Book Review: Carniepunk by: Various Authors (Anthology)

Rating: 4/5

Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication Date: July 23, 2013

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Format:  Trade Paperback

Order Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: 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.

Review: While it’s true I don’t normally read or review anthologies, I made an exception for ‘Carniepunk’. Some of the authors included are a few of my favorites and I was intrigued to see how they’d handle the different aspects of carnival life. Each story was fantastically different and while I enjoyed some more than others, I felt ‘Carniepunk’ was a great collection! A few of my favorites were: "The Demon Barker of Wheat Street" by Kevin Hearne, "Painted Love" by Rob Thurman, "A Duet with Darkness" by Allison Pang, "Hell's Menagerie" by Kelly Gay, and "Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea" by Seanan McGuire. Check out this collection and I guarantee you’ll never look at the midway or the carnies in quite the same light as before!

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