Thanks to NetGalley and Flatiron books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: September 10th, 2019
Synopsis: Thirteen of YA’s most celebrated names reimagine Edgar Allen Poe’s most surprising, unsettling, and popular tales for a new generation.
Edgar Allen Poe may be one 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 Allen Poe’s classic tales and how they’ve been brought to life in thirteen unique and unforgettable ways.
Contributors include Kendare Blake (reimagining Metzengerstein), Rin Chupeco (The Murders in the Rue Morgue), Lamar Giles (The Oval Portrait), Tess Gratton (Annabel Lee), Tiffany D. Jackson (The Cask of Amontillado), Stephanie Kuehn (The Tell-Tale Heart), Emily Lloyd-Jones (The Purloined Letter), Amanda Lovelace (The Raven), Hillary Monahan (The Masque of the Red Death), Marieke Nijkamp (Hop-Frog), Caleb Roehrig (The Pit and the Pendulum), and Fran Wilde (The Fall of the House of Usher).
Once upon a time when I was just a tyke (8 or 9-years-old), I snuck a collection of Edgar Allen Poe’s stories home from the library and with great delight proceeded to terrify myself reading them by flashlight under my covers. So, when I saw His Hideous Heart on NetGalley, I knew I had to request it, especially as some of my favorite YA authors are part of this. While anthologies can be tricky, and whereas I personally have a mixed history with them, I was still a little nervous about the reworking of one of my favorite author’s stories, but I’m happy to say that this is one of the best anthologies I’ve read. Except for a couple that I thought were “meh” I enjoyed all these retellings but my favorites (in order) are:
1. The Glittering Death (The Pit and the Pendulum), by Caleb Roehrig
2. Happy Days, Sweetheart (The Tell-Tale Heart), by Stephanie Kuehn
3. She Rode a Horse of Fire (Metzengerstein), by Kendare Blake
4. It’s Carnival! (The Cask of Amontillado), by Tiffany D. Jackson
5. Red (The Masque of the Red Death), by Hillary Monahan
In addition to these creative and diverse retellings, is the caring way editor and author Dahlia Adler has put them together. The first half of the book are the new stories, and the second half are the originals. This makes it easy to go back and forth to compare them. If I were a high school literature teacher, I’d be using His Hideous Heart to not only introduce my students to Poe, but also to share with them some terrific short stories by authors they may be more familiar with. I HIGHLY recommend this anthology to both Poe fans as well as readers just looking for some wonderful storytelling.