Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Review - Unnatural Creatures (JS)

Unnatural Creatures by Neil Gaiman

Review by Jacqui Slaney

This book was suggested to me as an offer on Amazon, now I get loads of these daily and generally ignore, but saw the name of the author of this one and thought I would indulge.

This is the description:

Chosen and introduced by Neil Gaiman, this thoroughly beguiling collection of short stories is inhabited by an amazing menagerie of creatures from myth, legend and dark imagination.

Now anyone that has previously read some of my reviews knows that I have a soft spot for tales of dragons, and by extension all other mythical creatures as well, so I was very interested to see what these short stories would be like.

These stories are of varied quality, which I have often found in such collections even when there is just one writer involved. However, the good thing is, even though you may not be very keen on one story, you can always jump onto the next.

I must admit I stuck with each tale, even if I found the story not completely to my taste, I cannot actually say that I disliked any of them enough to stop reading. They were also short, so it was no real hardship to read to the end.

I knew some of the authors, for instance Larry Niven, E Nesbit, Peter Beagle, Saki and obviously Neil Gaiman, but the others were new to me, most of which I really enjoyed.

To give you some ideas of the stories, here are a few snippets.  You have a story about a time traveller sent back in time to capture a horse, but finds instead something that looks like the picture he has, except for one difference. There is a very entertaining story about a sunbird, this I will admit was one of my favourites, and shows the dangers of eating very hot food. There is also an old story about a little girl’s journey to see a relative, sounds quite straightforward you would think, but no, and a brilliant story about the exhibits in the natural history museum.

Before each story there is also a foreword by Neil Gaiman, in which you can read a little about the author and it gives you a taster of the story to come, he also wrote the main introduction to the book that is great.

All in all this is a fun collection of stories to read and  being a collection you can jump in and out of the book, so you do not have to read it solidly, would recommend the book to anyone, especially if you like Neil Gaiman.

8 out of 10