Published: Gallery Books
Source: From publisher for review
A star-studded urban fantasy anthology featuring bestselling authors Rachel Caine, Rob Thurman, Seanan McGuire, Jennifer Estep, and Kevin Hearne, whose stories explore the creepy, mysterious, and, yes, sometimes magical world of traveling carnivals.
The traveling carnival is a leftover of a bygone era, a curiosity lurking on the outskirts of town. It is a place of contradictions—the bright lights mask the peeling paint; a carnie in greasy overalls slinks away from the direction of the Barker’s seductive call. It is a place of illusion—is that woman’s beard real? How can she live locked in that watery box?
And while many are tricked by sleight of hand, there are hints of something truly magical going on. One must remain alert and learn quickly the unwritten rules of this dark show. To beat the carnival, one had better have either a whole lot of luck or a whole lot of guns—or maybe some magic of one’s own.
Featuring stories grotesque and comical, outrageous and action-packed,Carniepunk is the first anthology to channel the energy and attitude of urban fantasy into the bizarre world of creaking machinery, twisted myths, and vivid new magic.My thoughts:
This is a book by: Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Kevin Hearne, Seanan McGuire, Rob Thurman, Delilah S. Dawson, Kelly Gay, Mark Henry, Hillary Jacques, Jackie Kessler, Kelly Meding, Allison Pang, Nicole Peeler, and Jaye Wells. These authors are either my some of my favorite UF writers or those that I want to get to know (and have their books waiting for me on my tbr). I also took my time with this one. I know that a lot of people think it is a hallmark of a book to finish quickly. Sometimes, if you are like me, you want to savor a book. Enjoy it slowly. I was able to do just that by only reading 2 or 3 of the short stories at a time. I wanted to really enjoy what I read before I dove into the next world.
Although I won't go into each specific story (I don't want to spoil a thing) I can say that this collection was very well done. All had the theme of a visiting carnival that wrecks havoc for characters we are both familiar with and meet for the first time. Many of these are written so they are part of a series but those that haven't read that series shouldn't worry, you can get into the stories easily without knowing what had gone on previously. It is a good way to see if it might be a series you want to try after reading. And while I enjoyed some stories more than others (will always be that way in any anthology you pick up), I have to say I didn't find one I disliked.
Oh and those that are missing series that have just been dropped, it is good to note that Allison Pang's short is a part of the Abby Sinclar world and Kelly Gay's short is a part of the Charlie Madigan world. I would have bought it just for that one! :D
I give this book 4.5 stars. I have to say it has been one of my top anthologies that I've read. I think that if you are a fan of UF, this is an anthology that belongs on your book shelves or ereader. Luckily it isn't a limited time offer and you don't have to personally be assaulted by clowns to get it. :)
PS.. for those just wanting the Jennifer Estep story...