Monday, July 22, 2013

Carniepunk by Various UF Authors

Anthology
Available: 7/23/13
448p.
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...
CARNIEPUNK: PARLOR TRICKS is available for free atAmazon, Nook, Kobo, and iTunes.

21 comments:

  1. Ooh!! I can't wait to read this! Definitely some of my very favorite UF authors and I'm sure they do a fantastic job with their stories. Woot!

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    1. Oh I know you will love this one as much as I did!!

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  2. That's awesome that all the stories turned out to be good! Usually when I read anthologies I dislike a few of the stories of the bunch. The writers for this one though are AMAZING, so I'll definitely need to check this out. I love, love, love Rachel Caine :D

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    1. There will always be some you like more than others, but I enjoyed all these stories here. I think you'll enjoy this one.

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  3. I definitely need to read Jennifer Estep's contribution to this anthology, you know how much I love her! I adore Rachel Caine as well, and I need to read Kevin Hearne, so I'm thinking I basically just need to buy the whole anthology and savor it like you said. Good to know you didn't find a single story you disliked Melissa, this book sounds like a winner:)

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    1. Seriously Jenny... you so need this one! It is a UF squeefest! :D

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  4. This is book I want to read. All my fave author rolled into one.

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  5. I'm glad to hear it's so good! Anthologies can be hit or miss for me.

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    1. Usually for me as well, but I usually like to see what authors come up with in these things. I think you'll really enjoy it.

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  6. I have this scheduled the first week of August and I am really looking forward to it. I love so many of the authors featured and I like that it has a carnival theme. Happy to hear that it is a good read!

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    1. Oh I hope that you like it as much as I did! :D

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  7. I am not really a fan of the setting, but I also want to read most of the authors in this one. So perhaps I will get it afterall. Especially as you value this one so high :) Thanks Melissa!

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  8. I traveled with a carnival for a few years as a kid, so I'm really thinking I need this book even if I'm not a urban fantasy fan.

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  9. I'll be getting this pretty baby on audio in just a few days and I'm very excited since I know and adore most of these authors. I'm glad you weren't disappointed. I definitely won't be either.
    Thanks for the review, Mel!

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  10. I love the cover and I called these bedside reads. The type where I can read an tale or two and then sleep. I am glad they are well done and there are a lot of big names in this book! Thank you for sharing it:)

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  11. I loved this on, it was so fun to read so many great authors

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  12. There's a lot of must-read authors in this one! I have found I don't read anthologies much, but I'm not sure why. I'd get this one just for the story by Kevin Hearne though, I'll read EVERYTHING by him!

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  13. Not normally a fan of these collections as you know but everything about this one screams READ ME.

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  14. Glad to hear it was well done and enjoyable

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  15. What an amazing lineup of authors! Glad to hear this a book you can savor slowly, I do love being able to pick up a book and read a few bite sized stories, especially in summer when I'm at the beach so often. Definitely going to give this a try. Awesome review Melissa!

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