Book Reviews

[review] Kiss Me Deadly: 13 Tales of Paranormal Love – Trisha Telep (ed.)

For those who thirst for accounts of paranormal romance, Trisha Telep has compiled some of the most thrilling takes of forbidden love in this collection. First crushes and last rites; dark spells and bright magic; forbidden lovers and enchanted beings — and always, always the hungry games of desire. Pucker up for a darkly sweet collection of ghosts, shape shifters, fairies, unicorns, vampires, and demons in tales from today’s biggest writers of the paranormal persuasion.

Discovery: This is another one of my browsing-the-library-catalogue picks. Carrie Ryan, one of my favourite authors, wrote a story for this collection.

+     Diversity. The last short story collection I read was all about vampires and while it was a great mix of plots, it did get a little repetitive. This anthology has a hodgepodge of supernatural entities which kept me on my toes. Faeries, vampires, demons, angels and even unicorns make appearances in these strange stories. I’m particularly attached to zombies and witches, so it was nice to come across excellent stories written about them.

–     Uneven writing. Not all anthologies are well-balanced, and this is a prime example. There were some stories that I loved from the first page and some that seemed to soar before falling flat. I also ran into a couple stories that could have gone on longer to further develop the storyline. The danger with short story collections is that not all the writers are on the same page when it comes to writing styles. While this can be a good thing, it can also confuse readers.

–     Theme clashes. This book is marketed as 13 Tales of Paranormal Love, so romantic stories are not too crazy an assumption to make. Out of the 13 stories, I felt that only six really fit into the theme. This is not to say that the other seven were awful, but simply that they didn’t quite jive with the idea of the anthology. It was interesting to see how the different authors interpreted love in their stories, but I was disappointed that some of them didn’t seem to want to push the envelope. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was false advertising, just that these ideas didn’t mesh with what I was personally expecting.

Particular Favourites:

“The Assassin’s Apprentice”, Michelle Zink

“Lost”, Justine Musk

“The Spy Who Never Grew Up”, Sarah Rees Brennan

“Hare Moon”, Carrie Ryan

“The Hounds of Ulster”, Maggie Stiefvater

Recommendations: Readers who devour paranormal stories will love this unique collection, though it’s not as romantic as one might expect.

Rating: Good.

This anthology was edited by Trisha Telep, with contributions from: Maggie Stiefvater, Becca Fitzpatrick, Rachel Vincent, Karen Mahoney, Diana Peterfreund, Daniel Waters, Carrie Ryan, Justine Musk, Daniel Marks, Sarah Rees Brennan, Michelle Rowen, Michelle Zink and Caitlin Kittredge.

Next review: Graveminder, Melissa Marr

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