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Carniepunk [Kindle Edition]

Rachel Caine , Rob Thurman , Kevin Hearne , Seanan McGuire , Jennifer Estep , Allison Pang , Kelly Gay , Delilah S. Dawson , Kelly Meding
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $10.11
You Save: $5.89 (37%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

Come one, come all! The Carniepunk Midway promises you every thrill and chill a traveling carnival can provide. But fear not! Urban fantasy’s biggest stars are here to guide you through this strange and dangerous world. . . .

RACHEL CAINE’s vampires aren’t child’s play, as a naïve teen discovers when her heart leads her far, far astray in “The Cold Girl.” With “Parlor Tricks,” JENNIFER ESTEP pits Gin Blanco, the Elemental Assassin, against the Wheel of Death and some dangerously creepy clowns. SEANAN McGUIRE narrates a poignant, ethereal tale of a mysterious carnival that returns to a dangerous town after twenty years in “Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea.” KEVIN HEARNE’s Iron Druid and his wisecracking Irish wolfhound discover in “The Demon Barker of Wheat Street” that the impossibly wholesome sounding Kansas Wheat Festival is actually not a healthy place to hang out. With an eerie, unpredictable twist, ROB THURMAN reveals the fate of a psychopath stalking two young carnies in “Painted Love.”

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

While quite a lot of this collection relies on standard horror tropes, each of the stories tends to use them well enough to keep things interesting. From the opening tale, Painted Love to Seanan McGuire’s haunting Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea, the promise of magic, illusion, and adventure on the midways of various traveling carnivals is conveyed vividly and with striking detail. While not all of the stories necessarily do anything to illuminate the human condition (with a few exceptions, which manage nicely to illustrate the pains of not belonging and of pretending to be something you’re not), they’re all interesting pieces of narrative and entertaining in their many, varied ways. And of course, there are a few good, solid action stories in among the more psychological horror. A few of them, including Delilah S. Dawson’s The Three Lives of Lydia and Nicole Peeler’s The Inside Man, are also effective teasers for their authors’ novels. --Regina Schroeder

About the Author

Rachel Caine is the New York Times, USA TODAY, and #1 internationally bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the immensely popular Morganville Vampires, Weather Warden, Outcast Season, and Revivalist series. Learn more at

Product Details

  • File Size: 3944 KB
  • Print Length: 449 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (July 23, 2013)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A281B5I
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,810 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent urban fantasy sampler July 23, 2013
"Painted Love" by Rob Thurman
Marvelous surprises await you in "Painted Love." Told from the point of view of a supernatural hitchhiker, "Painted Love" takes readers on an exploration of love and evil. Rob Thurman gave Doodle such an interesting, unique voice that I was drawn into the story from the start and couldn't stop reading until I learned what was going on. I'm afraid I can't say much about this story without spoiling it, but suffice it to say that you're in for a fascinating journey. "Painted Love" stayed with me long after I finished reading it and I'm looking forward to reading more of Rob Thurman's work.


"The Three Lives of Lydia" by Delilah S. Dawson
I admit, I picked up the Carniepunk anthology for this story. I love Delilah S. Dawson's Blud series and thus was eager to delve into the world of the Bludmen once more. Ms. Dawson does not disappoint. "The Three Lives of Lydia" explores the terrible beauty of Sang and of Criminy's Clockwork Caravan as seen through the eyes of Lydia, a human from our world who wakes up in Sang. I loved the vibrancy of the carnival, the darker undertones of the world, and seeing Sang -- not to mention curious Bludman Charlie Dregs -- through Lydia's eyes. The twists and turns the story took were interesting, leaving me to ponder the implications of what Ms. Dawson revealed.

If you haven't read the Blud series, "The Three Lives of Lydia" is a good introduction to the world of Sang. Chronologically, it takes place before the first book, Wicked As They Come, so fans of the series will undoubtedly be thrilled to see the caravan and its members (including Blud heroes Criminy and Casper) before Tish's arrival.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the price of admission July 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
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 very well-known for their paranormal writing) and, hello, CARNIVALS - I really wanted to give this one a shot. Am I glad I did? You betcha!

As with any eclectic group, some of the stories are definitely better than others. I won't review each one separately here but if you are interested, I did rate each one with my Goodreads status updates while reading. The ratings varied from 1 to 5 stars with most receiving 3.5-4.

My favorite was definitely "The Cold Girl" by Rachel Caine. It was scary and sad - abusive teenage relationships, fortune tellers and the reaper. About 30 pages but better character development than many full length paranormal novels out right now.

Least favorite was "The Sweeter the Juice" by Mark Henry. I can't even describe it. Just weird. And, I hate to say but not good at all.

Overall, 4/5 stars and worth the price of admission.

Thank you to the Gallery Books for providing a copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A perfect anthology August 2, 2013
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 functions much better in the short story format. Deprived of the chance to indulge in long and dull mythology lectures, he focuses on his characters and action. In his story, Atticus, Granuaile and Oberon visit Granuaile's home town in disguise, but instead of family, they end up facing demons. Oberon plays a pretty big role in the story and he is as entertaining as ever so fans of the Irish Wolfhound have a lot to look forward to.

I gave up on the Elemental Assassin series ages ago, when things between Gin and Owen became unnecessarily complicated, but I must admit I enjoyed Parlor Tricks, Jennifer Estep's contribution to this anthology. In it, Gin and her sister Bria search for a missing girl, last seen visiting the carnival the previous night. Those who follow the series and know about the strained relationship between the sisters will thoroughly enjoy their easy banter and partnership in this story. And of course, as a special treat, Gin's sarcasm gets unleashed as her disdain for carnivals comes to light.

Hell's Menagerie by Kelly Gay brings us back to the amazing Charlie Madigan series. I was devastated when this series ended so a short story from Rex's perspective was like a balm for my wounds.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Carnival of Stories
These stories are all over the board with one connection: a traveling carnival. They brought back my own excitement/fear/curiosity I felt as a kid at the carnival. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Jasblu
4.0 out of 5 stars The Carnival's in Town. Woohoo!!
All the stories in this anthology revolve around the carnival and/or circus life, a subject I really enjoy. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Cherie Barstow
3.0 out of 5 stars Very dark stories focused in Carnivals -- Hit or Miss
I have to give CarniePunk three stars for the following reasons:
1) Quality of the writing in the stories is variable depending on the author of the short story. Read more
Published 2 months ago by L. C Glover
5.0 out of 5 stars Lush, beautiful writing!
Trying to describe the beautiful writing in CARNIEPUNK is difficult, because anything I say will fall short. But the words “gorgeous,” “lush,” and “inspiring” come to mind. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Chelsea P.
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Some were great, others not so much :-(
Published 2 months ago by E.V.
4.0 out of 5 stars oh(regret) done with the book.
I enjoyed all of these stories more than previous reviews would have suggested. A challenging mix of styes is offered by the editor. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Brian Klugh
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The book came in perfect condition.
Published 2 months ago by Ellen M. Cornia
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It Was Awesome, Creepy
Published 2 months ago by Michael Moore
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Some stories were great, others were creepy... good read on the whole though.
Published 3 months ago by Amy L Westervelt
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag; Mostly Terrific!
All in all, this was a pretty good collection of eerie and/or macabre and/or heart-pumping frightening short stories, all with 'carnivals' as the collections' concurrent theme. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael P. Williams, Esq.
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