To tell the truth, we have had this on our ‘read’ shelf since last year, but we could never figure out how to review an anthology. With so many different authors contributing it seemed unfair to rate the whole book on our old rating system. Maybe the new one will suit it better.
Once Upon a Happy Ending by Casey Lane et al.
“What if Beauty was the beast? What if Little Red Riding Hood was a sacrifice? The stories of Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty have been told countless times over, but never quite like this…
Once Upon a Happy Ending features your favorite tales retold by 16 incredible authors, including Ella Summers, KM Shea, Cameron Jace, Rebecca Hamilton, RaShelle Workman, and many more! If you like enchanting worlds, witty heroines, and inventive reimaginings, then you’ll love a collection that takes the classics to a whole new level.” – From Amazon
Sixteen stories by sixteen authors, each of which is a reimagined fairy tale. To say that some stories were better than others would be an understatement, quality varied greatly from story to story though the editing was consistent enough. If we had to choose a favorite, and perhaps we do, that would be That Damn Pea, the retelling of the classic The Princess and the Pea. While we usually don’t appreciate vulgar language added to make a story appear edgier, it was funny none the less. While there were a few we were less appreciative of, Sleeping Cyborg likely tops that list. While on the surface it could have been interesting, it simply felt too generic and not quite imaginative enough, nor did it appear similar enough to the supposed source material (Sleeping Beauty we assume). We will say though that for the price and the length, it would be difficult to find a better deal to help you pass a couple of afternoons.
We would be remiss if we did not mention Casey Lane’s retelling of Rapunzel. Relatively fresh and possibly the best written of the group, it stand’s out for both its wittiness and originality. It would have been the best of the bunch, in our opinion, if we were not so partial to the Princess and the Pea story. As we don’t want to give anything away, all we can say about Rapunzel is we feel bad for that nameless hero, very bad indeed. We know some people are unnerved or disgusted by other people’s hair, and if you are one of those people, this story will help you little in conquering that fear.
The Rating: B-
Overall, its not bad, but it could be better. Whenever we read an anthology like this we know that most of the stories were merely scraped together, but it doesn’t make it any less disappointing. That being said, the stories that did shine were quite fun, and even the ones we were less appreciative of were not terrible. In the end, the price makes the whole thing worth it, even if you like just a couple of the stories it is well worth the time.