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Kiss Me Deadly: 13 Tales of Paranormal Love Paperback – August 3, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up–The title of this short story collection is a little misleading. Most of the selections have some romance, but they definitely take a backseat to those that run the gamut from fairy spies who can fly to vampires. While some of the stories are a little creepy, they are a far cry from truly frightening. Nonetheless, there are some fine and engrossing entries by popular authors, including Diana Peterfreund's “Errant,” which is set in medieval Europe. It features a sassy nun who is charged with training unicorns that are becoming endangered. Justine Musk's “Lost” is set in modern times and features a girl with psychic power and a very handsome guy named Haiden, which turns out to be a morphing of the word “Hades.” One kiss with the irresistible fellow and she will have sold her soul. Karen Mahoney's “The Spirit Jar” brings a fresh twist to the vampire genre. Sarah Rees Brennen and Carrie Ryan offer very good selections, too, but one of the best is Maggie Stiefvater's “The Hounds of Ulster,” which melds Celtic myth with punk rock.–Jake Pettit, Thompson ValleyHigh School, Loveland, COα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The usual cast of otherworldly suspects—ghosts, genies, demons, banshees, witches, and more—fills the pages of this collection, but these 13 stories of the paranormal come with a twist: all are love stories, of one sort or another. Not surprisingly, there is an air of the ominous about each, and (no spoiler here!) not all end happily. Though readable and entertaining, too many of the stories will probably be predictable to fans of this sort of fiction or are too long to pack much of a punch. Nevertheless, the best selections are wonderfully offbeat, inventive, and, well, haunting. Among these: Sarah Rees Brennan’s “The Spy Who Never Grew Up,” a wickedly funny and wonderfully written story about that eternal child Peter Pan, now grown to a teenager; Diana Peterfreund’s “Errant,” a deliciously dark tale of unlikely nuns and even more unlikely unicorns; and Maggie Stiefvater’s “The Hounds of Ulster,” an unforgettable story of music and love, rooted in Irish folklore. These three stories alone make the collection well worth reading. Grades 9-12. --Michael Cart
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I promise, this is one anthology worth reading!
Running Press Teens, 2010
YA; Short Stories; Paranormal Romance
Source: ARC from publisher
Summary: A collection of short stories from some of today's most popular authors including Maggie Stiefvater, Carrie Ryan, Michelle Zink, and more!
Some spoilers but I tried not to ruin the stories if they have twists.
Thoughts: I always find it easiest to talk about short story collections by just going through them and listing what I did and didn't like so this will be LONG. I had a quibble with these "short" stories as many of them were quite long; I was expecting twenty pages to be the max but that was more like the min. I'm not complaining because of course I want more to read but it made it difficult to fit in to the little snatches of time I have to read throughout the day unlike say the short sections of Terry Pratchett's books.
I'm evaluating these stories on the paranormal elements and the romance given the subtitle of "paranormal love" although writing and sheer enjoyability play a part.
The Assassin's Apprentice by Michelle Zink: It felt rushed-I was unsure of the mythology surrounding the story. And most disappointing to me, I didn't really feel the romance as there wasn't much build-up: they saw each other and they knew. Very unsatisfactory for me. 3/5
Errant by Diana Peterfreund: I think this is connected to her series of unicorn books, which I have not read, but the story still made sense. The romance was also lacking in this but it ended with the empowerment of Elise who was able to draw unicorns to her land for protection against the vile men while Gitta will continue to travel with her unicorn Enyo. 4/5
The Spirit Jar by Karen Mahoney: This features vampires, or rather one named Moth who apparently was in The Eternal Kiss but I don't think you need to have read this in order to follow the story. I liked Moth who is conflicted over being a vampire, specifically whether or not she has a soul. But the romance wasn't very good and I didn't love it. 3/5
Lost by Justine Musk: I would classify this as an updated version of a Greek myth (I think it would be spoiled if I told you which one). Sasha (I have loved this name ever since I first heard it as the name of Sasha Cohen the ice-skater) is good at finding things and Haiden helps her develop and strengthen the those abilities in paranormal terms. The romance was a little half-baked although I can see it growing and flourishing. 4/5
The Spy Who Never Grew Up by Sarah Rees Brennan: This took me a while to get in to but I liked it, probably the second funniest story. It is a sort of sequel to Peter Pan, incorporating spy thriller elements. There are references to Wendy, Captain Hook, Tinker Bell, and Tiger Lily although sadly no Crocodile. It was interesting to see how Pan might be after approximately six generations have passed in human years. 4.5/5
Behind the Red Door by Caitlin Kittredge: An incredible ghost story: I would say both elements of paranormal and romance were probably strongest in this one. Jo and the ghost Nicholas had a unique relationship that culminated in some frightening moments. 5/5
Hare Moon by Carrie Ryan: I believe this is the story of the character Sister Tabitha from The Forest of Hands and Teeth who was once in love with a boy named Patrick. I felt their love but I'm still not a fan of the world and the Unconsecrated. If you loved the book, you'll probably love this story. 3/5
Familiar by Michelle Rowen: I would call this the funniest story although not many even included any funny bits. Brenda is a witch who needs to get a familiar who ends up being Owen. This had a strong romantic element with a light sprinkling of several paranormal elements. 5/5
Fearless by Rachel Vincent: Another rather scary story: Sabine is a mara, someone who feeds on humans's nightmares and Nash is another paranormal creature who understands and loves her. Sabine is sent to a halfway home to help her straighten up but she finds it even worse there 4.5/5
Vermillion by Daniel Marks: This was another outstanding story about Velvet and Nick who had one of the best romances of the stories. The paranormal elements also kicked my butt which I'm sure would please Velvet. 4.5/5
The Hounds of Ulster by Maggie Stiefvater: Bryant's best friend Sullivan is a brilliant musician who also happens to fall in love with one of Them, thereby destroying their friendship and their usual jam sessions. Another great story from Stiefvater 4/5
Many Happy Returns by Daniel Waters: I didn't really like this story but I'm not familiar with the Generation Dead universe where it takes place. It's one of the sadder stories, which I think accounts for why I didn't like it very much. 3/5
Dungeons of Langeais by Becca Fitzpatrick-when I started this I was worried I wouldn't be able to follow it since it's a Hush, Hush story and I haven't read that yet. It focuses on Chauncey who is apparently in Hush, Hush but I could follow it anyway. Because it is about Chauncey, one quite hates the evil angel who bamboozled him; said angel being Patch who is apparently the romantic hero. I already don't like him. But it was very readable. 3.5/5
Overall: Because I didn't like the first few stories that much, it lowered the rating of the book as a whole. However I would still recommend the collection especially if you've had the pleasure of reading books by these writers and are familiar with the universes. I definitely felt that romance was lacking in a few stories but they all had their unique mythologies which made the paranormal aspects pleasing to me.
Cover: Kind of creepy which is appropriate.
*I received this from the publisher with Becca Fitzpatrick's story typed on regular pages and inserted folded in to the book.
Each story offers something different to lovers of the paranormal. There were angels, werewolves, Mara (parasitic empaths), zombies, unicorns, witches, djinns, and so much more. As with all anthologies, some stories were stronger than others. Still, majority of the stories kept me from setting the book down. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the nice mix of the perfect short stories, and stories that I wanted to be turned into full-length novels. For example, Caitlin Kitteredge's story, Behind the Red Door, was perfect as a short story. It was engaging, spooky, and it wrapped up nicely. Diana Peterfreund, and Maggie Stiefvater also had great shorts. They each fit into their respected universes nicely, and built upon them. Plus, in the case of Peterfreund, I love a good unicorn story.
I also mentioned that there were a few stories I believe could be made into novels. I wanted to know more about the characters, histories, and basically 300 more pages. The stories by Karen Mahoney (vampires, djinns), Sarah Rees Brennan (Peter Pan as a spy), and Michelle Rowan (witches) were three of those stories. Finally, there was the story by Daniel Marks. He wrote about purgatory, and after checking his website found out that he has written a trilogy (yay). Once they find a publisher, I'll be buying my copies.
Overall, this was a great anthology of strong paranormal romance stories. If you're a fan of any paranormal creatures, I'd give this one a try.
Most recent customer reviews
None of the stories kept my interest and I couldn't get through it fast enough.Eternal More Love Stories BiteRead more