5 bat! Review: The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff

August 25, 2012 Review 2 ★★★★★

The Curiosities

by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff

Genre: Paranormal YA |
Excerpt: No | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Abigail | Source: Netgalley

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Carolrhoda Books (August 1, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0761375279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761375272
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7 x 1.1 inches

Rating

Near Perfect – Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.

Sexual Content

Kissing. References to sex. References to rape

Description

From acclaimed YA authors Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff comes The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories.

– A vampire locked in a cage in the basement, for good luck.
– Bad guys, clever girls, and the various reasons why the guys have to stop breathing.
– A world where fires never go out (with references to vanilla ice cream).

These are but a few of the curiosities collected in this volume of short stories by three acclaimed practitioners of paranormal fiction.

But The Curiosities is more than the stories. Since 2008, Maggie, Tessa, and Brenna have posted more than 250 works of short fiction to their website merryfates.com. Their goal was simple: create a space for experimentation and improvisation in their writing—all in public and without a backspace key. In that spirit, The Curiosities includes the stories and each author’s comments, critiques, and kudos in the margins. Think of it as a guided tour of the creative processes of three acclaimed authors.

So, are you curious now?

Review

In May of 2008, three unknown writers formed a critique group and website (MerryFates.com) for posting short stories and honing their craft.  Fast forward to today, and these three writers are among the best and brightest YA authors writing today.  Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff are what I consider to be the holy trinity of YA, and in this wonderfully imaginative anthology, it is abundantly clear why.

I kid you not, there isn’t a single crummy story in THE CURIOSITIES.  I’ve never said that about an anthology, but it’s true.  There are strange, spooky, and sad stories mixed with charming, creepy, and comical tales.  Curious to see how Maggie Stiefvater writes zombies?  Or Brenna Yovanoff’s version of a ghost story?  How about Tessa Gratton’s take on vampires?  Most–though not all–of the stories have an element of the supernatural, but even the “normal” stories have that magical pull about them that make you sigh with frustration that the stories aren’t longer.

Authors will be especially interested in the notes and introductions to each story as the insight into the creative processes of these three authors in invaluable.  The whole collection feels like a private journal with all the little doodles and margin notes.  It was incredibly fun to see the birth of characters that later found themselves in full novels like Cole from Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver series.  There was unfortunately no table of contents, but here are the 30 stories included:

The Vampire Box by Tessa Gratton
A Murder of Gods by Maggie Stiefvater
The Power of Intent by Brenna Yovanoff
A History of Love by Maggie Stiefvater
Girls Raised by Wolves by Brenna Yovanoff
Date with a Dragon Slayer by Tessa Gratton
Scheherazade by Brenna Yovanoff
The Spiral Table by Tessa Gratton
The Madness of Lancelot by Brenna Yovanoff
The Wind Takes Our Cries by Maggie Stiefvater
Auburn by Brenna Yovanoff
The Deadlier of the Species by Maggie Stiefvater
Puddles by Tessa Gratton
The Bone-Tender by Brenna Yovanoff
Death Ship by Tessa Gratton
The Last Day of Spring by Maggie Stiefvater
Cut by Brenna Yovanoff
Philosopher’s Flight by Maggie Stiefvater
Ash-Tree Spell to Break to Your Heart by Tessa Gratton
Rain Maker by Maggie Stiefvater
Dumb Supper by Tessa Gratton
Neighbors by Brenna Yovanoff
Council of Youth by Maggie Stiefvater
The Summer Ends in Slaughter by Tessa Gratton
Blue as God by Brenna Yovanoff
Thomas All by Tessa Gratton
Heart -Shaped Box by Maggie Stiefvater
Berserk by Tessa Gratton
Lazarus Girl by Brenna Yovanoff
Another Sun by Maggie Stiefvater


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