Review: Grim – Christine Johnson.

GrimGrim is an anthology of fairytale retellings, with an odd twist. As with all anthologies, some really stand out once you’ve finished and others seem to just fade away in your memory.

The Key by Rachel Hawkins is first up and, personally, a stand out. Possibly because I was unsure of what to expect and this reassured me, but I fell hook, line and sinker into the story, even though it was a fleeting tale. Figment, a reworking of Puss In Boots, was… interesting, but ultimately just okay. I don’t know how I expected it to end, but the need for an epilogue, and then the content of said epilogue, knocked the story down a few.

The Twelfth Girl didn’t really capture interest, and The Raven Princess was cute but predictable. Thinner Than Water is the hardest hitting content-wise, with darker personal issues playing a driving force. The verse of Before The Rose Bloomed made it a challenge to read and keep interest.

It’s kind of a sandwich of good and okay to an extent. From Beast/Beast and The Brothers Piggett (cute, that it’s a hat tip to the Three Little Pigs) are both good, where Untethered – though not having much familiarity to another tale personally – was more captivating. The last few explore more sci-fi territory, and raise their own questions. Sell Out gives a male perspective to the Snow White/Sleeping Beauty tale, which – at the very least – makes it different. The ability to rouse the dead with a kiss, however, is what makes it great, in a grim kind of way.

Grim is good. They’re all retellings in their own form, some sticking far too closely to the original where others dared to be a little different. Some work, others don’t. Some hook you in for a brief time, where others simply feel short without interest. But a very cool book if you’re into fairytales with a sinister twist.

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Pub: 25th Feb 2014 | Harlequin Teen

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