Review: Fierce Reads: Kisses and Curses ed Lauren Burniac

Monday, December 11, 2017
Title: Kisses and Curses 
Editor: Lauren Burniac
Genre: anthology, fantasy, contemporary
Series: The Lunar Chronicles 0.5, Razorland #1.1, Birthmarked #1.5, Crewel World .1, The Grishaverse #2.5
Pages: 390
Published: May 12, 2015
Source: borrowed library
Rating: 3/5

Beloved of readers and booksellers, our Fierce Reads program has garnered tons of enthusiastic fans since its inauguration in 2012. Now, the authors you know and love are coming together in one book! With standalone short stories from a handpicked set of FR authors, this fabulous collection will include a mix of original content and popular favorites, and will often feature characters or worlds from existing Fierce Reads books. Extended, personal introductions from each author will make this a must-buy for fans as well as a fantastic portal for engaging new readers with the program. With a wide range of genres and subject matter, there will be something here for everyone!

Glitches by Marissa Meyer- 4 Stars
Previously read, still a good introduction to the world. I think it's really necessary before Cinder, actually. It answers a lot of my questions about her family and how she got where she is.

Bridge of Snow by Marie Rutkoski - 3 stars
The story was okay. It didn’t didn't tell me much about the characters or the world; it’s a pretty tenuous link to the Winner’s Curse series, but the actual fairy tale of how stars got into the sky was very pretty. I wouldn’t seek out the actual series based on this story.

Dynamite Junior by Jennifer Mathieu - 3.5 stars.
The Truth About Alice is one of my all time fave contemporaries. This companion was good but confusing. There are a lot of time skips and Mathieu tried so hard to obscure the secret of Jorge that I had trouble with the pacing. I’m glad she dropped Carmen as a potential POV, but I’m also glad to meet her here.

Monster Crush by Anna Banks and Emmy Laybourne - NR
Haha, no. Not with that formatting.

Fixer by Courtney Alameda - 3 stars
I wish they wouldn’t include stories in these collections that require you to have read the series already. This was fine, gave me some insight into the world of reapers and Hellsings and zombies, but since I don’t know the characters? *shrug* No emotional resonance.

Unstolen by Jennifer Brody - 2 stars
The main character of this series is named Seraphina and she has purple eyes.

Secret Heart by Ann Aguirre - NR
Why is this even here? It’s one scene, rewritten. It’s six pages. I think Ann’s intro is longer. I can’t rate something that can’t be more than a hundred words.

Death & Waffles by Lish Mcbride - 4 stars
This is what I want in a tie in short story. It stands alone but makes me want to read the Necromancer series. It’s funny and sad and introduces the world, but doesn’t overstay. Ash seems like a really cool character.

Krisis by Lindsay Smith - 4 stars
Sekret never held any appeal to me, but I really liked the writing of this story. As with Death & Waffles, a self contained story that made me long to know the larger world. Good job, I’ll add Sekret to my TBR.

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things To Mend Deleted Scenes by Katie Finn- 2 stars
Finn was just desperate to spoil the reveal in this book, huh. Good job, editor.

Tortured by Caragh M. O’Brien - NR
Intro warned for spoilers and I haven’t read Birthmarked yet. Shame, I loved Vault of Dreamers and this was one of the stories I was looking forward to. I’ll just have to move the series up the ole TBR.

Blue Moon by Nikki Kelly - 0 stars
This story opens with a quote from one of my least favorite comics of all time, the masturbatory wankfest that is Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum. So we’re off to a great start and it just goes downhill. The writing is terrible. Skimmed, found nothing I wanted.

The Cypress Project by Gennifer Albin - 3 stars
A prequel to Crewel, which I anticipated so highly and ended up not liking at all. I never continued the series, so this was actually good to confirm a theory I had re: "the War" and the worldbuilding timeline. I’ve read one other short story set in this world and it was better. Lucy and Joshua were fine, but the story didn’t need four POVs.

The Too-Clever Fox by Leigh Bardugo - 4.5 stars
Hey look, the story I borrowed the anthology for. Loved this take on Little Red Riding Hood. I have a slight quibble with the end, which keeps it from a full five stars, but Bardugo did a great job building the world and making it feel Russian/Ravkan in a really short space.

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