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Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions Paperback – September 20, 2011
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Praise for `Wicked Lovely':"Marr offers readers a fully imagined faery world that runs alongside an everyday world, which even non-fantasy (or faerie) lovers will want to delve into." Publisher's Weekly"The fantasy of being pursued by two young men is alluring in itself, but when one is a pierced and tattooed sexy outsider and the other is a blindingly beautiful King of Faery, how much better can it get? Readers will beg for a sequel." Washington Post"This is a magical novel... the first book in a trilogy that will guarantee to have you itching for the next instalment. * * * *" Bliss --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Melissa Marr is the New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series as well as the adult fantasy novels Graveminder and The Arrivals. When not traveling, Melissa can be found in Phoenix or online at www.melissamarrbooks.com.
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Though I've now only read four anthologies total, this one is by far my favorite of them all.
This post is really long. Don't say I didn't warn you :P.
"Giovanni's Farewell" by Claudia Gray - While in Rome on a school trip, Cairo, Ravenna's brother, claims to be developing psychic powers, something which frightens Ravenna and makes her feel concerned for her brother's mental stability... until she too has a strange experience.
"Scenic Route" by Carrie Ryan - This story is set in the same world as The Forest of Hands and Teeth series, and yet you don't really read about the Unconsecrated (the danger is alluded to but not mentioned). The focus is primarily on survival as Maggie takes her sister Sally to a cabin, one of the few refuges she was fortunate enough to find, and meets Calvin, who is full of surprises and has a story of his own ....
"Red Run" by Kami Garcia - Edie's brother, Will, was one of many murdered out on Red Run. At the beginning of the story, Edie sets off to kill the ghost who is rumored to haunt the road and who she believes killed her brother ...
"Things about Love" by Jackson Pearce - This story is set in the same world as As You Wish. After Jinn, a genie, fell in love with Viola, a mortal, the whole of Caliban was shocked so Juliet, another genie, comes to Lawrence (Viola's friend) to learn about love and the frightening implications and questions that have arisen for her jinn world.
"Niederwald" by Rachel Vincent - Characters from the Soul Screamers series appear here. Sabine, a mara, wants to steal her boyfriend Nash back from Kaylee so she and Kaylee's friend, Emma, stop at Niederwald to visit Syrie, a psychic of sorts whose house is guarded by very dangerous harpies.
"A Mortal Winter King" by Melissa Marr - A Wicked Lovely story.... What happens when Keenan, the former Summer King, now a mere mortal, and Donia, the Winter Queen, go on vacation? Find out and listen to their debate on whether or not Keenan should risk taking the Winter Queen's staff to make him a faery again.
"Facing Facts" by Kelley Armstrong - I think this is set in the same world as one of her series because I remember the Edison Group being mentioned in the other story of hers that I read in The Eternal Kiss--I'm not sure though because I haven't had a chance to read any of them. Anyways, this story is about Kit telling Tori that he is her father, Tori subsequently running away, and Chloe, a necromancer, chasing after her and dealing with her own haunted feelings about what had happened regarding Tori's mother.
"Let's Get This Undead Show on the Road" by Sarah Rees Brennan - If you read Ms. Brennan's in The Eternal Kiss, this story has the same cast of characters. Christian, a vampire, and Josh, Pez, and Bradley, all members of the English boy band 4 the One, and Faye, their manager, go on tour, which turns out to be quite the bonding experience...
"Bridge" by Jeri Smith-Ready - In the same world as the Shade series. A story told in verse about Logan, who is now a ghost and contacts a Post-Shifter so that she can convince his brother Mikey to move on 233 days after Logan's surprising death.
"Skin Contact" by Kimberly Derting - In the same world as the Body Finder series. Rafe, a character from Desires of the Dead, has a vision that he fears has come true (though his true power lies comes from skin contact) and sets off to see what happened for himself.
"Leaving" by Ally Condie - About Sora, a young girl who has to deal with her grief over her father's leaving and the implications of what that has meant for her (being Untouchable and lonely, wanting to leave though it would also mean leaving Elio, etc.) and what it indicated about her father as a person.
"At the Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show" by Jessica Verday - First line of the story: "The worst thing about cannibal Girl Scouts are the badges." One of the best first lines I've ever read. Anyways, Jane, the one human without superpowers in her family of hunters, goes after these Girl Scouts, and the situation quickly gets out of control. [After reading her author bio, I think this may be set in the same world as her other books, but I'm not sure.]
"I.V. League" by Margaret Stohl - A pair of Drinkers fake transcripts and the likes and apply to Ivy League colleges. They drive to an interview with an Admissions Breather at Harvard. Will they get accepted?
"Gargouille" by Mary E. Pearson - About a gargoyle/gargouille, watcher of the night, who was caught and sold to a duke and had her wings cut off and the consequences of those actions on her life.
"The Third Kind" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - An impulse to go to San Antonio with Jess strikes Kissy, and even when she was young, Kissy could not resist the 'pulse. The real mystery is ... why San Antonio? What's there and what will happen to Kissy and Jess on this trip?
"Automatic" by Rachel Caine - What happens when a Coke vending machine in Morganville stocks cans of blood that are doled out via ID card? Read about the consequences for Michael.
"Gargouille" by Mary E. Pearson - Oh man. It wasn't just that I hadn't read anything about gargoyles before and that I thought it perhaps was one of the most original of them all--my love of this story comes from so much more. The setting, the romance, the world created, and best of all, the writing. I really, really loved the descriptions of Etienne and Giselle's past together (esp. pages 378-379). Touching and sweet and heartbreaking all at once. If Ms. Pearson chose to write a book about this world, I would buy it without a doubt.
"Leaving" by Ally Condie - Admittedly, I was kind of confused about Sora's powers and what it meant to be Outside and Untouchable and whatnot, but I think that's also because this world is ripe with potential for further development. I simply want to know more and don't think that one story can cover this idea fully...... Anyways, there are three main reasons why I love this story. 1. It's so easy to empathize with Sora's emotions--I was tempted to quote a particular section at the end but it'd reveal too much. 2. As I sort of alluded to, the originality of the world. 3. I love Ally Condie's writing. I haven't run into anything quite like it, and it is incredibly beautiful as always.
"Skin Contact" by Kimberly Derting - The story starts off immediately, and it's incredibly easy to slip into Rafe's fears regarding his dream. This one was one of my favorites because it was a good thriller with just the right amount of back story and because Rafe's emotions were so palpable that I was on tenterhooks, waiting to see what would happen. Best of all, I haven't read Desires of the Dead just yet (it's sitting on my desk), and I could still enjoy this story; in fact, I kind of have my own predictions about Rafe's personality and want to go read DoD now to see if they're true.
"Giovanni's Farewell" by Claudia Gray - It was incredibly appropriate to start off Enthralled with Ms. Gray's story. Some of the stories are rather dark and some are light, but this was in between. I loved the brother/sister relationship dynamics and the cute little romance going on with Giovanni. Also, the world she creates is very open--as in anybody could have a power (or at least it feels that way) although it focuses on only one family... so it is a great set-up for the rest of the anthology.
*Disclaimer: I have not read Kelley Armstrong's series, the Morganville Vampires series, Jessica Verday's series, the Shade series, the Soul Screamers series, or Carrie Ryan's series (in full, that is) so I cannot tell you how these stories compared to the books.
About the Anthology in General:
Three things that really shine in this anthology--
1. The Variety of Creatures/Powers & Tones/Writing Styles - 1 angel story, 3 vampire stories, 2 ghost stories, 1 faery story, 2 combination of creatures stories, and the rest of the 16 do not have the typical creatures. I already mentioned how much I loved the gargoyles and Ally Condie's time-traveling? (I guess that may be the best description)... and I also love that there was a story on jinn! ANYWAYS - besides the varieties in story topics, the stories themselves have different tones that make the anthology easier to read as a whole. Loved the humor in the stories penned by Sarah Rees Brennan & Jessica Verday, loved the alternating perspectives in Jackson Pearce's story & Melissa Marr's story, which also was arguably the most character-driven of them all, etc. etc. One thing is for certain - this anthology is full of twists and turns, and I don't think you're likely to get bored with it because of the variety. As you might have seen in my summaries, there is even a story written in verse.
2. The Romance - One trend I haven't really liked in YA paranormal romance lately is the insta-love... And here, not one story featured insta-love. Instead, the anthology featured mild attraction between the characters and relationships that had been going on for a while. It was so incredibly refreshing.... And not all the stories even featured a main romance. For instance, in "Niederwald," Nash doesn't appear once though he is undoubtedly Sabine's romantic interest.
3. The Authors - Basically, all the authors did a great job. Also, I really liked getting to see the distinction between Margaret Stohl's writing and Kami Garcia's since all I've read is their co-written work. Even though some authors expanded on the worlds that they had already created in their books, I was still able to follow along without having read those series. Granted, some of the stories would have meant so much more had I read the series devoted to that paranormal world, but for some, it really wasn't necessary, and that in itself is a job very well done.
Even if I only listed four favorites, that by no means indicates that the rest aren't good. In fact, they're great, and there wasn't a single story that I didn't enjoy. This anthology was a great "intro" of sorts to paranormal. For all those people who have been driven away by paranormal stories, well, welcome back, because this anthology isn't one you should fear. Check it now.
Giovanni's Farewell-Ravenna and Cairo go on a trip. Something is going on with Cairo that Ravenna can't figure out. When he tries to tell her, she pushes him away. All of a sudden, something happens to Ravenna that makes her a believer. There is something very special about these twins, and the best thing about it, is that they are in it together. This is a very good ghost story.
Scenic Route-Margie and Sally are hiding out in a cabin. These two sisters are hiding out from zombies. They also have to hide from people trying to break in and still there stuff. There is also a possible love interest in this story. I was very shocked with what happened
Red Run-This is another ghost story that I loved. I fell in love with Tommy!! People end of dead on Red Run. Edie's brother was even killed. Rumor has it that a ghost is doing the killing. Fabulous story!!!!
Things about Love-This story goes along with the book AS You Wish. I was so happy to get to Lawrence again. I wanted to know what happened to him. Viola, a jinn, shows up to learn about love. She believes that with a single kiss, she will learn all she needs to know. This story was so sweet and romantic.
Niederwald-This is set in the world of her Soul Screamer series. Emma and Sabine are on a road trip for a project, or at least that was what Emma thought. Of course, Sabine has her own agenda. She goes to Niederwald to see an oracle, then gets her and Emma in mess with the harpies. Love this series!!!!
Merely Mortal-This is set in the world of the Wicked Lovely series. We get to see Keenan and Donia take a vacation. It was so hilarious watching Keenan as a human. Poor Donia worries about him in this week state as she calls it.
Facing Facts-This is set in the world of her Darkest Powers series. OMG!!! This is one of my favorite series!!!! I was so happy to get to see Derek and Chloe again. And boy, Derek still hasn't changed. He still has lip.
Let's Get this Undead Show on the Road-I loved this story. Christian is the only vampire in his band. I felt really bad for Christian, but I really liked the ending. This was a great vampire story.
Bridge-Oh wow. I cried through the whole first book, and now I cried through the whole novella. I just love Logan!!! I love all the characters in this series. I feel for them. It is as if I am there. Mickey tore me to pieces in this story. I was so glad to get to see more of him.
Skin Contact-This is set in the world of the Body Finder series. I got too see a little of Rafe's background in this story, and what he is actually capable of. It was so sad. I was drawn to him even more by this story. Can't wait to read The Last Echo.
Leaving-I loved this story!!!!! Sora's father disappeared and she also became an untouchable. She kept her distance from everyone for a long time, because she knew that she would be leaving too. Elio is the only reason she is second guessing herself now. I hope I get to see more of this story down the road. Loved it!!!!
At the Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show-This story was hilarious!!! I just loved it!!! I cracked up on the vampires especially when they started singing and dancing. I really liked Jane. Her family are supernatural hunters. She was sick of them always using her as bait. She wanted to do more so she snuck off and got into a lot of trouble.
IV League-This was another good vampire story. It's about a vampire named Wrennie who tries to get into an IV League school. The interview was so funny!!!
Gargouille-Loved, loved, loved, this story. Etienne...sigh. This gargoyle story was amazing, and the love story was beautiful. Giselle was captured, and her wings were cut off, When that happens, they become completely human forgetting everything but their name. It was simply beautiful.
The Third Kind-I am hoping to see more of this story down the road. It started off so good, but it kinda left with a cliffhanger. I want more!!! Kissy and Jess take off in the middle of the Night to go to San Antonio. Whenever Kissy gets these pulses, the sisters go do what Kissy feels that they have to do. Then it turns out, Jess is not who she thought she was. I loved this angel story. This needs to be made into a book!!!
Automatic-This story was set in the world of the Morganville series. This is also another of my favorite series. Watching Michael with the blood machine was hilarious. I can't wait to read the next book in the Morganville series!!!!
Great book!!!!! I recommend to all!!!!