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Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales

Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales is a YA fantasy/speculative fiction anthology edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt.

In this novel we have a collection of retold fairy tales, science fiction, dystopia, etc. written by a mass of modern day, award winning, best-selling authors such as Kelley Armstrong, Neil Gaiman, Kami Garcia, Holly Black, Carrie Ryan and more!

As always in an anthology there are the stories you find stronger than others, but overall I found Rags & Bones to be a solid, impressive collection.

By taking familiar (sometimes not so familiar) tales and boiling them down to their rags and bones (an apt description from the inside jacket cover) we are presented with something new.

It’s an eccentric, varied group. Below I’ll go over some highlights.

Carrie Ryan’s story, given first, That the Machine May Progress Eternally was creepy and thought-provoking. A dystopian world made more real by man’s own weakness. I have yet to encounter a short story by Carrie Ryan that I did not find satisfying.

Neil Gaiman’s The Sleeper and the Spindle but a twist on Sleeping Beauty that I did not see coming, and was just pretty darn awesome!

Time Pratt’s The Cold Corner was very interesting but could have gone farther, I think. Stopped short of being truly compelling, in my opinion.

Becoming more and more of a Holly Black fan – her Millcara was instantly dark and gripping. Excellent narration and spookiness. Very, very cool. Need to start looking more into her work now that I’ve been impressed by this and her novel The Coldest Girl in Coldtown!

When First We Were Gods, by Rick Yancey, was fascinating and impacting – mixing a little bit of disturbing reality with a dystopia that is not pleasant. Immortality isn’t always something to desire.

All the stories had their merits – I love the mix provided. I do wish that there were a few more fairy-tale retellings, as those often catch my interest the most. I admit, I’m a sucker for fairy-tales.

Definitely worth the read – and maybe a re-read! Each story is followed by an Author’s Note, which I liked.

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