Paranormal Young Adult
Received at BEA
THE STORY (from Amazon)
A journey may take hundreds of miles, or it may cover the distance between duty and desire.
Sixteen of today’s hottest writers of paranormal tales weave stories on a common theme of journeying. Authors such as Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, and Melissa Marr return to the beloved worlds of their bestselling series, while others, like Claudia Gray, Kami Garcia, and Margaret Stohl, create new landscapes and characters. But whether they’re writing about vampires, faeries, angels, or other magical beings, each author explores the strength and resilience of the human heart.
Suspenseful, funny, or romantic, the stories in Enthralled will leave you moved.
Enthralled is a truly beautiful collection of short stories, a veritable buffet of paranormal entities with varying mythologies and gloriously crafted worlds that keeps us flipping the pages with unnatural speed and groaning outwardly upon reaching concluding pages of each individual tale. Some stories are snippets set in the world of an already existing series–granting us quick glimpses through the eyes of a secondary character and gifting us a few extra blissful minutes with some familiar favorites. Other tales are completely new, many of them feeling complex and nuanced despite the short page length, leaving us lingering on the last page wishing and hoping the author might decide to make the short we’ve just read a prequel to a new full-length supernatural series.
Red Run by Kami Garcia
At a depressingly short 20 pages, Red Run gives us a quick, dark ghost story that proves with potentially disastrous consequences how things are not always as they seem. Ms Garcia manages to craft characters who come to life for those brief moments we spend with them, creating a complete story that more than satisfies our need for characters who elicit an emotional response as well as a world we can see clearly in our minds despite not having chapters upon chapters establishing and describing every detail for us.
Bridge by Jeri Smith-Ready
Perhaps my favorite of them all, Bridge is written in verse and returns us to the world of Shade and Shift, allowing us all-too briefly into the mind of Logan after he’s been a ghost for 233 days. While those who aren’t familiar with the series may not find this contribution to the anthology as poignant and moving as those who are familiar every detail of Logan’s history and his time with Aura, Ms. Smith-Ready still does a fantastic job of summarizing events to create a context for Logan’s need to speak with older brother Michael. Logan is his typical self, managing to be incredibly self-centered and frankly a bit of an asshole (his own words), but, as with the novels themselves, there are moments where he becomes serious and genuine, and he plays the strings of our hearts with the same consummate skill he did his guitar in life.
Skin Contact by Kimberly Derting
One of the darkest stories in the anthology, Skin Contact details the tragic past of Rafe, a character we meet in the second installment of her Body Finder series but about whom we know very little. In this tale she provides us an unobstructed view of the event that shaped the man he's become, shining a rather brutal light on someone we’ve seen previously only in shadow, and illuminating the infliction of emotional scars and irreversible damage on a young man we won’t be able to keep from seeing differently from this point onward.
The Third Kind by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Ms. Barnes’s story is one of the ones that exists outside an already created world, giving us something fresh and new and altogether intriguing. Due to the short length, characters and events are introduced quickly and we literally hit the ground running from the very first page, however, at no point do things seem rushed, and somehow Ms. Barnes manages to make us feel as though we know both Jess and Kissy on a far deeper level than we might have believed possible given our initial meeting just pages before. The end of this tale is actually a beginning–though not in a frustrating way–and we can’t help but hope she might add Jess and Kissy to her list of works in progress so that we may continue on in a world with characters who left an impression almost instantaneously.
Overall Rating: 4/5