by Laini Taylor
with illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo
What is it about:
Three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers' souls:
In Victorian times, goblin men had only to offer young girls sumptuous fruits to tempt them to sell their souls. But what does it take to tempt today's savvy girls?
Spicy Little Curses
A demon and the ambassador to Hell tussle over the soul of a beautiful English girl in India. Matters become complicated when she falls in love and decides to test her curse.
Six days before Esme's fourteenth birthday, her left eye turns from brown to blue. She little suspects what the change heralds, but her small safe life begins to unravel at once. What does the beautiful, fanged man want with her, and how is her fate connected to a mysterious race of demons?
What did I think of it:
I really liked Taylor's world building and writing in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, so when I ran into this book with three short stories by Taylor, I decided to give it a try.
The first pleasant surprise:
The illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo
At the start of each story there are several panels that depict part of the story. I really enjoyed looking at these illustrations. Di Bartolo really captured the mood of the stories in my opinion.
As for the stories itself:
Goblin Fruit tells the story of a teen who doesn't fit in, and draws the attention of goblins who want her soul. I liked how it was set up, and especially how things all played out. For such a simple set up it was a surprisingly original story.
Spicy Little Curses was more complex and exotic. It is set in colonial India, and I really liked the idea of a prim English widow being the ambassador to Hell. The setting and the mythology used all worked together to make this an enjoyable and suspenseful story.
In Hatchling Taylor used the same story telling technique that annoyed me in Daughter of Smoke and Bone: flashbacks/skipping back in time to reveal important information for the plot. I'm not a fan of this technique, but this being a novella, it didn't drag my out of the flow of the story as much as it did in Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
All in all I very much enjoyed reading these stories, and they even made me more interested in reading the next book in her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.
Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable collection of Paranormal YA stories.