This novella is a retelling of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. I know ... I know ... You're probably thinking 'what the hell?' but it's so worth the read. This Goldilocks comes in the form of a Japanese/West African woman with gold dreadlocks ... Nice huh? And our 3 bears come in the form of ... Well ... 3 bears. Well, they're brothers, the Medved brothers, who can change into bears. Coincidentally Ariana Golde takes to the baby brother, Maksim.
When you think of fairy tale, you think of ogres and goblins and talking trees and people randomly breaking out into song. I kid you not, this novella has that stuff. I totally swear it does.
Ok, I'm really not trying to scare you off but those are my favorite things about this. It's just ... I wish it were a movie ... I wish this were a full length novel, a part of a series where Shirin could go into retellings of all of our favorite fairy tales. Cinderella and the Frog Prince are even mentioned briefly.
On to what this book is about. First of all, Ariana is the daughter of the West African Demi-God, Anansi, who is nicknamed the Spider because of his trickery. Her mother is Inari, whom I don't know anything about. Googling brought me information on her being worshiped in Japan because she watches over rice. Anywho ... Ariana is a returner ... Basically, she's hired to retrieve things that have been stolen and take them to their rightful owner. Ariana waltzes into the home of the 3 bears, steals a statue but is followed by the baby bear brother, Maksim. During the time it takes for Ariana to return the statue, their mingling Chaos magic blows up a building, incites an orgy (don't worry, this novella is not Erotica) and then gets an ogre married to a goblin woman. Fun time I assure you. But overall, I thought it was so much fun to read, specifically when trying to piece together what person belongs to what fairytale. When 'historical' figures are re-written in books, thats a plus for me, I love that stuff.
Only 1 gripe for the entire book ... I honest to goodness could not see Maksim singing a Prince song and dancing. The tango, yes, but nothing else. I just felt like ... Maksim was SO well written and then that small piece was just a little out of place. Who knows ... I don't care, I still love it.
Oh oh oh, another bonus ... yea ... Anansi goes FULL ON SPIDER ON YOUR ASS! I swear if I ever saw something like that in real life, I'd pee on myself and die. My arachnophobia is that severe.
IR: Ariana (African/Japanese), Maksim (Russian)