Straight up, short stories are awesome. They give you a little taste of the author’s writing so you can decide if that’s something you want more of. Usually short stories are SUPER focused because there isn’t much room for meandering, thus I personally get a lot of enjoyment from them. The Curiosities: A Collection Of Stories by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff is an anthology of short stories originally posted on the Merry Sisters Of Fate collaborative blog.
Some of the short stories in The Curiosities are based on a singular prompt that all three authors take on, whereas other stories sprang up promptless. Prefacing each story is commentary from the author of the tale on the writing process and occasionally there are comments from the other two writers. There are also handwritten comments in the margin as well as doodles.
I thought the layout of The Curiosities was an interesting way to shed light on the creative process of the three authors. It also shows growth and provides concrete examples of the process without being boring. I really, really liked getting that inside peak, it’s kind of like having the commentary track on a DVD.
The stories were hit and miss for me. Some had compelling, likeable characters, interesting worlds, and strong dynamics. Whereas other stories had these sociopathic murdering characters that I just could not get behind and root for and was feeling rather detached towards.
In all, I think the merit of The Curiosities by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff lies in it’s use as a tool to showcase the creative process and development of writing skills. If you are a hardcore fan of the Merry Sisters or a short story lover, I’d recommend this book. If you aren’t an aspiring writer, fan or short story person I would say pass on this anthology and pick up the authors’ full length novels instead.
Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley.
Other reviews of The Curiosities:
As of typing this (6/28/12) I have not seen any. If you’ve reviewed this, drop me a link in the comments.