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Book Cover Image: The Poison Eaters by Holly BlackTitle: The Poison Eaters: And Other Stories

Author: Holly Black

Synopsis (Courtesy of Powell’s Books): “Poisonous girls whose kisses will kill. A fateful eating contest with the devil. Faeries who return to Ironside, searching for love. A junior prom turned bacchanalia. In twelve short stories, eerie and brimming with suspense and unexpected humor, Holly Black twists the fantastical creatures you thought you knew in ways you’ll never expect.”

Thoughts: The Poison Eaters is an eclectic mix of short stories that highlight Holly Black’s mastery of all things dark and disturbing. Each story draws on something a bit different so that no one story blends into the other. She touches on vampires, fairies, princesses, and so much more and does it all with a sense of mastery.  Yet, the mythical elements are only that – elements. Each novel addresses are more mundane aspects of society and challenges them in humanity. From drugs to sacrifice to protecting loved ones, humans and mythical creatures alike face the same obstacles, making her short stories more than paranormal vignettes.

The stories themselves are fairly short, making this a nice, easy and enjoyable read. Ms. Black shines as she shares her fascinating characters and lessons on morality. Her simplistic writing style lends itself well to her spooky subject matter. Fans of Ms. Black will enjoy these extra stories, while those not yet familiar with her work would benefit from this collection of short stories as an introduction to her writing.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster Galley Grab for my review copy!

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