I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
eARC: 432 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins, Voyager
Release Date: 01/7/14
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository
DARK DUETS: New Tales of Horror and Dark Fantasy will be published in January, 2014 by Harper Voyager. Edited by Christopher Golden, it features an extraordinary lineup of collaborative stories, with the authors of each story collaborating for the very first time. And here they are!
-TRIP TRAP by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Kevin J. Anderson
-WELDED by Tom Piccirilli & T.M. Wright
-DARK WITNESS by Charlaine Harris & Rachel Caine
-REPLACING MAX by Stuart MacBride & Allan Guthrie
-T. RHYMER by Gregory Frost & Jonathan Maberry
-SHE, DOOMED GIRL by Sarah MacLean & Carrie Ryan
-HAND JOB by Chelsea Cain & Lidia Yuknavitch
-HOLLOW CHOICES by Robert Jackson Bennett & David Liss
-AMUSE-BOUCHE by Amber Benson & Jeffrey J. Mariotte
-BRANCHES, CURVING by Tim Lebbon & Michael Marshall Smith
-RENASCENCE by Rhodi Hawk and F. Paul Wilson
-BLIND LOVE by Kasey Lansdale & Joe R. Lansdale
-TRAPPER BOY by Holly Newstein & Rick Hautala
-STEWARD OF THE BLOOD by Nate Kenyon & James A. Moore
-CALCULATING ROUTE by Michael Koryta & Jeffrey David Greene
-SISTERS BEFORE MISTERS by Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare, and Holly Black
-SINS LIKE SCARLET by Mark Morris & Rio Youers
I was extremely excited to read Dark Duets mainly because it’s contains stories by Cassandra Clare, Jonathan Mayberry, and Carrie Ryan. I haven’t had such great luck with anthologies in the past and I hoped that Dark Duets would be the first anthology to impress me. The stories in Dark Duets are of varying quality, the stories range from being excellent to absolutely unreadable. In this anthology there are only a few exceptional short stories and the rest are pretty mediocre and tedious. I decided to write some thoughts about the stories that stood out to me:
TRIP TRAP by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Kevin J. Anderson -
- This story was an interesting story about a troll, but it was too short to be terrifying. It needed a bit more substance, gore, and macabre for my tastes.
DARK WITNESS by Charlaine Harris & Rachel Caine -
- This story was excellent, until I read the ending which was poorly crafted and written. Despite it’s lackluster ending, I really felt Dark Witness would work as a full-length novel.
- DW was so much better than the last few Sookie Stackhouse novels, it gives me hope that Harris’s future novels won’t be as terrible as I thought they would be.
REPLACING MAX by Stuart MacBride & Allan Guthrie -
- REVOLTING. This story wasn’t scary, instead it was disgusting and handled a taboo subject poorly.
T. RHYMER by Gregory Frost & Jonathan Maberry -
- I am not familiar with Gregory Frost’s books, but after this short story, I’d consider reading them!
- T. Rhymer was an intelligent, witty short story about elves–this was definitely one of the best stories in this anthology!
SHE, DOOMED GIRL by Sarah MacLean & Carrie Ryan
- This story was insane. It messed with my mind in all of the right ways.
AMUSE-BOUCHE by Amber Benson & Jeffrey J. Mariotte
- And yet another disgusting story! Do yourself a favor and don’t eat before reading this story.
SISTERS BEFORE MISTERS by Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare, and Holly Black
- This short story was the main reason I decided to read this anthology and it was so disappointing.
- It wasn’t up to par with the quality that I normally associate with these authors’ novels.
- I expected so much more from Brennan, Clare and Black.
Dark Duets has a few scary stories, but all of the other stories were completely unmemorable. I really don’t think Dark Duets was worth my time, I regret reading all of the stories and I wish I had just read only the stories written by authors that I’m familiar with. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone, not even to fans of anthologies.