Tales of crime, misdeeds, sex, and drugs abound in this dark anthology. There are plenty of standard detective and mafia stories for those who enjoy s...moreTales of crime, misdeeds, sex, and drugs abound in this dark anthology. There are plenty of standard detective and mafia stories for those who enjoy standard noir fiction, but there are also tales that are a looser fit for the theme of supernatural noir. Some tales are heavier on the supernatural than the noir, some the other way around. Either way, there is a broad range of stories presented here.
Some highlights of the anthology for me include Brian Evenson’s “The Absent Eye,” a creepy story that has less hard-boiled noir characteristics, but plenty of atmosphere and an intriguing premise; “Dead Sister” by Joe R. Lansdale, a story of a grave robbing ghoul and the detective and dame who are out to stop him; and Jeffrey Ford’s “The Last Triangle,” full of mystical symbols and dark magic.
Readers of Holly Black’s Curse Workers series will probably want to pick this book up. Be warned, though, that this is not a young adult book. The stories are VERY adult in theme, and there is a great deal of sex and sexual situations. That’s not to say that teens shouldn’t read it, but be aware that the stories are very dark and explicit.
This is a meaty anthology, with brooding tales and plenty of dark atmosphere. I recommend it to those who enjoy horror and taking a walk on the darker side of society.(less)
Enthralled features 16 stories by 16 of the most popular current YA paranormal writers. Stories range from the appearance of a ghost guarding a road,...moreEnthralled features 16 stories by 16 of the most popular current YA paranormal writers. Stories range from the appearance of a ghost guarding a road, to twins with unique capabilities, to a vampire trying out a new vending machine. This book is a great sampling of many of the different writers, especially of popular series, that are hot on the market today, and a nice variety for fans of paranormal fiction.
The only issue I had with the anthology was that nearly all of the stories take place in the universes of series. This is either a good or a bad thing: good if you’re a fan of the series and want more, bad if you have never read them and are completely lost. There were a couple of really strong exceptions: “Red Run” by Kami Garcia, “At the Late Night, Double Features, Picture Show” by Jessica Verday, and “I.V. League” by Margaret Stohl are all stand-alone stories. I have to say, Verday’s story was my favorite. It’s completely geeky and raucous fun. How could you not love a story that features zombie girl scouts and a carfull of vampires dressed up, going to see Rocky Horror Picture Show?
This anthology is a must-have for fans of any of the authors featured, and is worth picking up for fans of the genre in general.(less)
The Eternal Kiss 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire is a great anthology of thirteen vampire tales by current YA authors. Not every story focuses on...moreThe Eternal Kiss 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire is a great anthology of thirteen vampire tales by current YA authors. Not every story focuses on the vampire as love-interest/Byronic hero, although there is that if you want it. Overall, I thought this compilation did a great job of presenting the vampire in its many forms and mythologies. While the writers each have their own voice and take on the vampire, the stories hang together well as a cohesive unit, making this a strong anthology.
For me, the strongest stories were:
"Falling to Ash" by Karen Mahoney - This was more of a beginning to something that could develop much further. As my first introduction to Mahoney's work, it made me curios to read her other writings.
"Sword Point" by Maria V. Snyder - I liked this story because its vampires were truly monstrous, and the protagonist showed potential to develop into a very strong female character.
"The Coldest Girl in Coldtown" by Holly Black - I find Black's writing to be gritty, yet poetic. I also liked the way Black treated vampires as infected citizens in quarantine.
"The Thirteenth Step" by Libba Bray - This was a nicely paced, intriguing story, with a main character that had a great back story.
"Wet Teeth" by Cecil Castellucci - What made this story so good was how short and concise it was.