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"An Universe of Wishes" ARC Review

An Universe of Wishes Anthology, ed. Dhonielle Clayton

Publication Date: December 8th 2020 by We Need Diverse Books

ISBN - 9781984896216


*I received an e-arc from Netgalley and the Book Terminal Tour group free of charge, and my opinions are completely my own.*

For far too long some of us have been missing from magical worlds. But not any longer. Because the true secret I learned from books is that we all have magic inside us. We all possess the ability to break the powerful enchantment, and to change our worlds - both fictional and not - for good.

The universe is better because we are here. Because you are here. So let’s get started. Your grand adventure awaits.

We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) is a grassroots organization whose aim is to create and advertise books that represent people of all ages and walks of life. An Universe of Wishes is their fourth project, made with the help of fifteen award-winning authors. Edited by Dhonielle Clayton (The Belles), this young adult fantasy anthology features stories by authors such as V. E. Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic), Natalie C. Parker (Seafire), and Nic Stone (Dear Martin). These stories aren’t just your remixed fairy tales; some authors continue into their individually developed universes, like Libba Bray does in The Scarlet Woman: A Gemma Doyle Story, or goes into a future dystopian scenario like Samira Ahmed’s The Coldest Spot In the Universe.

I heartily enjoyed the majority of this collection of stories. They hypnotized me and even though my physical body was stuck on the couch in my one-bedroom apartment, I could see the heroes of each story in front of me, fighting to exist as themselves. Some stories really soared in this collection, such as Rebecca Roanhorse’s The Takeback Tango - a story about a young thief taking back her stolen heritage - and Longer Than the Threads of Time by Zoraida Córdova - a Rapunzel retelling infused with brujo magic that had me gasping multiple times. However, some did require backstory found elsewhere, such as Libba Bray’s story about Gemma Doyle presumably being sucked back into the hero-saving-the-world-business, or V. E. Schwab’s A Royal Affair, an romantic account between two of what we may assume are prominent characters in her other stories (and therefore needed no actual introduction in this one). Without this vital information, the stories may be found to drag when read by themselves. Otherwise, An Universe of Wishes is a delightful anthology of fairy tales, futuristic adventures, and what-ifs, and a wonderful distraction on an otherwise boring day.

Still not sure about whether you’d enjoy these stories? If you enjoyed these stories:

  • Golden: A Retelling of Rapunzel, Cameron Dokey

  • An Unkindness of Ghosts, Rivers Solomon

  • Cinderella Is Dead, Kalynn Bayron

  • Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bite, ed, by Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker,

Then you’d definitely be into An Universe of Wishes! You can buy a copy at your local bookstore, or online at these links: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound. Please get it soon, so I can talk about my Longer Than the Threads of Time conspiracy theories with fellow fans (and possibly fanfics - don't judge me).


AUTHORS INCLUDE: Samira Ahmed, Libba Bray, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova, Tessa Gratton, Kwame Mbalia, Anna-Marie McLemore, Tochi Onyebuchi, Mark Oshiro, Natalie C. Parker, Rebecca Roanhorse, Victoria Schwab, Tara Sim, Nic Stone, and Jenni Blach. _____________________________________________________________


“A refreshing anthology depicting worlds where everyone can belong.” –Kirkus Reviews

“A noteworthy collection brimming with empowering tales that confirm all readers deserve to have their stories told.” –Shelf Awareness

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