His Hideous Heart editied by Dahlia Adler
Thirteen of YA’s most celebrated names reimagine Edgar Allan Poe’s most surprising, unsettling, and popular tales for a new generation.
Edgar Allan Poe may be a hundred and fifty years beyond this world, but the themes of his beloved works have much in common with modern young adult fiction. Whether the stories are familiar to readers or discovered for the first time, readers will revel in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tales, and how they’ve been brought to life in 13 unique and unforgettable ways.
The night the stables burned, the air turned cold and still as in the dead of winter.
His Hideous Hearts has become one of my favourite anthologies. I have decided to break this review down and give you some short thoughts on each of the stories in this collection.
She Rode a Horse on Fire by Kendare Blake (Inspired by “Metzengerstein”
This story is such a strong start to the collection and one of the most memorable. I loved the historical element and Blake was able to create an atmospheric vibe that is very reminiscent of Poe himself.
I have never read a full length novel from Kendare Blake by I am now intrigued because I loved her writing style.
It’s Carnival! by Tiffany D. Jackson (Inspired by The Cask of Amontillado)
This story in particular is a prime example of how the contributors of this collection took Poe’s stories and modernized them. I loved the feminist angle that It’s Carnival! took on. I felt myself cheering on the main character and the ending was so satisfying. What is it about revenge stories that I just love?
Tiffany D. Jackson is another author who I have never read anything from, but her books are on my TBR. I will now make them a priority!
Night-Tide by Tessa Gratton (Inspired by Annabel Lee)
This is one of my favourite stories in the collection- there is something so hauntingly beautiful about it. It is one of the stories that I almost wish were a full-length novel. I think it has something important to say.
I have actually never even heard of Tessa Gratton let alone read anything by her. As her story was one of my favourites, I would love to explore her backlist. Any suggestions on where to start?
The Glittering Death by Caleb Roehrig (Inspired by The Pit and the Pendulum)
This was one of the scariest stories in the collection solely based on the fact that it felt very realistic. It follows a young girl trying to escape a serial killer and it is just so haunting and gut-wrenching.
Caleb Roehrig is another new to me author- are we sensing a theme here? That is what I love about anthologies- I always find new authors.
A Drop of Stolen Ink by Emily Lloyd-Jones (Inspired by The Purloined Letter)
This is one of the stories that I have mixed feelings about- it was good but I was hoping for more. I am not sure that it worked as a short story because more background was needed. I really thought that the ending was interesting and I love the idea of stolen tattoos.
I have had my eye on Emily Lloyd-Jones novel The Hearts We Sold. I get the impression that it has a similar vibe to this story but will have the opportunity to go deeper. I am looking forward to picking it up!
Happy Days, Sweetheart by Stephanie Kuehn (Inspired by The Tell-Tale Heart)
This is one of the most original stories in the collection. It is an interesting look at pride, ambition, and injustice. Another revenge story that captivated me, but I did feel as though our main character had her sights set on the wrong person.
I have never heard of Stephenie Kuehn but I noticed that she collaborated on a few other anthologies I have had my eye on. Can’t wait to read more short stories from her!
The Raven (Remix) by amanda lovelace (Inspired by The Raven)
My least favourite of the collection mainly because I just didn’t get it. I just do not connect with this kind of poetry. I think it is worth mentioning that I listened to this on audio so I would be curious to see what the poem looks like in physical form and if that makes a difference.
I have tried to read amanda lovelace’s poetry collections in the past but never fell in love with them.
Changeling by Marieke Nijkamp (Inspired by Hop-Frog)
I am fascinated by changelings and I thought that this was an interesting take. Revenge seems to be a common theme in this collection. This is another story that I wish had gone a little further. It had some interesting things to say but I wanted more.
I know that Nijkamp wrote This is Where It Ends, a YA novel about a school shooting. I have heard mixed things and I am not sure that it is something I would picked up, but I will be on the lookout for what she writes next.
The Oval Filter by Lamar Giles (Inspired by The Oval Portrait)
Filter as in an Instagram filter as opposed to portrait! Get it?! I thought that was quite clever and a unique and relatable way to modernize the story. There was something extremely creepy about this one and the fact that I was listening to it on my phone did not help things!
Lamar Giles is another author who seems to write quite a few short stories for YA anthologies. I am curious to read more from him.
Red by Hillary Monahan (Inspired by The Masque of the Red Death)
For some reason I found Red to be the least memorable story in this collection. I am sitting here writing this review and I am struggle to recall anything about it. I remember it being very abstract and I am not sure I truly got it- maybe that is why it didn’t stick.
I was looking through Monahan’s backlist and it looks like she writes some really creepy novels particularly the ones about Bloody Mary- she terrified me as a kid!
Lygia by Dahlia Adler (Inspired by Ligeia)
Dahlia Adler edited this collection and I thought that her contribution to it was quite strong. I am always fascinated by stories that tackle loss and the different ways people express grief. This is a story that is more heartbreaking than scary, and one I think a lot of people will be able to relate to.
None of Adler’s backlist titles are calling to me and this story seems to be quite a departure from what she would normally write. I would be curious to know your thoughts on any of her full-length novels!
The Fall of the Bank of Usher by Fran Wilde (Inspired by The Fall of the House of Usher)
This is a SciFi story and I do not know how to even begin to describe it to you. It is so original and out there that you just have to read it in order to get it. Mixed feelings on this one because I do not think it works as a short story. This is a world and a concept that needs more time to be able to explored.
Wilde has a pretty extensive backlist, but I have never heard of any of her novels- I wouldn’t even know where to begin. If you have read anything by her let me know!
The Murders in the Rue Apartelle, Boracay by Rin Chupeco (Inspired by The Murders in the Rue Morgue)
There were some things I adored about this story (the magical realism and the main character) and some things that confused me. I am not sure that this is how I would have chosen to end the collection because it left me scratching my head if I am being honest.
Can you believe I have not read The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco? That series is so well-loved!
Yes! The perfect read to get you in to a spooky mood for Fall and to discover new authors. I think it important to mention that I do not think that you need to have any prior experience with Poe’s work to enjoy this collection. That said, his work is included in the second half of the book and it worth the read as well!