Monday, January 10, 2011

Review: The Poison Eaters by Holly Black

Book details:
Margaret K. McElderry, March 2011
Trade Paperback, 224 pages
ISBN-10: 1442412321
ISBN-13: 9781442412323
Grades: 9 and up

A dark and fantastic collection of stories from the author of Tithe and The Spiderwick Chronicles.

First Impression:
Is the smiling girl on the cover responsible for the death of the boy in the bottom left corner? (Yes, I thought it was a boy but after reading the story, I know I was wrong.)

Lasting Impression?:
Holly Black is one macabre, twisted author...and I like it!


Two of the stories are original to this collection, the others having been previously printed in various compilations. But let me tell you, Holly Black leaves no supernatural stone unturned here. Lovestruck faeries, vampires, werewolves are just a few of the characters featured in The Poison Eaters. My favourite story involved a young man looking for his girlfriend in an unusual place. I like books, I mean I really like them, but perhaps not as much as this woman did!

For me, I liked the constant change of pace. You were never in the same location twice; one story was somewhere in the Philippines then another in the underbelly of a big city, and so on. The characters were surprising and, sometimes, quite dark.

I think the short story is an excellent platform for this author in particular. While some of the stories told an entire tale and ended with a satisfactory conclusion, others left enough mystery about the eventual outcome of the people involved to make you want more. Ms. Black leaves you mystified but most definitely sated.


okbolover said...

I normally don't read short stories. Yet the cover of this book is really eye catching and pretty. I've read White Cat by Holly Black, also book one of the Spiderwick chronicles. Both are awesome.

Jackie said...

Short stories are fairly new to me and really have to set a good precedent in the first couple for me to read all of them. I can say these definitely held my attention :-) I haven't read Spiderwick yet, but will now, for sure. I'm really looking forward to Red Glove...

Tara McClendon said...

Sounds like an interesting collection. I just bought Tithe, and I'll add this to my list of books to read.

Jackie said...

Tara- I hope you like it too. I haven't heard much about Tithe but will look into it now. Thanks!

ComaCalm said...

I think my favourite thing about the stories was that every single one of them (well, except one!) left me wanting to read more and more of that particular short. ^^

I'm now following you!

Jackie said...

@ComaCalm - Thanks for the follow. You're definitely right...short stories can be a bit of a tease :-)

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