Mini ARCs Reviews

Hello world? How are you? Here it’s too hot for my taste, and I am fearing the coming of the Summer. Why couldn’t we stay in Springtime for 6 months?? Anyway… today I want to share with you a couple of books I have read in the past months, so here we go!

Thanks to NetGalley and to the editor. I received a copy of this books in exchange for an honest review.

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Title: The New Voices of Fantasy
Edited by: Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman
Publication Date: July 2017
Page count: 336

Ready for the next big thing?

The New Voices of Fantasy spotlights nineteen breakout writers who are reinventing fantasy right now. Usman T. Malik, Sofia Samatar, Eugene Fischer, E. Lily Yu, Ben Loory, Maria Dahvana Headley, Ursula Vernon, Max Gladstone, and other emerging talents have been hand-picked by fantasy legend Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn) and genre expert Jacob Weisman (Treasury of the Fantastic). International, crosscultural, and fearless, many of these rising stars have just or are about to publish their first novels and collections. They bring you childhood stories gone wrong, magical creatures in heat, a building that’s alive and full of waiters, love, ducks, and a new take on a bloodsucking fiend.

Table of Contents:
“Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong
“Selkie Stories are for Losers” by Sofia Samatar
“Tornado’s Siren” by Brooke Bolander
“Left the Century to Sit Unmoved” by Sarah Pinsker
“A Kiss with Teeth” by Max Gladstone
“Jackalope Wives” by Ursula Vernon
“The Cartographer Wasps and Anarchist Bees” by E. Lily Yu
“The Practical Witch’s Guide to Acquiring Real Estate” by A. C. Wise
“The Tallest Doll in New York City” by Maria Dahvana Headley
“The Haunting of Apollo A7LB” by Hannu Rajaniemi
“Here Be Dragons” by Chris Tarry
“The One They Took Before” by Kelly Sandoval
“Tiger Baby” by JY Yang
“The Duck” by Ben Loory
“Wing” by Amal El-Mohtar
“The Philosophers” by Adam Ehrlich Sachs
“My Time Among the Bridge Blowers” by Eugene Fischer
“The Husband Stitch” by Carmen Maria Machado
“The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn” by Usman T. Malik

This book was a big disappointment, I am sorry to say. It’s true that I am not a big fan of collection of short stories, but sometimes I read them because you can discover some new author, or some new series, or you can read about the POV of some peculiar character in the series that you follow and love. So, even if I have not great expectations, I hope to find something good and interesting. And, sure as hell, I do not expect to find boredom in every single story!
I know that I would not like all the stories, that not all of them would be interesting to me, but usually, I don’t actively dislike them, or at least, not dislike them so much as with this book.

I can’t say that all the stories were bad, because I loved The Practical Witch’s Guide to Acquiring Real Estate by A. C. Wise. For me, this one was a 5 stars rating. It was funny, quirky, original and now I have to check out this author! But this was the only one I really liked.
There were a couple of stories, three of them to be precise, of which I liked the idea: Tornado’s Siren by Brooke Bolander, The Tallest Doll in New York City by Maria Dahvana Headley and The Duck by Ben Loory. But that’s it. I liked the idea behind them, but not the stories.

It’s true that I have found a new interesting author. But there were 19 stories in this collection and one out of 19 it isn’t good. All in all, it was quite a dull read. and I had a hard time to push my way through it.

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I think I am being really kind with the rating, to be honest!

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Title: The Asylum of Dr. Caligari
Author: James Morrow
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Page count: 192

The infamous Dr. Caligari: psychiatrist or psychopath? In this wry and satiric tour de force, award-winning author James Morrow (Towing Jehovah, The Last Witchfinder) offers a surprising and provocative take on a silent film classic.

In the summer of 1914, the world teeters on the brink of the Great War. An American painter, Francis Wyndham, is hired to provide art therapy at a renowned European asylum, working under the auspices of its mysterious director, Alessandro Caligari. Francis is soon beguiled by his most talented student, Ilona Wessels, whose genius with a brush is matched only by the erotic intensity of her madness.

Deep in his secret studio, Dr. Caligari, rumored to be a sorcerer, struggles to create Ecstatic Wisdom, an immense painting so hypnotic it can incite entire regiments to rush headlong into battle. Once Francis and Ilona grasp Caligari’s scheme in all its supernatural audacity, they conspire to defeat him with a magical work of their own…

This one was another overdue review, and I am sorry to have waited so long before writing it, but, to be honest, this one was another meh reading and I was hoping to find something to write about it that was a little bit… well, that was more than “this was meh”. I can’t say I have found the words, but it’s not right to let it wait for ages. So, here we go!

It wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t good, either. And, even if it was a short one, it took some time for me to finish it, because every time I put it down I had a hard time to pick it up again. The idea wasn’t so bad, but I am not into magical realism, and I think that this book it has more to do with this genre that it has to do with the horror, for example. Anyway… interesting idea, and also interesting setting. I liked it. But the characters didn’t click with me. I have tried, because they were fascinating, in some ways, but they couldn’t interest me, at all.
The asylum was an interesting setting and Caligari was a creepy character, but the other ones were pretty dull. I think they could have been more interesting, especially Ilona. She has a lot of potentialities but, in the end, she was as dull as the rest of them.
I haven’t a lot to say about this book because even if I liked the idea (once I read the synopsis I requested it on NetGalley, after all, so I was interested in something!) it was a meh reading, quite boring. I wasn’t intrigued by the story and the characters were quite dull (I have written this word a lot in just a couple of sentences, sorry!) and I couldn’t find a single interesting thing.

I didn’t give it a negative rate, and that could be a little bit of a surprise at this point because the idea was interesting. All the parts about the power of the art, and about Ecstatic Wisdom were intriguing, It’s just that I wasn’t captivated by the reading, that’s all.

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And that’s all for today! Did you read these books? Or are you planning to read them? Let me know!
Happy reading!
S.

11 thoughts on “Mini ARCs Reviews

  1. Kiersten says:

    I read the New Voices of Fantasy. I enjoyed some of the stories, while others I barely glazed over. I fall somewhere in the middle with my rating. I feel like this is often the case with short story collections with multiple authors.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thebookwormdrinketh says:

    Oh no! I LOVE short story collections, and as soon as I saw the name of this one I thought “I NEED THIS ONE!!” so disappointing when the next sentence states you just didn’t enjoy it! .. Maybe I’ll have to try it out anyways. Ha ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susy's Cozy World says:

      For me it was a big disappointment because I actively disliked a lot of the stories, but if you are curious about it, you should give it a try! There are 19 short stories in this one, so there are a lot of probabilities that you would find something that would interest you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says:

    Nooo The New Voices of Fantasy was on my TBR. Even though I’m not a huge fan of short stories, it has some of my favourite authors so I was planning on checking out at one point. Maybe I’ll just skim through it…

    I’m also not looking forward to the summer heat. I want my cozy blankets and fireplace!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susy's Cozy World says:

      Cozy blankets and fireplace sound so good right now! And a hot cup of tea! Pure bliss!!!!

      And for the book, if you know the author and like them, you should give it a try. For me they were unknown, almost all of them, and their style didn’t do a thing for me, but maybe for you it would be different! 🙂

      Like

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