Goodreads Rating: 2.5 stars
Narrator Rating: 4 stars
I was suggested to read this book by my boyfriend’s sister, in time for the movie. I want to first point out, I am not a fan of the writing style of the time period, and I have never really been a fan of Jane Austen. I do not even enjoy watching movies her books are based off of. However, I gave this a good shot. And I didn’t care for it.
My low rating is simply because I did not care for it. It did not wow me. But, I admit, it is because, as I said, I do not like Austen style books. So. This rating is skewed in that regards.
I did like the narrator. I think that is the only reason I kept listening. She made it enjoyable. I was a fan of Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter so I was looking forward to the style. I think that his ability to blend in his story in the Austen style was good, so my rating isn’t necessarily because of him. He did a good job. I just didn’t like the overall story of Austen’s.
Goodreads Rating: 3 stars
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars
I had high hopes when I checked out A Thousand Nights from the library. I selected this book as one of the books for the Retellings Challenge I am participating in. This story is a retelling of Arabian Nights. Where the book did well in challenging gender, power, and love/sacrifice, it failed for me in the overall final product.
The leading lady in this story is nameless, she is referred to more or less as sister, and once in the castle, Lady-Bless. I find that intriguing, since this nameless female sets off to become one of the most powerful and revered female in the land. She saves the lives of many, after 300 females died before her, she manages to keep Lo-Melkhiin’s interest to keep living another day.
Where this story failed for me, the book descriptions talk about the stories that the main character weaves keeping the interest of Lo-Melkhiin. There were not many stories told by the main character, and the ones that were told, did not last long. Lo-Melkhiin, or the being inside of Lo-Melkhiin, was fascinated by the power that Lady-Bless some how had.
This story seemed to take forever, the best part was the final event at Lady-Bless’ sister’s wedding. I felt that it took me longer to read this book than it should have. It was slow, and many parts were boring or unnecessary. The writing style flowed smoothly. I feel, overall, though the concept is intriguing, it failed to deliver. You will have to read it for yourself to see what you think. I think with other stories coming out retelling Arabian Nights, this one is not up to snuff.
A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
Goodreads Rating: 3 stars
I may need some time to process this story. It took me approximately 16 days to get through it. It normally does not take me 2 weeks to read a book. This book was roughly 260 pages. I can generally read that in one sitting.
This book is basically about Hansel and Gretel and them going through multiple stories of the Grimm fairy tales. This book was gruesome in parts, over the top in parts, and wildly entertaining in others. Is it my favorite retelling I have ever read? No. Will I continue on with the series? Eventually. I am not in any rush. I think this book would probably be great as an Audiobook. There is some extra outside dialogue in the pages that is very entertaining and I think a narrator would have been perfect! Specifically I think Nick Podehl would have been great! (He narrates the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness).
I do think the mashup is pretty nice and different. I like how two children from one tale made their way through a chunk of their life and intermingled with other tales. Even though it took me some time, it was a nice, easy, read. I don’t really know what took so long, especially since I was reading and completing other books. I think, mainly, I had to read it in parts to maintain my interest. Hansel could be a bit much from time to time, but so could Gretel, and I would find it annoying. That is where I leave it, great writing, just okay characters, and gruesome (sometimes hard to believe it is a children’s book).