Top positive review
If you are new to Poe or an old fan I highly recommend this book
Reviewed in the United States on February 28, 2020
His Hideous Heart is a collection of 13 Edgar Allan Poe’s stories or poems retold by YA authors. This book also has a collection of the original 13 stories as well. I read the original story then the story that it inspired to be able to judge how well the author took the elements from the original story and either made them their own or failed to do so. I am not going to review the original stories as everything about their genius and greatness has already been said.
“She Rode a Horse of Fire” by Kendare Blake inspired by “Metzengerstein”- I love Kendare Blake’s writing and was so excited to hear she was going to be in this collection. I read the original story of “Metzengerstein” before I read this tale. It stays very true to the story while putting a fresh spin on it. I love how the story was told by Eliza a servent in the Baron’s manor and not the Baron himself. I loved the ending especially the last paragraph and think Poe would be proud that his story inspired this one. Rating: 5 stars
“It’s Carnival” by Tiffany D. Jackson inspired by “The Cask of Amontillado” – I loved how this story had a girl PoC main character. I love a great revenge story especially girls getting revenge. So I loved this. It stayed true to the original but made it more modern and easier to connect with the main character. Rating: 5 stars
“Night-Tide” by Tessa Gratton inspired by “Annabel Lee”- Annabel Lee is one of my favorite poems so I was really worried to read this retelling. I loved the twist the author put on it and she keeps the tone of the story true to the tragicness of the poem. Rating: 4 stars
“The Glittering Death” by Caleb Roehrig inspired by “The Pit and the Pendulum” – This one I was very curious about how it would be retold. What is going to be the pit, the pendulum, and who is going to be the stand-in for the Inquisition? I always thought this would be one of the harder Poe stories to retell. I loved it. The direction the author had it go was perfect. Who he picked to be the Inquisition was genius. Rating: 4 stars
“A Drop of Stolen Ink” by Emily Lloyd-Jones inspired by “The Purloined Letter”- I loved The Hearts We Sold by this author so much and I loved this science-fiction take on “The Purloined Letter” This is my favorite story in the book. The world, characters, and the writing drew me in. The author took Poe’s story and turned it into so much more. Rating: 5 stars
“Happy Days, Sweetheart” by Stephanie Kuehn inspired by “The Tell-Tale Heart”- The Tell-Tale Heart is one of my top favorite Poe stories. I love that the author added the current issues we face in society into the story. But one change I didn’t agree with. Rating: 3 stars
“The Raven (Remix) by Amanda Lovelace inspired by “The Raven”- The Raven is a beautiful poem. Lovelace has taken the Raven and turned it into Blackout Poetry. For those who don’t know what it is it is blacking out words in a story or poem to make a new one using the words and letters from the original. Personally, I find this an insult to Poe. Also, this seemed like the author was too lazy to retell The Raven. Rating: 2 stars
“Changeling” by Marieke Nijkamp inspired by “Hop-Frog”- I loved how the author retold this story. She stayed true to the story while adding a really imaginative and neat twist. Rating: 5 stars
“The Oval Filter by Lamar Giles inspired by “The Oval Portrait”- I loved how the author bought social media into this story and made it so modern by setting it in a high school. He thought of the perfect way to bring this story into the present without losing the tone or truth of the original story. Rating: 4 stars
“Red” by Hillary Monahan inspired by “The Masque of the Red Death”- I loved which character the author told this story from. I have always loved the original story of beauty and death and the author turned this into one with beauty and death and another message as well. Rating: 5 stars
“Lygia” by Dahlia Adler inspired by “Ligeia”- No one is better at death and madness than Poe. I thought this retelling was perfect. The author captured Poe’s story to perfection. The obsession and the madness of the main character perfectly matched Poe’s main from the original story. This is one of the best stories in this collection of retellings. Rating: 5 stars
“The Fall of the Bank of Usher” by Fran Wilde inspired by “The Fall of the House of Usher” – This story was so unique while keeping all the elements of the original story just mixing them up a bit. I loved all the characters in this story and found the world really interesting. Rating: 5 stars
“The Murders in the Rue Apartelle Boracay” by Rin Chupeco inspired by “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”- I really didn’t care for this story. It had nothing to do with the story itself which I thought was a great retelling but I didn’t connect with the character telling it. I loved the diversity of the story. Rating: 3.5 stars
If you are a fan of Poe’s work or discovering it for the first time I highly recommend this book. You can read the original stories and some amazing retellings by many talented authors.
My favorite stories are She Rode a Horse of Fire, A Drop of Stolen Ink, Lygia, and The Fall of the Bank of Usher.
My least favorites are The Raven(Remix), Happy Days, Sweetheart, and The Murders of Rue Apartelle Boracay.
*Thanks so much to Flatiron Books for the ARC through Netgalley. All opinions are my own*
I also bought my own copy as well.