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(Hell on Earth #4.7)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  3,005 ratings  ·  401 reviews
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 contradic
Paperback, 440 pages
Published July 23rd 2013 by Gallery Books
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  3,005 ratings  ·  401 reviews

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Apr 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: hey-shorty, netgalley
this was a very educational experience for me. i have learned that i do not really care for the urban fantasy/paranormal romance genre.

i saw this collection on netgalley, and i eagerly clicked on the "gimmie" button, thinking "carnies!! carnies are scary! this will be a great, spooky read!"

but then i read the names of the authors included, and i realized it was not a horror anthology, which is fine, because i do always like to broaden my horizons and read outside of my comfort zone, but i kicke
Stacia (the 2010 club)

This anthology features many favorite and beloved authors from today's Urban Fantasy and Steampunk offerings. I plan on going back and reading the selections from Jennifer Estep and Rachel Caine once I am caught up with those series, but this review will feature the shorts from Delilah S. Dawson (Blud series) and Kevin Hearne (Iron Druid series).

Review # 1 - The (some mangled word in the arc) Lives of Lydia (Blud) - 5 stars!

Wow. I am completely blown away. Who knew a short story could pack s
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Carnivals! As someone who dislikes crowds and cheap, unhealthy food, I must admit I am not a fan. But in the hands of my favorite urban fantasy authors, even a carnival can become the most exhilarating thing. Leave it to Rob Thurman, Delilah S. Dawson, Kevin Hearne, Mark Henry, Jaye Wells, Rachel Caine, Allison Pang, Hillary Jacques, Jennifer Estep, Kelly Meding, Nicole Peeler, Jackie Kessler, Kelly Gay and Seanan McGuire to make even crowds seem suddenly appealing.

It seems that Kevin Hearne fu
Anthologies provide me with a way to sample an author's writing without the commitment of a full novel. I've discovered some fantastic authors this way and my TBR (to be read) list has grown to a huge mountain. Carniepunk has got to be one of my favorite anthologies so far. This list of participating authors reads like a Who's Who list of urban fantasy stars. I was impressed by the writing quality and have added a few new authors to my ever-growing to-read list.

Carniepunk is an anthology about c
I read this book to fill the Creepy Carnivals square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I seem to be developing more of a taste for short fiction, especially in this dark fantasy category. I enjoyed the offerings by the well-known authors (Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Kevin Hearne, Seanan McGuire) but actually found some of the stories by folks that I didn’t know to be more engaging. These people have to try harder, they can’t rely on well-trodden paths with familiar characters and situations. I t
Douglas Meeks
Jun 14, 2013 rated it liked it
I was probably a bit generous with my ratings since I would not recommend anyone pay $10+ for this book, maybe when it is on sale in the future.

“Painted Love” – Rob Thurman – A tale a bit creepy but not as depressing as her normal works. Would have made a great Twilight Zone episode 3.5/5

“The Three Lives of Lydia” – Delilah S Dawson - A bit of a urban fantasy/horror combo that left me flat because it had no real ending or if you wish the ending was depressing at best. 2/5

“The Demon Barker of Whe
Jess the Romanceaholic
This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.

Expected Release Date: July 23, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Gallery Books
My Source for This Book: Gift From The Publisher
Steam Level: Varies (Chaste with a Steamy or two thrown in for good measure)

Overall, this anthology was simply wonderful. As most of my readers are well aware, I’m typically glued to my Kindle as I prefer ebooks over printed works in almost every case. Even so, I only had access to a pape
Lauren Stoolfire
Quite a few of these stories from Carniepunk by Rachel Caine, et al. I wasn't all that interested in, since a few of them were shorts from series I wasn't all familiar with a head of time. I did have several favorites that was really looking forward too though. My favorites were in order: "Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea" by Seanan McGuire, "The Demon Barker of Wheat Street" by Kevin Hearne, "Painted Love" by Rob Thurman, and "The Cold Girl" by Rachel Caine. It was ...more
Jen Davis
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m a little late getting around to reading this 2013 collection of carnival themed short stories, but I learned it included a prequel to a series I am reading now and I wanted to check it out. I found the stories to be very uneven, both in tone and in how much I enjoyed them. But there were enough engaging entries, I found it worth the read.

Painted Love – This is the first thing I have ever read by Rob Thurman and I have to say, it was a bit odd. It follows the observations of Doodle, an enigma
Apr 01, 2013 marked it as to-read
Shelves: kindle
Omg,I fricking love the name!!!!

Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
*Overall Rating* 3.5

I was more than happy to receive Carniepunk from the publisher in both a finished copy as well as E-ARC via Edelweiss. There were a few authors I did not know, nor have I read anything by them previous to reading their short stories. Authors like Kevin Hearne, Jackie Kessler, Hillary Jacques, & Mark Henry. I actually liked Hearne's story so I may try to catch up on his Iron Druid series soon. One of the sexiest stories of this anthology came from Jackie Kessler. Definitely fo
Apr 06, 2013 rated it liked it
A wide range of stories, all with a carnival or side show as part of the theme. We’ve got things that happen due to who runs or works at the carnival as well as the carnival just being the setting for where something takes place. I currently read or had read books by 6 of the 14 authors, but after reading this found 4 or 5 others I wouldn’t mind checking out. For most of the stories it’s the side show that’ll get you. All are a decent length for being short stories and there are plenty of good a ...more
Anne - Books of My Heart
I read a few of the stories by the authors I know and they were all great. Jaye Wells, Jennifer Estep, and Kelly Meding. I may go back to this to read the stories by Rachel Caine, Kevin Hearne and Seanan McGuire as well. Many good authors and the stories are really good.

I originally got this to read the novella prequel to the Stray Magic series by Kelly Meding.
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Carniepunk is an anthology, packed with carnival based short stories. This collection is not for the timid reader, nor will it appease those that only like "Happily Ever After" because it is not the case. These stories are vivid, horror based and nightmare inducing. It just so happens that all these short stories are written by some of my favorite authors and most of them are pretty spectacular. For a scare your pants off, nail biting, white knuckle read check out Carniepunk, it will take your c ...more
Angie Lisle
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A collection of Urban Fantasy short stories that reminded me of the anthologies edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. This collection has been dubbed Paranormal Romance and the title technically fits but there's a strong Horror element here that shouldn't be overlooked.

I enjoyed how this book approached the concept of love, showing it in a diverse manner. There's one or two stories with a lovey-dovey feature, but many display the love among family or friends close enough to be family.
Joy Whiteside
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was able to read an Arc provided by Netgalley.

I loved this book. It was awesome how they were able to get a collection of stories by some of the top authors writing in this genre today.

I am not going to give away any spoilers as this is a must read.

This book was exciting and I could not stop reading. If you are a fan of the paranormal this is one that you should check out.

An awesome read.
Sep 05, 2014 marked it as to-read-own-bought
I just bought this book today from my bookstore and I'm way too excited to read it. I recognize a lot of names in this collection, so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping it's a good experience. Plus, it's helping me with my task of finding reads set in spooky carnivals for inspiration. ...more
Audiobook from Simon & Schuster Audio
Narrated by Candace Thaxton and Kirby Heyborne
Length: 14 hours

This was a short story collection with urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and carnival themes. On the whole, the book was fairly average. There were some fantastic stories and there were some terrible stories. I've reviewed each story individually, below. The narration was mostly done by Candace Thaxton, though Kirby Heyborne narrated a few including "Painted Love" and "The Demon Barker of Wheat St
Jul 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Three and a half stars: A collection of creepy and macabre stories all centered around the carnival.

Warm nights scented with popcorn, cotton candy and all kinds of fried foods are here. At long last, the carnival has arrived, and everyone turns out to experience all the delicious foods, the rides, the games and the strange shows. Except this time around, there is something very different and wrong about the carnival. Evil is afoot in the carnival with this collection of short stories from an all
All Things Urban Fantasy
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

PAINTED LOVE by Rob Thurman- 4/5

This was a great story to start this anthology out with as it gives you the flavor of carnival life with its descriptions of sleazy carnies and weird, almost creepy relationships they have with each other. PAINTED LOVE’s narrator, Doddle, was a weirdly passive and silent character and throughout most of the story I was constantly trying to figure out what his deal was. After pages of people talking at him and his chronic passivi
 ☔️ Stormy Day Reader
The thing I love about anthologies is discovering new authors. I found a couple good ones. I got this audiobook for the Iron Druid story. There were a couple by authors I am familiar with too. My suggestion: get it at the library... the book, not the audio. Read the stories you are interested in and take it back. I listened to a story or two a day and it took almost 2 weeks. It was a nice diversion and it was worth it because I did like the Blud book that I read because of this one. I'm not sure ...more
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I know it doesn't take much of a review here to confirm the book is as awesome as everyone expects it to be. Let's face it, a lot of us have been antsy pantsy about this release. I lucked out big time and got an early copy and whether you need it or not, I'm gonna go ahead and talk about how fabulous a read it is :)

Concept wise there's no way this could be anything but a win in my opinion. I'm sure carnivals mean all kinds of things to all kinds of readers. For me, there's a mystique and a roman
Suspense Magazine
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was definitely in the mood for something off the beaten path when I picked up the anthology, “CarniePunk.” Brimming with dark urban fantasy bestsellers—a few I wasn’t familiar with—I knew I’d have stories by authors I enjoy and the possibility of finding some new favorites. Anthologies are fun and can be like dating. You get to kick the tires and don’t have to settle on one specific author if you’re not sure who or what you’ll like. Carnie-themed “CarniePunk” and its amazing collection of auth ...more
WTF Are You Reading?

Carniepunk combines all of the mystery that surrounds the bells, whistles, barkers, and baddies that have lured countless people to stroll the midway; with the creatures, demons, angels, and spirits that have captivated the hearts and minds of humankind through the ages.

The stars of the urban fantasy genre have never shown brighter than they do in this collection.

Rachel Caine
Jennifer Estep
Kevin Hearne
Seanan McGuire
Rob Thurman
Delilah S. Dawson
Allison Pang
Jackie Kessler
Kelly Gay
Kelly Medin
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley, bluefire
I've never been a big fan of anthologies. There is limited reading time (sad, I know) so I stick to novels where I can find character development and a depth to the story. However, in the past several months I decided to read more short stories. Earlier this year I read and reviewed a book of short stories / novellas by one of my favorite authors. And, my husband surprised me with an anthology of zombie shorts that I have enjoyed to the halfway point. So, when I saw this group of authors (many v ...more
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Atticus and Granuaile
This four-star review is only for the short story 'The Demon Barker of Wheat Street,' an Iron Druid Chronicle story that takes place chronologically between the fourth and fifth novels in the series. If you have read up to the fourth book in the series, there is really no reason not to read this short story, you'll definitely like it, along with the other two short stories set in between the fourth and fifth novels -- Two Ravens and One Crow and The Chapel Perilous. While I am sure any and all o ...more
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ronda by: Lorre

I only came across this book because of a friend who knew I loved this series - Elemental Assassin.

Gin and her sister Bria attend a Carnival that is passing through to try and figure out if anyone knows or has heard of a missing girl that Bria is trying to find.

Events unfold and the bad guys happen...

A short novel and fun to read, I love anything with Gin in it and this was no exception.
Aug 14, 2013 marked it as didnt-finish
Marking this one as DNF because aside from the Iron Druid story, I haven't found any of these entertaining. I think it's mostly because the carnival theme doesn't feel like it's truly there, and some stories treat the carnival as the vaguest of backdrops for a story that might fit the bill.

I read up to "A Duet with Darkness," so if there are other stories I didn't get to that you think I must check out, please let me know and I happily will.
Samantha wickedshizuku Tolleson
Jan 14, 2015 marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: Paranormal Romance fans,Urban Fantasy fans, Kim Harrison fans
Recommended to Samantha wickedshizuku by: other anthologies
This is what I've finished so far...

“The Three Lives of Lydia” – Delilah S Dawson
This was really interesting, and tragically dark. I just can't get over how well written this really was!

"Duet with Darkness" - Allison Pang
Really awesome short about a violinist. 3.5 stars
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #90 Carniepunk 1 1 Aug 21, 2017 12:28AM  
Does Anyone Know If....? 4 7 Jul 31, 2014 08:14PM  
Does Anyone Know If....? 1 4 Jul 30, 2014 09:03PM  
Who's Your Author?: Carniepunk by Multiple Authors; Start Date January 11th 37 19 Jan 22, 2014 09:37AM  
Get Your Shorts i...: The Cold Girl (Spoilers) 3 10 Sep 25, 2013 03:02PM  
Get Your Shorts i...: Painted Love (Spoilers) 3 5 Sep 09, 2013 07:06PM  
Get Your Shorts i...: General Discussion (No Spoilers) 2 6 Sep 06, 2013 06:46AM  

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Other books in the series

Hell on Earth (5 books)
  • Hell's Belles (Hell on Earth, #1)
  • The Road to Hell (Hell on Earth, #2)
  • Hotter Than Hell (Hell on Earth, #3)
  • Hell To Pay
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