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 land-scapes 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.
Giovanni’s Farewell by Claudia Gray: This one was such a cute and light story to start out this wonderful book of anthologies. I thoroughly enjoyed all three main characters in this and just found it so sweet that Giovanni wanted something so simple. Both Ravenna and Cairo’s gifts interested me and I loved the way Claudia Gray handled them and their back story.
Scenic Route by Carrie Ryan: I loved loved loved this one. I absolutely fell in love with The Forest of Hands and Teeth and this was such a nice addition to her carefully thought of world. Both Margie and Sally captured my heart from the beginning and I was gunning for them. The ending surprised me and I may have let a few tears go. Just perfect.
Red Run by Kami Garcia: I loved this one as well. It reminded me of Supernatural, the TV show and Anna Dressed in Blood (just based on the description, I have not read this at the time of review). If you liked either of those, you’d probably like this one. The characters in this one are great, Kami Garcia really worked her twenty-some pages and made them shine.
Things About Love by Jackson Pearce: This is probably one of the two most unique stories in this anthology, right there along side Mary E. Pearson’s Gargouille. I mean have you ever read a story about genies, young adult or not? I haven’t and I haven’t heard of any either. I really enjoyed how much lore Jackson Pearce stuffed into this story, without making you feel overwhelmed by new lingo you have never heard of. She handled the topic of genies or Jinn, as they are referred to in Things About Love, with ease. The second thing I loved about this short story was that the main character was gay. I have never had the pleasure of reading a story where the main character is gay, but I feel that Things About Love was just a gateway to them for me.
Niederwald by Rachel Vincent: I loved the world and atmosphere of this one and it cemented my wanting to read the Soul Screamers series. I loved Sabine’s character, she is so snarky and kick-ass, even when she needs her ass saved. Emma was also a very likeable character, she was so brave even when she was scared and I loved that about her, even if it made her act a bit dumb (going into a house full of harpies that want to eat you? Yeah not the brightest idea, Emma). I devoured this story and I’m sure I’ll devour the Soul Screamer series.
Merely Mortal by Melissa Marr: I think Melissa Marr named this story on purpose, because it’s an alliteration when you put ‘by Melissa Marr’ next to it. Anyway, I did not care for Wicked Lovely that much, and have yet to read any of the other novels in the series, but I did like this short story. It revealed some spoilers of the story to me, as did some of the other short stories that were part of the authors’ novels in this anthology, but that didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. This story was very sweet and I loved the coupling of Keenan and Donia when I read Wicked Lovely and I loved it in Merely Mortal. Keenan is so caring towards Donia and they share such humorous banter between the two of them. Merely Mortal made me want to continue the Wicked Lovely series.
Facing Facts by Kelley Armstrong: I really enjoyed this short story, though I was most disappointed by this one for its spoilers, because of the fact that I enjoyed it so much. I feel that I cannot enjoy the Darkest Powers trilogy as much because it seems like such major spoilers were revealed, that I would have found surprising otherwise. This was the only drawback to this story. The rest I fully enjoyed and I loved the uniqueness of Chloe’s powers. I enjoyed the characters, though I am not a fan of Derek, because he seems far too protective and controlling, though I’m hoping this will change when I read the series. This is definitely a series I’ll be reading soon, though, all thanks to this short story.
Let’s Get this Undead Show on the Road by Sarah Rees Brennan: This was one of the stories I did not like of the anthology. I liked the premise, but the whole plot seemed way too over the top sometimes. It also seemed very confusing in some parts, because of how it was written. I just couldn’t get into this one, though I will definitely check out the author to see if anything else of hers works for me.
Bridge by Jeri Smith-Ready: This was another story I loved. I loved that it was written in verse and I loved the premise and plot of it. It was definitely one of the more emotional short stories, besides Scenic Route and Skin Contact. Bridge had such a poetic vibe to it, I was invested from the start. Definitely another that made me want to read the series it’s attached to.
Skin Contact by Kimberly Derting: This was another one of my favorites. I love Kimberly Derting and have been desperately wanting to read Desires of the Dead, since I completely devoured The Body Finder. Skin Contact is completely heart-wrenching and another that brought tears to my eyes. Rafe was such a beautiful character, even though he didn’t seem that loving to Sophie some of the time. Kimberly Derting has such a way with words, spinning descriptions into such picturesque scenes that become so vivid in your head. I saw the environment perfectly and it made it even more upsetting, as the environment wasn’t exactly a happy one. I loved this one, without a doubt.
Leaving by Allie Condie: This was another story I couldn’t get into. Overall I liked it, but it seemed to have way too much packed into it. It seemed like a bunch of lingo was thrown at you without the proper explanation. I guessed what some things meant. I liked the idea, but it just fell a little flat for me.
At the Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show by Jessica Verday: I really liked this short story! It was so humorous and so interesting. The zombie Girl Scouts made me laugh, they were such a great idea. Jane was such a great heroine, as well. She was so kick-ass and snarky, just like Sabine from Niederwald. I especially loved the ‘drag queen’ vampires, they were described so perfectly. This short story was placed perfectly, such a light read after a couple heavier stories. I will definitely be checking out Jessica’s Hollow series.
IV League by Margaret Stohl: I really enjoyed this story. It was another more light-hearted story and was very welcome from me. I loved the authentic feel of the dialogue and narration, it really felt like it was coming from a small-town girl that didn’t grow up with big words and SAT scores. She forged her transcripts! I loved the supernatural element to this as well, it seemed to be a unique take on the vampire subject.
Gargouille by Mary E. Pearson: This one was simply wonderful and so very unique. Like genies, have you ever read a gargoyle short story or novel? I certainly haven’t and Mary E. Pearson wrote it beautifully. My heart went out to Giselle and her love with Etienne felt real. I love Pearson’s writing style with this, it’s so poetic and Gothic. Another of my favorites from this anthology and the ending was simply perfect.
The Third Kind by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: This one was very interesting and I really liked it. It seemed very unique to me. Kissy was written absolutely perfectly, so impulsive and care-free despite her ‘pulses. Her love of McDonalds and the chimichanga scene were absolutely hilarious. I loved the mix of heaviness and lightness of this novel, it was so light-hearted, yet the supernatural element was definitely not. Imagine a guy with pure black eyes, like a reptile’s, saying he has to kill you. Creepy.
Automatic by Rachel Caine: I own the first two volumes to the Morganville Vampire series and this made me quite excited to read them. I loved Rachel’s writing style and the vividness behind her words. I don’t normally read novels with a male main character, so Automatic was a bit different for me, but I loved the characters and the plot.
Top 5 favorites of this anthology, in order:
1. Scenic Route by Carrie Ryan
2. Skin Contact by Kimberly Derting
3. Gargouille by Mary E. Pearson
4. Bridge by Jeri Smith-Ready
5. At the Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show by Jessica Verday
Top 2 least favorites, in order:
1. Let’s Get this Undead Show on the Road by Sarah Rees Brennan
2. Leaving by Allie Condie
I give Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions a 4 out of 5.