Salute Your Shorts is a weekly (ish) feature here at Bunbury in the Stacks highlighting and reviewing short stories and novellas. Everyone is welcome to join at any time, just grab the pic above and shoot me a link in the comments so that I can include your post in a roundup.
Title: Faery Tales and Nightmares [Amazon|GoodReads]
Author: Melissa Marr [Website|Twitter]
Standing: Stand alone anthology, BUT half the stories are in the Wicked Lovely universe (I’ll discuss those stories in a later post).
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Published: February 21st, 2012 by HarperCollins
Format: Hardcover; 418 pages
Source: Borrowed from my local library.
Challenge: YA/MG Fantasy Challenge
Dangerous promises and beguiling threats swirl together in a dozen stories of enchantments dark and light by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr. Uncanny and unexpected creatures appear from behind bushes, rise from beneath the seas, or manifest from seasonal storms to pursue the objects of their attention—with amorous or sinister intent—relentlessly.
From the gentle tones of a storyteller’s cadences to the terror of a blood sacrifice, tales of favorite characters from Marr’s Wicked Lovely novels mix with accounts of new characters for readers to fall in love with...or to fear.
Lush, seductive, and chilling, Melissa Marr’s stories revel in the unseen magic that infuses the world as we know it.
Welcome to the non-Wicked Lovely edition of Salute Your Shorts: Faery Tales and Nightmares! I’ve decided to split my review of this anthology into two posts so that those of you who haven’t read Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series can know what this book has in store for you, without forcing you to skip the spoilers! This works out quite well for everyone since of the twelve stories included, six have nothing to do with Wicked Lovely. That means you can enjoy half this book! Here’s what we have to offer:
Where Nightmares Walk
This very short story works as somewhat of an introduction into the book, and lets you realize right off the bat that it will indeed be as much about nightmares as about faery tales. It’s a chilling intro that will make you fear the night.
This short story evokes the image of a traditional fairy tale, but one you haven’t heard before. It tells the tale of a princess who has the curse of icy breath, and the snow bear that would see it as a gift. Winter’s Kiss is charming, beautiful, and a reminder of perspective.
Eliana has been getting weird and uncontrollable headaches. She loses time—she can’t remember hours of her life. She’s stopped talking to doctors, they just think she’s crazy, and she’s begun to self medicate with drugs of another sort. When she ends up in the graveyard with the boy she’s currently seeing, she can’t get her mind off someone something else, and she can’t help feeling as if the statue is watching her.
Transition is a chilling vampire story about the circle of life (or death…or undeath<—see what I did there?) in which Melissa Marr puts her own tale into a fairly traditional (and thus sexy and gory) lore. This type of story right here is the reason people love vamps, and not the sparkly kind.
Every once in a while, I feel like I get as much out of a short story as I do out of a full-length book. This is one of those times. Love Struck was a beautiful love story and fairy tale, about selchies. Selchies! I’ve been enamored with Selchies since The Secret of Roan Inish, and have been craving more. I mean…who wants mermaids when selchies are about, really? At least you don’t have to question the logistics of their anatomy quite so much…
Alana is chosen to be the mate of Murrin, who intends to court her, but instead he accidently traps her as has been done for generations. She holds his Other Skin, is compelled to hide it, and she cannot return it unless he finds it himself. Alana doesn’t want to break her own rules, she doesn’t want a relationship, and certainly not one with some guy she barely knows. She’s convinced that it’s the selchie magic drawing her to Murrin, and is deeply torn between wanting to be with him and wanting freedom for both of them. Love Struck was a beautifully rendered tale, and I adored it. It was the non-Wicked Lovely story in this collection that I was looking forward to most, and it did not disappoint!
The Art of Waiting
This title made me think of the poem One Art by Elizabeth Bishop. It’s the story of a small hamlet of a town, that is incased in snow and ice each winter that melts to beauty in the spring. A man and his daughter come to the town, and the townspeople wait to see if they, like so many others, will leave.
This short is perfect for anyone who lives in a quaint little town and loves it. It’s hard for people to understand this mentality, but those who live there wouldn’t have it any other way.
Flesh for Comfort
A disturbing tale about what we are willing to go through for beauty. A poor girl in a mountain town knows she will never get out. She is not rich enough, or attractive enough. But when a mysterious creature offers to make her beautiful, she is tempted, knowing if she were attractive enough she could trade flesh for comfort and escape.
These six stories range in length from about 3 to 60 pages, and are all very worth reading! I particularly enjoyed Love Struck, and the most disturbing award goes to Flesh for Comfort. Enjoy!