Rags & Bones Anthology Review

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Title: Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales
Authors: Multiple
Publisher: Little, Brown BYR
Publish Date: October 22, 2013
Genre: YA
Pages: 356
Source: Publisher

The best writers of our generation retell the classics.

Literature is filled with sexy, deadly, and downright twisted tales. In this collection, award-winning and bestselling authors reimagine their favorite classic stories, ones that have inspired, awed, and enraged them; ones that have become ingrained in modern culture; and ones that have been too long overlooked. They take these stories and boil them down to their bones, and then reassemble them for a new generation of readers.

Today's most acclaimed authors use their own unique styles to rebuild these twelve timeless stories.
Anthologies are often what what I like to think of as a mixed blessing. They give readers a little bit of everything they could ever want and, sometimes, a little more than they might have wanted. They give us a lot of amazing authors, but they don't always give us enough of our favourites. Nevertheless, anthologies are priceless, as I'm always amazed just how many authors there are with different mindsets, different voices, different narratives and, truly, different perspectives on storytelling. Rags & Bones was certainly no exception, offering readers retellings of stories such as "Sleeping Beauty," "Rumplestiltskin" and many more. 

It is difficult to review an anthology as a whole because often the anthology as a whole doesn't quite measure up to the sum of its parts. However, if you take each story as its own entity within this grand master package, you're certain to be mesmerized. Rags & Bones gives us 12 dazzling tales that are reimagined through some of the most incredible minds of our generation. Neil Gaiman, Kami Garcia, Holly Black and a host of other authors lend us their literary prowess and send us into a whirlwind of adventure as we leap from one story to the next with excitement.

A true standout for me would have to be Neil Gaiman's take on Sleeping Beauty or, re-named, "The Sleeper and the Spindle." This rich story blurs the lines between fairy tales, letting other known princesses like Snow White come to the aid of the damsel in distress. It's rich, it's vivid, it's oddly empowering and it offers us a glimpse into this world that is so different than we might have imagined, but so very plausible, too, if you think about it. Rick Yancey offers us "When First We Were Gods," a new take on Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic "The Birth-Mark." This disconcerting dystopian tale is unsettling and eerie in a world where the rich can download their souls and place it into a new body.

Carrie Ryan's version of "The Machine Stops" is equally disconcerting, playing largely upon man's dependence upon technology. Her unique and accessible voice brings the world alive though, inviting you in with tantalizing detail and luring us into a wonderful, technological trap. The list goes on. Each story is vivid with detail, and it was delightful to gain a new sort of insight into the authors' worlds and how they see such classics being told.

While anthologies usually don't work for me, Rags & Bones was really very enjoyable. Though, at times, I found the pace a bit frantic and the stories almost a bit too short for my liking, they whetted my literary appetite and kept me intrigued throughout. If you're looking for an anthology that will come alive for you, I highly recommend this. I give it a 4 out of 5, and this is suitable for both YA and NA audiences.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. I have a love/hate relationship with anthologies. On one hand, they give us a variety of different authors and it really is amazing to read all the different takes and voices out there. On the other, short stories don't always satisfy. But I've heard great things about this one and I want to read the Neil Gaiman story!

    1. I'm right there with you, Mary! I usually struggle with them because there's too much but not enough, if that makes sense. This one, however, really worked for me!

  2. Anthologies have actually really been growing on me Melissa, especially ones like this with such an epic lineup of authors! It's fun to just get little snippets even though I of course crave the complexity and character development of a full length novel, but sometimes a little story nibble is just what I'm looking for! Can't wait to read this one:)

  3. I love the cover of this book. I haven't ever read an anthology but I'm thinking maybe I should, especially to get a feel of a writer's writing from one of the short stories. You seem to have really enjoyed this one, Melissa.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely review.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I always do my very best to return the favour :)

Please note that this blog is an award-free zone!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover