Genre: Fantasy Age Range: Adult
Fractured Fables is a series of novellas that reimagine fairy-tales for the modern day.
A SPINDLE SPLINTERED
Star Rating: 4 stars Series: book 1
This novella has so much voice. It’s funny and distinctive, sounding just like a person who’s jaded and watched lots of movies. That was the thing that drew me into the story because the voice latched onto me and did not let go. For sure, I missed 99% of the meme/pop culture references (because I always do even when I’ve been warned there are lots in a book!) but it didn’t make it a dissatisfying read because they were just textural elements, rather than major plot points.
It’s also a feminist look at Sleeping Beauty in a multi-verse like situation where a modern girl with a chronic illness gets sucked into a medieval setting and explores several permutations of the story as well as sneaking in some literary theory.
The novella is illustrated. Based off the copyright page and some of the lines in the books, I think they’re silhouettes taken from a famous illustrated version of Grimm’s Fairytales. Except they’re gone . . . wonky and fractured. It’s a fun visual element to the book – might mean a little more to those who know the illustrated edition it’s based on though!
A MIRROR MENDED
I received an eARC of the novella through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.
Star Rating: 4 stars Series: book 2
Instead of trying to save a damsel in distress, this novella sees Zinnia tangled up with an evil queen (who’s kinda hot) who doesn’t want to be killed as the villain all while Zinnia is trying to run from her real life, the uncertainty of going through her illness all over again.
It’s another fun read, subverting expectations and playing with many different versions of the Snow White story. It’s also the most multi-verse filled book, starting off with a lot of hoping around, very Doctor-Strange or Loki-esque. After talking about, but only glimpsing a little, of the multi-verse in the first book, this was a lot of fun to see more variations of Snow White.
This is the last book, I think? The ending certainly seems to round things off satisfactorily. We have a conclusion for Zinnia, a sense of peace for the future, even if it’s uncertain. I would not object to another, but I liked how it concluded.
I think there are also going to be illustrations in the final version of this? There weren’t any in the eARC, which is honestly a relief (99% of the time, illustrations mess the formatting up until reading is a pain.) There are certainly references to the illustrated book throughout.
Read my reviews of other books by Alix E. Harrow: