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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Carniepunk by Rachel Caine

This is one of my favorite ways to find new story sources, the anthology.  I know there are some who aren't partial to anthologies but, when they are good, I can't help myself.  It's like a two pound box of See's Nuts and Chews all for me.  In the case of Carniepunk, there are more nuts than anything else.  This is a collection of strange tales that are all set in the creepiest yet alluring place, the carnival.  Bright lights, darker shadows, shifty characters and freak shows are fertile territory for tales of the paranormal or urban fantasy.

This book came with a bit of a surprise in the form of an Elemental Assassin story by Jennifer Estep that I actually liked.  Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with Ms. Estep or her writing style.  I don't know if it was the story or the main character but, for some reason, the first book in the series never appealed to me.  This anthology gave me a chance to see the character in a different light and made me consider trying out the next book in the series.

There are several other stories in the book that had the same effect on me.  Stories of love lost or found, discovery or rediscovery and stories of sacrifice and betrayal all to the tune of a merry-go-round or sideshow barker.  I must admit that I had initial concerns that, with such a distinct theme. I thought there might be too much replication of story line.  That was not the case here.  Instead of story after story of creepy clowns, the book is a patchwork of stories dealing with the dark denizens of the midway.  There's a little bit for everybody: ghosts, demons, and creatures from other planes are in some of the best written short stories of the genre.  I personally would have loved to have seen something from Charlaine Harris or Jim Butcher but, you can't have everything.

This would be a great read around Halloween but, there is quite of bit of language and mature content.  This is a definite PG13 drifting into the R rating at times so, I'd leave this one to the grownups.


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Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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3 People left their mark' :

  1. I love anthologies, and they really are a great way to find new stories or even authors. I've never come across this one but I'm adding it to my wish list.

  2. So glad to hear that you enjoyed this one, as I loved the collection! Hope that you give Jennifer Estep another chance, as she's one of my favorite authors!

  3. Thanks, Terri. I will likely be reading some Jennifer Estep, soon. I generally don't like to not like authors or books ;)