Thursday, November 3, 2011

YA book review: Enthralled anthology

Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (September 20, 2011)

Blurb: A journey may take hundreds of miles, or it may cover the distance between duty and desire.

Sixteen of today’s hottest writers of paranormal tales weave stories on a common theme of journeying. Authors such as Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, and Melissa Marr return to the beloved worlds of their bestselling series, while others, like Claudia Gray, Kami Garcia, and Margaret Stohl, create new land-scapes and characters. But whether they’re writing about vampires, faeries, angels, or other magical beings, each author explores the strength and resilience of the human heart.

My review: What I enjoy about reading anthologies is the
 opportunity to sample authors. With Enthralled, I was already familiar with most of these authors and they did not fail me. In fact, some totally impressed me. 

These mini-reviews are not in the exact order of the book.

Giovanni's Farewell by Claudia Gray: I liked this tale of two twins, both of which are freaky. He is OK with it, she is not. When she discovers she has an 'ability' as does her brother, she changes her mind and embraces her 'freak' side. I wouldn't mind seeing these two featured in their own book.

Scenic Route by Carrie Ryan: Loved it. Two sisters trying to survive after The Change. Older sister Maggie takes care of sibling Sally who wants to travel and gazes frequently at a map of West Virginia. they think they're alone in a cabin in the wilderness until her map disappears. 

Red Run by Kami Garcia: Loved it. Know those tales and superstitions some towns have about certain places? What if your town had one and you lost your brother to it? Edie is resolved to avenge her brother and goes out one night to find and kill the ghost boy who haunts the woods. What she gets is a heck of a lot more than she expected with Tommy Hansen.

IV League by Margaret Stohl: It took me a few pages to get into this but once I did, boy, this story took off in a completely different--and surprising--way. I LOVED the twist and Wren's wry outlook on life.

Leaving by Ally Condie: This one was purposely slow and fuzzy as I experienced her dystopian world. I would have liked to read more in order to fully get into this story.

Gargouille by Mary E. Pearson: Really liked this one and could see this fully fleshed out into a full length novel. Etienne and Giselle are a likable couple and when they're torn apart--she's captured for dancing and exposing her wings--it's heartbreaking to see her lose her memory of the one she loves.

The Third Kind by Jennifer Lynne Barnes: Interesting take on angels and the three kinds mentioned in this story. As much I enjoyed this fast-paced read, I felt like this didn't really reveal anything about the angels, it was more an introduction to a longer work.

Automatic by Rachel Caine: One of my favorites. All I need to say is: Michael+canned blood+a new side to Oliver? A must read for Morganville fans.

Skin Control by Kimberly Derting: WOW! If you haven't read Desires of the Dead, do so before reading this. This is Rafe's story about his girlfriend Sophie and how his ability isn't always a gift. This story alone is worth the purchase price of the anthology.

Things About Love by Jackson Pierce: Cute story about a genie, Juliet, who wants human guy, Lawrence, to teach her about love. Sweet factor runs heavy here.

A Mortal Winter King by Melissa Marr: I will never tire of Marr's fey. Keenan. Donia. 

Let's Get This Undead Show on the Road by Sarah Rees Brennan: Not one of my favorites but very humorous.

At the Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show byJessica Verday: Was okay for me. 

Niederwald byRachel Vincent: "I didn't want to win the battle. I wanted to win the war." Sabine is back. Can't help but like her as she takes a day trip with Kaylee's best friend, Em to see an Oracle named Syrie. But first she has to get through some nasty harpies.

Bridge byJeri Smith Ready: Told from Logan's ghost in free verse, he reaches out to save his brother. He gets a girl, Krista, to translate for him. Most moving story in the book. 

Facing Facts by Kelley Armstrong: Chloe (from Darkest Powers series) and her group of superpowered friends are back. Tori leanrns who her real father is and gets angry when she figures out Chloe already knew and didn't tell her. Chloe, burdened with a guilty conscience, follows Tori when the witch takes off, leading Chloe on an interesting run with a paranormal twist.

Rating: Really enjoyed this collection.

Cover comment: I like the title font but not sure how the girl figures into any of the stories (unless she's supposed to be the reader ready to go a 'paranormal diversion').

Book source: Around the World tours

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