As a self-proclaimed Poe Hoe, it should come as no surprise that I was beyond ecstatic when this anthology was announced… and I purchased it in three formats (eBook, Hardcover, audio). I’m not usually a big fan of anthologies but overall am incredibly impressed with this one; let me just tell you that “It’s Carnival!” by Tiffany D. Jackson pops into my head at least once a week because it is so. freaking. good. Also sapphic Anabel Lee made me cry.
About His Hideous Heart
Publisher: Flatiron Books | Release Date: September 10, 2019 | Pages: 480
Age Range: Young Adult | Genre: Retellings, Gothic | Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Edgar Allan Poe may be a 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 Allan Poe’s classic tales, and how they’ve been brought to life in 13 unique and unforgettable ways.
Contributors include Kendare Blake (reimagining “Metzengerstein”), Rin Chupeco (“The Murders in the Rue Morge”), Lamar Giles (“The Oval Portrait”), Tessa Gratton (“Annabel Lee”), Tiffany D. Jackson (“The Cask of Amontillado”), Stephanie Kuehn (“The Tell-Tale Heart”), Emily Lloyd-Jones (“The Purloined Letter”), 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”).
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ableism, abusive relationship, animal death, homophobia, murder and torture, substance abuse, suicide, transphobia
My Review of His Hideous Heart
The great thing about anthologies is you get to taste the writing style for a number of authors, and in this case it has me wanting to read more from most of these authors. Not only that but this collection is gloriously diverse. But if you want my very brief thoughts for each of the stories, I got you.
Individual Story Thoughts
1. “She Rode a Horse of Fire” by Kendare Blake ★★★
Definitely more accessible and interesting to read than the original story, but I found it a bit lacking in a way that the original short story is. Not one of my favorites of Poe’s.
2. “It’s Carnival!” by Tiffany D. Jackson ★★★★★
“Cask of Amontillado” is one of my favorite Poe stories, and Jackson’s reimagining is fantastic.
3. “Night-Tide” by Tessa Gratton ★★★★★
“Annabel Lee is my favorite Poe poem, and Tessa Gratton’s short story is beautiful. It breathes life to fill in a potential story to inspire the narrator’s poem. Sapphic and young love, tw for homophobia & gossip.
4. “The Glittering Death” by Caleb Roehrig ★★★★★
Gripping and engaging from the first sentence to the last, this story is inspired by “The Pit and he Pendulum”, bringing almost a modern, true-crime spin to this tale of sin and murder.
5. “A Drop of Stolen Ink” Emily Lloyd-Jones ★★★★★
What a fantastic imagining; I loved the sci-fi tech twist to the tale, the letter being identity stolen. Great job taking the core or “The Purloined Letter” and making it your own… and a little sapphic.
6. “Happy days, sweetheart” by Stephanie Kuehn ★★★
An interesting twist to “The Tell-Tale Heart”. It made me rather uncomfortable with the sexist ending, but appreciate the feminist look
7. “The Raven (Remix)” by amanda lovelace ★★
I normally adore amanda lovelace’s poetry, but idk but this blackout poetry of the raven left much to be desired.
8. “Changeling” by Marieke Nijkamp ★★★
this is fkn sad and tough to read, but it at least holds a bit of hope compared to “Hop-Frog.”
9. “The Oval Filter” by Lamar Giles ★★★★★
What an interesting modernization of “The Oval Portrait”, twisting the tale to be of IG and filters. I also found the end more satisfying than the original tale, which I’ve always been partial to.
10. ”Red” by Hillary Monahan ★★★★
I love that this retelling of The Masque of the Red Death is told from the perspective of the reveler who breaks into Prospero’s party.
11. “Lygia” by Dahlia Adler ★★★
Beautiful writing and the theme of grief and loss runs throughout, but that ending?! Nah.
12. ”The Fall of the Bank of Usher” by Fran Wilde ★★★★★
A misrepresentation of Skye withstanding, this retelling of The Fall of the House of Usher is fab. I adore the tech, the spooky lichen, the Ai, and the characters.
13. ”The Murders in the Rue Apartelle, Boracay” by Rin Chupeco ★★★★★
This is perfection; I love the narrative tone of gossiping to the narrator’s best friend (me, the reader) and this story was just… so well done.
I wholeheartedly recommend this anthology to anyone who enjoys dark fantasy and a little bit of macabre. One of my favorite things about the anthology is the source material for each retelling is included, so you can read the original work if you haven’t yet.
The audiobook production is incredible and I especially recommend the anthology in this format.
No two readers experience a book in the same way; this was mine, but what about you?
💬 Have you read His Hideous Heart yet? If so, which were your favorite stories?
💬 Did I convince you to add this book to your TBR?
💬 What are your Poe short stories or retellings?