Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Carniepunk by Rachel Caine et al

It's Carniepunk release day! Yay! 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 romanticism around the idea of a carnival but the reality is much more dirty and creepy for me. But whether you fall into the category of people who romanticize carnivals or the category like me whose skin crawls even thinking about those dirty rags wiping the ick off the seats of the ride you're about to get on (ewwww!), Carniepunk does have something for us all. (An anthology of carnival based tales by some of the hottest urban fantasy authors out there is just gonna work.)

Some of the stories are series tie ins while others are totally new characters, but they all stand on their own even if you haven't yet read the author's backlist. Be warned, though, my must have list is bursting at the seams already and any of the authors here I haven't previously read have been added to the list now, too!

Here's the lineup and story list for you (in order they appear in the book):

"Painted Love" by Rob Thurman
"The Three Lives of Lydia" by Delilah S. Dawson (a Blud story)
"The Demon Barker of Wheat Street" by Kevin Hearne (an Iron Druid Chronicles story)
"The Sweeter the Juice" by Mark Henry
"The Werewife" by Jaye Wells
"The Cold Girl" by Rachel Caine
"A Duet With Darkness" by Allison Pang (an Abby Sinclair story)
"Recession of the Divine" by Hillary Jacques
"Parlor Tricks" by Jennifer Estep (an Elemental Assassin story) - available as a free e read right now
"Freak House" by Kelly Meding (a Strays story)
"The Inside Man" by Nicole Peeler (a Jane True story)
"A Chance in Hell" by Jackie Kessler
"Hell's Menagerie" by Kelly Gay (a Charlie Madigan story)
"Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea" by Seanan McGuire

Some of my faves:

"The Three Lives of Lydia" - I've never read Dawson before but a quick search proves the cover of her first Blud book is definitely familiar. This is a world I want to dive wholeheartedly into now!

"The Sweeter the Juice" - Mark Henry has been talking up Carniepunk and his tale for a while so this one came with big expectations (I had to force myself to read in order rather than jumping directly into this one). It's excellent but also quite nasty!

"The Cold Girl" - just because. Once you read it, you'll know.

"Freak House" - like Dawson, Meding is new to me and I definitely need to read this series now.

"Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea" - Seanan McGuire is so awesome. I've read her work as Mira Grant and have the first in her October Daye series in my TBR. This story is a little different from the others in that the carnie folks are the main characters. It's something of a bittersweet tale and utterly fabulous in every way.

A must, must, must have for any fan of urban fantasy/paranormal romance!

Rating: 5/5

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