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Review of The Poison Eaters by Holly Black

by - February 26, 2011

In her debut collection, New York Times best-selling author Holly Black returns to the world of Tithe in two darkly exquisite new tales. Then Black takes readers on a tour of a faerie market and introduces a girl poisonous to the touch and another who challenges the devil to a competitive eating match. Some of these stories have been published in anthologies such as 21 Proms, The Faery Reel, and The Restless Dead, and many have been reprinted in many "Best of " anthologies.

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You know what I love the most about Stephen King? His short stories! So I was pretty excited to learn that Holly Black has done some, not enough Authors do them these days. The Poison Eaters is a compilation of short stories (most of which have appeared in other Anthologies), all in the fantasy genre. In here you can expect a whole host of fantasy creatures - werewolves, unicorns, elves, Vampires, the Devil and Wolverine. Yes, really, even has a cigar. The stories are quite varied too - The Poison Eaters, the last in the book, is more of a Fairy Story, a touch of romance is added in The Coat of Stars and some Fae try and get pregnant in 'Going Ironside'. The end up with a drug addiction.
I'm actually tied for what my favourite stories is. I loved the concept Paper Cuts Scissors, where you meet Wolverine and various other storybook characters, but The Poison Eaters was pretty damn good and a breathtaking ending that left me wanting more.
Of course, one major pull to buy this for a lot of Holly fans is The Land of Hearts Desire, where you get to meet the characters from Tithe again. I didn't enjoy the story as much as the others, I felt that it dragged a little. One thing I did love in this however is that there's a couple of gay relationships. Not many YA authors seem to be willing to explore this idea, sticking to what's safe but I find the ones that do are some of the best Authors.
If you read a few other Holly Black novels, throughout this you'll find a feeling of familiarity - many elements in this can be linked to books such as Tithe and Spiderwick. I hope that she'll write another short story compilation sometime, this one was amazing.


Received free from Simon and Schuster Galley Grab in exchange for an honest review.

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