Book Review: The Faraway Collection (Amazon Original)

I grew up reading fairy tales and adoring Disney princesses. But, I know it is time that some of these stories we grew up loving need to be retold from a fresh perspective. Fascinated by the idea, I even tried my hands at it. You can read them here.

And that fascination led me to this wonderful Amazon original series – The Faraway Collection. Faraway is a retelling of fairy tales that takes the happily-ever-after in unexpected directions – modern, inclusive, and sometimes dark and shocking in places.

There are 5 short stories by prominent authors that are brief but powerful. They take you on a journey and change your perspective on the world.

Let me share my thoughts about two of them here.

Hazel and Gray

The story 

The writer Nic Stone spins a story around the popular Hansel and Gretel, setting the premise to the present time, inverting the genders of the characters. Hazel and Gray, here are not siblings but a young couple and get lost in the woods trying to escape a monster stepfather. The two lost teenagers in the woods come across a private party mansion. They come in search of assistance in getting home but depart with more information about their life.

What works for me

All the elements of the original story have been transported to suit the present-day situation. As the protagonists are changed from children to teens, the alluring candy house becomes a house party with free-flowing drinks, hot partygoers, and a dance floor. It is the reality of the situation which makes this story darker than the others. The already twisted fairy tale became more twisted – twists that I could imagine and twists that were beyond my comprehension.

What could have been better

The character development did not work for me. Hazel acted what suited the plot and her antics seem to be out of character to propel the story forward. Gray was too naïve and too clever at points.
Also, I felt the length of the story wasn’t sufficient to deal with such dark topics. So the end seemed rushed.

Overall a good one-time read.

My rating is 3.5 🌟

But the thing about people who are perceived to be unexceptional is that they are frequently underestimated.

The Princess Game

Written by Soman Chainani, this isn’t another reimagining of a known fairy tale but rather a Hitchcockian murder mystery set in a high school rife with toxic masculinity.

The Story 

Princes, who are there for each other through thick and thin, are at the pinnacle of the boy hierarchy. They make out with girls, not in a show of their superiority but to prove themselves to their friends. Five high school girls are found murdered, posing as fairy tale princesses and the probable suspect for each murder is a prince who has an iron-clad alibi, supplied by other princes. To investigate the case two officers DC Callum and PC Chang, one posing as a student and the other as a chemistry teacher.

What works for me

Narrated through a series of interviews, the story delves into difficult alleys. The so-called princes’ cruel masochism and nonchalant belief in their superiority was nauseating and the ending hits hard, leaving one wondering at the depravity that high school students have developed. The objectification of the girls is sickening to read, but deep down you know the system that has allowed this to happen.

What could have been better

A little more length. Parts of it felt rushed but then that is a character of short stories where readers are reeling for more.

Overall I liked this story and it is one of the better stories of the series.

My rating is 4 🌟

Quotes to remember

High school is an ecosystem of its own. Even when things don’t make sense.

What else can a person ask except to meet someone who lets them be more themselves?


Yet to read the last story but these quick reads are quite addictive and well-written. The cover pages were really attractive.

I will share the reviews of the rest of the stories in another blog.


This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon 2023 and #TBRChallenge by Blogchatter

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