If you enjoy creepy short story collections then I think I might have found the perfect book for you. (Maybe this could be your Halloween read!) What makes this collection even more interesting is that it was compiled by 4 different children's authors. Claire Legrand, Emma Trevayne, Katherine Catmull, and Stefan Bachmann banded together to write The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister (the Internet has 36 and 40 which is thoroughly confusing even though I've read the book). This book has a little bit of everything and with the added benefit of different author's voices it is certainly never boring. There's magic, mystery, and straight up horror (just to name a few). The black and white illustrations that accompany each story are absolutely perfect (Great job, Alexander Jansson!) and were honestly one of the reasons why I picked up this book in the first place. They've laid out the narrative in a very unique way as they've styled the chapters like the different drawers and cubbies of a traditional cabinet of curiosities. The authors are the 'curators' of this unique cabinet and the stories are the background for each of the 'items' they've collected for the separate compartments. This helps to connect all of the disparate stories into one cohesive collection and keeps the pace moving. All in all, a solid collection that I might find myself drifting back to for the spooky season. 10/10
I've been on a short story/anthology kick, as well as on a mission to find genuinely good steampunk. There are other things mixed in here, but those items have been on my radar the most during my bookstore missions lately.
The Thackery T. Lambstead Cabinet of Curiosities edited by Jeff and Ann VanderMeer
Fledgling by Octavia Butler
Walks with Men by Ann Beattie
New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear
Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences 1) by Tee Morris and Philipa Ballantine
The 13th Annual Year's Best Fantasy and Horror edited by Ellen Datlow (all hail the fantasy anthology queen)
In the 19th century, New Yorkers flocked to collections of strange and grotesque oddities called "cabinets of curiosities." Now, in lower Manhattan, excavators uncover the remains of 36 people murdered and gruesomely dismembered over 130 years ago by an unknown serial killer... and similar killings are happening again.
This is the third book in the Agent Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, following on from their debut work 'Relic' and its sequel 'Reliquary'.
I enjoyed CoC most out of the three, and in my opinion Preston and Childs' writing and the stories are getting better each time.
Cabinet of Curiosities is regarded by many Pendergast fans to be one of the best of the stories. I shall reserve my opinion until I have read more in the series.
Agent Pendergast is an awesomely unique protagonist and one of my favorites, my only negative point about him is that his skills border on being almost superhero-like at times.
One word of wisdom from reading the first three in the series: Although each novel is a 'stand-alone' story, I recommend reading them in order of writing as each book refers to events which happened in the previous stories. The reading experience will be richer overall, if read in order.
One more thing is that as a Christian, I do not appreciate the amount of times certain characters use Jesus' name as a cuss word.
Cabinet of Curiosities: Good but not great... 3 stars. (less)