A Book of Short Stories: Carniepunk by various
Come one, come all! The Carniepunk Midway promises you every thrill and chill a traveling carnival can provide. But fear not! Urban fantasy’s biggest stars are here to guide you through this strange and dangerous world. . . .
RACHEL CAINE’s vampires aren’t child’s play, as a naïve teen discovers when her heart leads her far, far astray in “The Cold Girl.” With “Parlor Tricks,” JENNIFER ESTEP pits Gin Blanco, the Elemental Assassin, against the Wheel of Death and some dangerously creepy clowns. SEANAN McGUIRE narrates a poignant, ethereal tale of a mysterious carnival that returns to a dangerous town after twenty years in “Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea.” KEVIN HEARNE’s Iron Druid and his wisecracking Irish wolfhound discover in “The Demon Barker of Wheat Street” that the impossibly wholesome sounding Kansas Wheat Festival is actually not a healthy place to hang out. With an eerie, unpredictable twist, ROB THURMAN reveals the fate of a psychopath stalking two young carnies in “Painted Love.
All of the stories in Carniepunk have now been released by the authors individually, so if anything sounds good you can pick it up.
1. Painted Love was creepy, interesting and had a cool twist ending.
2. Three Lives of Lydia had a surreal and sad feel, but was an interesting world.
3. The Demon Barker of Wheat Street was the reason I picked up the anthology. It was a great addition to the Iron Druid series. Nice small slice of life story for a Druid in training.
4. Sex changes, drugs, zombies (zombie babies), none of The Sweeter the Juice made sense or interested me. Was tempted to quit reading it often.
5. I enjoyed The Werewife, fun curse and one of those stories one never knows who to root for.
6. Cold Girl was wonderfully creepy/classic carnival horror. Good lesson and story.
7. An interesting world in A Duet With Darkness, one I'm sure is more expansive in the novels. Mostly enjoyed the world building, since the plot was fairly common.
8. I tried to read Recession of the Divine three times, did not keep my attention at all.
9. Parlor Tricks again has the problem of being thrown into a world I don't know, but the use of elemental power for everything is a fun and interesting twist. Good creepy carnie plot too.
10. The high end style carnival in Freak Show was a nice take on it. The segregated world between the supernaturals and humans is an interesting concept. And it's nice yo see some of the less popular creatures represented.
11. The Inside Man was a nice little possessed clown piece, with a small glimpse at another new world.
12. "A demon was eating my face," is the catchy and interesting opening line in A Chance in Hell. But then the story launched into a long explanation of the plot for the series and lost me. There are similarities in how the Heaven/Hell structure is set up to one of my favorite RPGs, InNomine, which I liked.
13. I've always liked the magical/exotic beast version of a carnival (like in The Last Unicorn) and Hell's Menagerie has it, plus the search for hell hound pups.
14. I love merfolk, so the title of the last story, Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid and the Open, Lonely Sea, gave me a lot of hope. A mystery with the backstory of a crazy mermaid and her half-blood daughter dose a good job of delivering. I really liked this one and think I will look for more from Seanan McGuire.
2014 Reading Bingo
Links in the table go to the reviews for that book. The cover links to the Amazon page.