6 Jul 2018

ARC #Review: A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman


Edited by: Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman
Series: N/A
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. 

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate. 

Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renee Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong. 

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.

I thought this was a pretty good anthology but there were some stories that were kinda meh to me. I liked that there was an explanation of the mythology after each story. I thought that some of the stories just weren't for me for both the theme and the way it was written.

But other than that, I quite enjoyed the majority of these stories - and some I wanted even more of! See a full breakdown of the stories and their rating and my thoughts...

Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi: 4*
I loved this story. I love Roshani's writing because she knows how to balance showing and telling while bringing everything to life so vividly. If you haven't read Roshani's other works, do yourself a favour and pick them up now!

Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong: 4*
I liked the ghost mythology here and the writing style was really cool. I thought that it was pretty amazing.

Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee: DNF
This one caused me to put this book down for a bit until I convinced myself it was okay to DNF this story. It just wasn’t vibing with me.

Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra: 4.5*
lol this story does not end here?? This story is a full trilogy with movie rights correct?? Because this was amazing. I was on the edge of my seat and enthralled. Give me more!!!

The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette de Bodard: 4*
I  thought this was a good story but I would have liked just a bit more of an introduction or background to truly be satisfied with it.

The Land of The Morning Calm by E.C. Myers: 4.5*

I liked this one but I wanted more details and for it to flow a bit better than what it did. Still a very cool story though!

Girls who Twirl and Other Dangerous Things by Preeti Chhibber: 4*

This resolved a littleeeee too easily for me but otherwise I really enjoyed it. I also want someone to invite me to this festival, thank you very much.

Nothing Into All by Renee Ahdieh: 4.5*

I need more of this one too. Basically this book is just a giant wish list of more!

Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia: DNF

I didn’t enjoy the way the first bit of this was written and I knew it would cause me to slump to keep reading it so DNF and onto the next story!

Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz: 3*

Eh. This could have been better and could have been worse. I thought there were good parts to it but the writing style combined with the story just didn't keep my attention the way I wanted it to.

Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman: 4*

I liked this a lot. I just wish it was a little longer. That's the problem with a lot of anthologies: the stories are too short for what will really satisfy me with the really good stories.

Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar: 2.5*

This was okay but nothing special imo. I skimmed a lot of it because I just wasn't super interested.

The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon: 3*

This was alright. I’m not a fan of how it was written but I liked the story. I have enjoyed Cindy Pon's other works so I would still recommend her work!

Eyes Like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa: 4*

I love kitsune stories and mythology and this was really good. I loved the way it ended and like I am 100% here for females making a name for themselves.

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