Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Carniepunk by Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Kevin Hearne, et al.

Carniepunk by Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Kevin Hearne, et al.
2013, Gallery Books


Synopsis: 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.

The Good: I love carnivals and having so many stories use a carnival setting was awesome. The Demon Barker of Wheat Street by Kevin Hearne was especially good, even though I have not gotten as far into the Iron Druid series as the story is set. I always love Kelly Gay's writing and
Hell's Menagerie is no exception. I will definitely be checking out more by Nicole Peeler and
Hillary Jacques.

The Bad: As with any anthology, the stories are hit or miss. Unfortunately Carniepunk was more miss for me. Authors I usually enjoy didn't do all that well with the carnival setting. Others, after reading their stories, I don't have any reason to follow up on their other works. I really wish this book had worked better for me.

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