Review: Foretold: 14 Stories of Prophecy and Prediction edited by Carrie Ryan

Have you ever been tempted to look into the future? To challenge predictions? To question fate? It’s human nature to wonder about life’s twists and turns. But is the future already written—or do you have the power to alter it?

From fantastical prophecies to predictions of how the future will transpire, Foretold is a collection of stories about our universal fascination with life’s unknowns and of what is yet to come as interpreted by 14 of young adult fiction’s brightest stars.

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I’ve always been fascinated by the theme explored in Foretold: prophecy and prediction. I remember various instances throughout my childhood when my mother told me that, for better or worse, something was meant to be. Later, in middle school, I fell in love with the epic tale of a boy fulfilling a prophecy in David Eddings’ The Belgariad. Then, in high school and college, I was intrigued by the idea of self-fulfilling prophecy I studied in my psychology course. So, when I picked up this collection of short stories, I was curious see what others would connect to the mysterious concepts.

In addition to my initial curiosity about the theme of this collection, I was interested in the concept of a collection of short stories. Though I’d glanced at them before, I’d never actually sat down and read a collection of short stories… or any short stories at all apart from those assigned in my literature seminars. I found it curious that many readers appeared to have purchased or read this collection specifically for Richelle Mead’s short story, Homecoming, which centers around Rose and Dmitri the Vampire Academy books, which was worrisome to me because I never finished that series and hadn’t picked one up in years. 

The anthology begins with Laini Taylor’s Gentleman Send Phantoms, which I immediately adored. For me, that story set the tone for the entire collection. Whimsical with gorgeous imagery, this story set the tone as anything is possible. Each story had an entirely different feel and tone, yet they were all connected by thread extending from Taylor’s story.

The anthology ends with the Richelle Mead story based in the world of the VA books. For me the story didn’t shine as bright as it might have if I still read the VA books or had read them recently. I remember really loving Rose and her world, but the details were hazy and I didn’t feel as invested in Rose and Dmitri’s story after being away from it for so long. 

Unless you are a diehard fan of their story, I can’t imagine buying an entire book and never reading the other stories. Because they are amazing. Even the ones that wasn’t entirely captivated by were interesting. I have read full length books by many of the authors in this anthology, so I’m familiar with their writing, but I was blown away by what I read in Foretold. The style of each author was present, but shaped in a completely new way. 

I was particularly drawn to the stories that featured magic and fantasy than those that were more science fiction or realistic… Still there were a couple in the latter categories that ended up being favorites as well:

Laini Taylor Gentleman Send Phantoms
Malinda Lo One True Love
Heather Brewer Misery
Saundra Mitchell The Chosen One
Margie Stohl Death for the Deathless
Simone Elkeles Fate
Diana Peterfreund Burned Bright
Carrie Ryan The Killing Garden
Lisa McMann The Angriest Man

Many of the stories that ended up being on of my favorites felt very connected to other things I’d read by them, like the stories by Laini Taylor, Malinda Lo, Richelle Mead, and Michael Grant. Others, however, showed side of some of my favorite authors that I wasn’t as familiar with, like Saundra Mitchell, Simone Elkeles, Diana Peterfreund, Carrie Ryan, and Lisa McMann, and I wanted more. Plus, I experienced some writers for the first time, like Matt de la Pena, Margie Stohl, Kami Garcia, and Heather Brewer.

Not only did I love the stories in this collection, I closed the covers with a hunger to read and reread a number of these authors. It felt like a nice little snack to help decide what I wanted for my main course: whatever full length novel I chose to read next, perhaps by one of the authors in this wonderfully imagined collection. 

Delacorte BFYR, August 2012, Hardcover, ISBN: 9780385741293, 368 pgs.

   

      Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction
   

 
 
 


   
 
 
 



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