Book Reviews

[review] Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions – Edited by Melissa Marr & Kelley Armstrong


Release Date: September 20, 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 442
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal copy

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.

Discovery: Anything Melissa Marr does automatically goes on the TBR pile–I have an ongoing love affair with the Wicked Lovely series.

+     Charm. I’ve found that I tend to have high standards for short story collections, mostly because I was given so many brilliant pieces in university. If there are only 20 pages in a story, it better hold me in thrall from the first paragraph to the last. Not every story in this collection was able to do that, but they each had their own charming quirks, little tidbits that made me smile and continue to the next page and the next, even if I was a little confused about a plot twist. I didn’t realize that some stories were set in the same universe as the author’s previous books, but they were all intriguing enough that I added them to my TBR pile.

+     Themes. Enthralled seems to suggest an anthology full of love stories and starcrossed romances. Instead, the reader gets 16 fics about the importance of journeys. When I read Enthralled two weeks ago, my life was pretty quiet and settled. At this moment, however, I’m that girl on the cover: there’s a mysterious road before me and I’m looking back, not quite sure of where I’m going, but knowing I want to keep walking anyway. The time I spent away from the anthology sharpened those parallels and made the stories more valuable to me. Being a teenager is a journey in itself and it’s not always easy to see who one’s true companions are. Each story in the collection dealt with that uncertainty in a careful and beautifully-written manner.

–     Backstory. Just a small caveat for readers who are unfamiliar with any of the authors in this anthology: if I recall correctly, half of the stories are set in the same universe as the author’s other books. Some stories aren’t difficult to understand, while others may require a little brushing-up on the background of that universe.

My favourite stories:

“Scenic Route,” Carrie Ryan
“Things About Love,” Jackson Pearce
“Merely Mortal,” Melissa Marr
“Gargouille,” Mary E. Pearson

Recommendations: Iwould definitely give this book to discerning teenage readers and those looking for an well-written themed anthologies.

Rating: Excellent.

Enthralled features the following authors: Melissa Marr (editor), Kelley Armstrong (editor), Rachel Vincent, Sarah Rees Brennan, Jeri Smith-Ready, Mary E. Pearson, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Jessica Verday, Claudia Gray, Jackson Pearce, Carrie Ryan, Rachel Caine, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Kimberly Derting and Ally Condie.

You can check out Enthralled on Goodreads and order it over at Amazon and Book Depository.

Next review: Crossed, Ally Condie

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