Archive for the ‘Fairy Tales’ Tag

New Books Highlight: Literary Remixes

The literary remix is fast becoming its own genre. Let me define: literary remix is when an author takes a work of literature or lore and reworks it as a new piece of fiction. Whether the story uses the same character names and relatively the same plot but puts it into a different time or place, or uses the plot and its symbolism as bones to build a pretty new story around – a lot of authors take inspiration from literature and lore. It’s a really fun genre because if you’re familiar with the original, the reworked piece is more vivid. It’s fun to see where the plot is similar, or how the author of the remix has transformed objects, places and people for the modern day or future. Here are a few new books that remix either fairy tales or canonical literature.

Fairy Tales

Rags and Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales, edited by Melissa Marr and Tim PrattRags & Bones

The fact that this is a remix is right in the title: twists on timeless tales. Melissa Marr works in the fairy-tale remix genre often, so it is not surprising that she co-edited this. It features new stories by authors like Neil Gaiman, Margaret Stohl, Rick Yancey and Holly Black. Each story reworks a classic piece of literature or lore, and in the remixing author identifies which story inspired them, and tells you a bit about why. This is the most fun to read if you know the stories being reworked, but if you don’t you will be inspired to find them.

Hero by Althea KontisHero by Althea Kontis

This is the second volume in the Woodcutter sisters series. The author remixes not one but many fairy tales, even throwing in some Greek mythology for good measure. Most of Saturday Woodcutter’s family understands their magical gifts – everyone but her, it seems. So when the tossing away of a magic mirror puts her whole family in danger, Saturday is ready to take on the adventure in the hopes of better-understanding her gifts. She set sails on a conjured sea only to be imprisoned by a blind witch who mistakes her for her brother. But the witch has other prisoners and with their help Saturday may be able to orchestrate their escape – if she doesn’t accidentally fall in love first.

Literature:

Black Spring by Alison CroggonBlack Spring

This is a dark and story paranormal romance retelling of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. In this remix, the style of writing and the structure of the story remain very close to the original work – but author Croggon sets the story in a world in which women practicing magic has been made illegal, and main character Lina may have supernatural powers. As in the original, Lina is in a star-crossed lover situation with her adopted brother, Damek, which amps up the danger Lina faces. It is as haunting and atmospheric as the original, with even more Gothic touches and a paranormal overtone.

Still Star-Crossed by Melinda TaubStill Star Crossed

This is not a classic remix because it is set after the events in the original story, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Author Taub imagines what comes next after Romeo and Juliet have both died (and now you’re totally saying, “I have always wondered!”). Verona has found some piece in its grief over the young lovers’ deaths. But the Montagues and the Capulets have not set aside their rivalry. Their is violence in the streets, and Prince Escalus decides he must take action: by forcing a Montague to wed a Capulet, thereby uniting the two families once and for all.

Thorn Abbey by Nancy OhlinThorn Abbey

Based on the classic Gothic novel Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Tess has transferred to elite boarding academy Thorn Abbey. Despite her lack of confidence – or perhaps because of it – she draws the attentions of Max de Villars. However, Tess, and everyone at the school in some way or another, seems to be haunted by the ghost of Max’s last love, Becca, who tragically drowned the previous year. Tess’s roommate was especially changed by Becca’s death, and now seems to be channeling her madness towards Tess and Max’s union.

New Books Highlight: Creepy Fantasy & Fairy Tales

Creepy books! They are not for everyone, that’s for sure. But if you like your fantasy or re-told, re-imagined fairy tales with a little bit of a creep factor – think Libba Bray, Melissa Marr, Kenneth Oppel, etc. – then check these new books out!

Nameless: A Tale of Beauty and Madness by Lili St. Crowcover image for nameless by lili st.crow

This is a new and creeptastic take on the story of Snow White. Camille is an orphan, found abandoned in the snow, who has been raised in the lap of luxury as the ward of the godfather of the Seven. The Seven are the powerful families that rule their magic-infused world of New Haven. Only Camille is not magical – she is mortal, with a past that remains a mystery until she meets Tor. Part fairy tale, part paranormal steampunk.

Sneak Peek! “Of all the cars in New Haven to fall before, I chose Enrico Vultusino’s long black limousine. The Dead Harvest had been dry for once, but Mithrus Eve had brought a cargo of snow, a white Mithrusmas for New Haven after all.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Lili St. Crow)

Faerie After by Janni Lee Simnercover image for faerie after

This is the third book in the Bones of Faerie trilogy, and of course promises much of the same fantastical faerie magic as you saw in the first two books. It’s part postapocalytpic mayhem and all dark fantasy. Liza’s world in Faerie is suddenly disintegrating, seemingly struck by a sickness that is causing living creatures to turn to dust. Liza realizes the fate of her world is linked to that of the human world, and she must risk bridging the two to save both.

Sneak Peek! “He came to me in the rain, as the first maple leaves were surrendering their green. Beyond the path where I waited, their veins burned orange and red beneath a steel-gray sky, and their branches hissed restlessly as they reached for falling water.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Janni Lee Simner)

The Archived by Victoria Schwabcover image for the archived by victoria schwab

Mackenzie is a Keeper with the heavy job of ensuring Histories – like ghosts, only more…complex – return to the Archive where Librarians store their knowledge and stories. As  Keeper, Mackenzie must ensure that wayward Histories don’t escape into the real world to cause havoc. Soon after her family relocates to a creepy new home in an old hotel, Mac meets a fellow Keeper and their previously quiet world begins to fall apart. Histories are on a rampage – and they may be getting help from inside the Archive. Not to be read in the dark if you’re easily scared!

Sneak Peek! “There is nothing fresh about this start. I lean back against the car and stare up at the Coronado, the hotel-turned-apartment building that my mother and father find ‘so charming.’ It stares back, wide-eyed, gaunt.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Victoria Schwab)

 

New Books Highlight: Remixes

This week we’ve got three brand new books (just going on the shelves TODAY!) that all feature stories that are based on other stories. Remixing stories is kind of a popular thing for authors to do right now – for example Marissa Meyer’s Cinder which retells Cinderella as a sci fi dystopian tale. Some very cool things happen when authors pick up a favorite fairy tale or classic story and re-imagine it in their own way.

Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters by Suzanne Weyndr frankenstein

In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, there is no mention of Dr. Frankenstein having a family at all. I seem to remember there being a sister, perhaps, but no daughters.Like Kenneth Oppel in This Dark Endeavor, Weyn adds to the story of Dr. Frankenstein by giving him two unacknowledged twin daughters. After Frankenstein dies, the two girls make their way to his creepy castle to claim it as their inheritance. Told in a Gothic style similar to the original novel, this story unravels in a twisty turn-y tale of romance, mystery, and horror as the two very different twins become captivated by their father’s castle and their father’s madness. If you like Oppel’s Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein series and the original horror story itself, you’ll want to read this one.

Sneak Peek! “From the Personal Diary of Victor Frankenstein, Ingolstadt, Germany, June 15, 1798. What unbearable guilt! I am the most wretched man alive – a blasted tree, shattered. I am abhorrent even to myself. My gentle and good wife, Hildy, dead. Only nineteen years of age and already gone from my arms, defeated in her struggle to give birth to our sweet tiny girls, Giselle and Ingrid.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Suzanne Weyn)

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickersonstrands

This is a retelling of the less-known Brothers Grimm tale of Bluebeard, a fierce but rich man who woos and brings home a young girl to be his next wife, but the young girl quickly discovers Bluebeard has deep, dark, murderous secrets hiding in his castle. In Nickerson’s retelling, Sophia Petheram is orphaned at 17, but unexpectedly invited to be taken in by her mysterious godfather. She accepts his invitation, having no other options, and lands at the lavish Wyndriven Abbey set deep in Mississippi. Things there seem pleasant, until Sophia begins to unravel the mysteries and see past the elaborate facades to the horrific secrets lurking at Wyndriven Abbey.

Sneak Peek! “You see, I had a fabulously wealthy godfather. That was why anything was possible for me.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Jane Nickerson)

 

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