CarniePunk by Allison Pang, Delilah S. Dawson, Jennifer Estep, Kelly Gay, Kelly Meding, Kevin Hearne, Rachel Caine, Rob Thurman, Seanan McGuire
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 448
Narrator: Candace Thaxton, Kirby Heyborne
Length: 14 hrs and 5 mins
Series: Hell On Earth #.7
Read: September 2013
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.
Listened for Review (Brilliance)
Carniepunk Anthology by Various Authors
Overall Rating: 4.00
*Individual Breakdowns Below*
Audio Rating: 4.50
Narrated By Candace Thaxton, Kirby Heyborne / Length: 14 hrs and 5 mins
I thought Candace and Kirby both did a fantastic job! Their pacing, emotions, and cadence were perfect for these stories. They each did a great job of sounding different for every character and author. Totally recommend this on audio. As always you should listen to a snippet to make sure the narration will work for you.
Thoughts as I listen:
Painted Love by Rob Thurman: Having never read Rob Thurman before I wasn’t sure what to think. I was engrossed by the story and liked the characters. The ending left me wanting. Overall Rating: 3.50
The Three Lives of Lydia by Delilah Dawson: Another author I haven’t tried before but I liked this story. It was kind of question of what happened, did she really exist in that world or this one. I wanted more (of course) but felt mostly satisfied. Overall Rating: 3.75
The Demon Barket of Wheat Street by Kevin Hearne: I love the Iron Druid series so I was pretty sure this was going to be my favorite of the short stories. I was wrong. It was OK but maybe it is because I am so used to hearing Luke Daniels do the voices that I just wasn’t hooked. The story was good enough but not overall my favorite. Overall Rating: 3.50
The Sweeter the Juice by Mark Henry: I like Mark Henry’s offbeat sense of humor and that came across in his story. It was a different twist on the zombie world and the characters fit the tone. Wasn’t a fan of the end of the story but it was still entertaining. Overall Rating: 3.75
The WereWife by Jaye Wells: Be careful what you wish/ask for! I really liked the twist in this story. I was totally caught off guard and had to smile (in a sadistic kind of way). This was a really great short story! Overall Rating: 4.25
The Cold Girl by Rachel Caine: My favorite so far! The Cold Girl felt like a complete story even though it is short. The end was perfect in a sad sort of way and even though I wanted more I felt satisfied. Overall Rating: 4.50
A Duet of Darkness by Allison Pang: I didn’t like the lead character she was too full of herself. I liked Elizabeth, the girl that told her off though. I also like Nabu (spelling is probably wrong but I am listening to it on audio so I have no idea how to spell his name) but Mel just never resonated with me. Overall Rating: 3.25
Recession of the Divine by Hillary Jacques: This was a pretty decent short story and I liked the Greek mythology mixed in. I did enjoy the characters and while I could have used a little more back story, the story felt complete. Overall Rating: 3.75
Parlor Tricks by Jennifer Estep: I had less of a problem with the narration in this one than I thought I would. I thought it was a good little side story for Brea and Gin. Enjoyable. Overall Rating: 3.75
Freak House by Kelly Meding: I need to read Kelly Meding as I enjoyed this short story very much. I really wanted more of the story but I liked her writing, pacing, and characters. Overall Rating: 4.25
The Inside Man by Nicole Peeler: Being trapped in my old bad memories is very scary. I really enjoyed this story and felt it was probably the most emotional of all the stories in the anthology. Overall Rating: 4.00
A Chance in Hell by Jackie Kessler: Not my favorite. The story was ok but I just didn’t connect with the characters at all. I think this one would have made an interesting full length though. Overall Rating: 3.50
Hell’s Menagerie by Kelly Gay: This was a pretty good story though I had to admit I was on edge (don’t do well when pets are in harms way). The lead character was pretty spunky and I loved that! Overall Rating: 3.75
Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and Open, Lonely Sea by Seanan McGuire: Another author I need to check out because I really did enjoy this story. I thought the characters were great and gave me the feel of Carnival (HBO). Overall Rating: 4.00
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