December 7, 2016

Review: ONCE: Six Historically Inspired Fairytales by Elisabeth Grace Foley, Rachel Heffington, J. Grace Pennington, Emily Ann Putzke, Suzannah Rowntree, & Hayden Wand

Well now! I am quite impressed with the imaginations of these six authors to take well known fairytales and spin them so differently, yet keep enough of the familiar so that one recognizes the basic storyline. I've seen each of them around the web and was thrilled to finally get a chance to taste a bit of their writing. Let me just say that I will definitely be checking out more from each of them. (Also, can I mention that I loved Rachel Heffington's preface? It set the stage so perfectly for me to begin reading!)  Every single one of these stories is so very well-written, and seriously, the creativeness involved in displacing these familiar characters on new and exciting adventures is fabulous. Kudos, ladies! Y'all have a new fan. :)

Each story is quite different from the others. Ms. Foley clearly excels in writing westerns, as that genre doesn't usually interest me, yet I got swept away and anxiously wondered how things were going to turn out. I shouldn't have worried! Ms. Heffington's story was by far the one I was uncertain about the most. Not her writing, but just the fact that there was an overall sadness surrounding the characters. I kept hoping that somehow my desired happy ending would come! Turns out it was more of a hopeful ending than a happy one, but that didn't take away from the imaginativeness she used. I was quite intrigued with the world she created! Ms. Pennington's ended up being my favorite of the six, I have to admit. I absolutely loved the slow burn romance and how sweet Byron was. And the automatons and machines that Amanda created!

Ms. Putzke gave her story a very bittersweet feeling. But the alternating chapters between present time and past was so well done! As were the descriptions of how horrible it was for the Jews during WWII. I kept hoping just maybe a happy ending would come, but ultimately I figured out that wouldn't have worked. Ms. Putzke knew how the journey needed to go. I definitely appreciated the hopefulness that infused the overall storyline though. Ms. Rowntree's story was certainly a fascinating one! I kept trying to figure out who I should trust and who I shouldn't and still wasn't totally right by the time the clues all came together. She created a unique setting, I wasn't sure quite what to expect when I started chapter one, so my curiosity was high. While not my favorite, I have to say I was invested to know what would happen! And finally, Ms. Wand's story was a sweet way to end the book. While not every scene involved sweetness necessarily (there were harsh moments where the roughness of war needed to be made clear), ultimately it made me grin over the adorable romance. Also I liked the fact that Nella's struggles weren't magically over at the end. She made huge strides in overcoming, but time was still needed for complete healing. Which is very true of life!

Altogether, these stories are a wonderful and easy read. While not the fluffy bits of entertainment one usually associates with fairytales, each writer added a few of those moments somewhere in her story. Enough to satisfy a fairytale lover like me! :) These six stories are truly worth your time to read, friends. When you're in need of a quick story to while away a couple hours, one that will make you smile and keep you on your toes, this little book is perfect. Trust me! :)

**I received a complimentary copy from the authors. All opinions expressed are my own.




2 comments:

  1. Another fan! I like how varied these stories are -- something for everyone to enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hamlette: Yes! And seriously, the creative imaginations these ladies must have, to create such intriguing stories! :)

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