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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 (92 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
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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: #208,955 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 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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3 of 3 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Anthology December 21, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A collection of stories with a carnival theme by a number of awesome authors. Some were outstanding, some were good, but all were well worth reading. I think some of the stories had an advantage to winning my affection, since they are set in worlds and with characters that I'm already familiar with from series I love. Some ended somewhat ambiguously, and I think I liked the stories with a clear happy ending better, but that's just my taste. I'm not going to go into each one here, but the stories I thought were outstanding were:

The Demon Barker of Wheat Street by Kevin Hearne - a story featuring the characters and world of the Iron Druid series, this one was full of action and I loved the ending.

The Cold Girl by Rachel Caine - a story of a teen girl in a relationship with the wrong boy with tragic results, but the ending was fantastic. I'm always a sucker for a well-deserved revenge.

A Duet With Darkness by Allison Pang - I wish I had read this story before I read A Sliver of Shadow because it features some of the characters that appeared in that book and explains their relationships. It features the violinist Melanie St James and was set in the world of the Abby Sinclair books.

Parlor Tricks by Jennifer Estep - a short story featuring Gin Blanco from her Elemental Assassin series which is one of my favorite series, so of course I adored it. It involved Gin and her sister Bria attending a carnival while looking for a missing girl. I loved the way Gin and Bria worked together to defeat the villains.

Freak House by Kelly Meding - this one was not set in the world I'm most familiar with, the Dreg City novels.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Goddesses and Devils and Were-wives, oh my!
Picked it up because of a few favorite authors.
Some stories were pretty good, some were blah.

Kevin Hearne had an interesting story of 'sell your soul' as a... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Sylvia McIvers
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed this collection of varied writers. Would buy again.
Published 11 days ago by R. Daily
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Dark overall. Some good stories in the mix.
Like most short story collections, this one has some stories that I liked and others that I didn't care for. Read more
Published 1 month ago by BookWyrm
4.0 out of 5 stars Some of the stories are good. Some not so much
Some of the stories are good. Some not so much. Still, it is worth a read if for nothing other than the inclusion of the Iron Druid.
Published 1 month ago by HalstattRolls
4.0 out of 5 stars Ladies and Gentlemen step right up.
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection. The range is wonderful by in large. Standouts for me were Mark Henry's The Sweeter the Juice" hilarious and terrifing all at once. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Aardvark340
4.0 out of 5 stars A good collection of stories by both familiar and unfamiliar authors...
A good collection of stories by both familiar and unfamiliar authors that spans a full range of emotions from purest horror to a deep sympathy for the lonely and strange. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Hallaspinner
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag
This collection was an mixed bag. Some of the stories were to my taste and others were not. It was okay overall
Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat misleading title
This uneven collection isn't exactly what the title advertises. Sure, all of the settings involve carnivals, but only in one story (maybe one and a half) are the protagonists... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Evil Voodoo Celt
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh. Would probably have enjoyed this more if I'd read the series that...
This was billed as an “urban fantasy anthology” in which every story took place at a circus. I think there’s a lot that can be done with a circus setting (if you read my review of... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kelly
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 5 months ago by Jasblu
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