Sunday, March 18, 2012

Enthralled edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong

A collection of stories by some of the top YA fantasy authors, all of them featuring some sort of paranormal feature.

Genre: fantasy; short stories

Rating: 4/5

The stories in this collection are spotty. Some of them are REALLY good, some are lackluster and some are hard to understand if you haven't read other works by that author.

Claudia Gray's "Giovanni's Farewell" is a decent story, though sort of bare bones.

Carrie Ryan's "Scenic Route" is EXCELLENT. I can't say enough about that short story. It plays a little bit with her world from her Forest of Hands and Teeth series, but stands completely by itself.

Kami Garcia's "Red Run" is a better short story than her writing partner Margaret Stohl's "IV League", though both have a southern gothic flavor. Garcia's is just a more action packed story.

Unfortunately I didn't like Jackson Pearce's "Things About Love" because it felt like one should know something about her series characters before reading it. Same issue with Rachel Vincent's "Niederwald", though that story was at least fathomable by itself. Kelley Armstrong also ran into this problem with "Facing Facts" which took me a while to figure out until I remember what series she wrote. The story wasn't that interesting in and of itself either. Rachel Caine's "Automatic" ran into the "we're from a series" issue too. The most glaring story with that issue was Melissa Marr's "Merely Mortal" which almost made no sense without knowing the series.

Sarah Rees Brennan's "Let's Get This Undead Show on the Road" was good. So was Kimberly Derting's "Skin Contact" and Mary Pearson's "Gargouille". Jessica Verday's "At the Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show" was snarky and charming.

Jeri Smith-Ready's "Bridge" and Ally Condie's "Leaving" left me cold as being too high handed and artsy to really fit in.

My favorite though was Jennifer Lynn Barnes's "The Third Kind", a short story I feel like should have a series with it. It was brilliantly enthralling. She's an author who doesn't get enough attention as I've loved some of her other writing too.

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