to retell a classic story that meant something to them, and the obvious passion, enthusiasm and consideration for their subject shines through in every telling. I can’t even pick a favourite because so many had elements that hooked me in and stayed with me afterwards. 

This is a unique collection of stories which not only entertain and get you thinking, but also piques your curiosity as to the original stories they were inspired by. Most of the original stories I have never come across before, but quite want to explore now.

I think this book will be an interesting read for most readers, but sci-fi and fantasy fans should definitely check this book out. Rags & Bones is a fantastic collection of tales with a little something for everyone. 

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