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Book Review: Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions

Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions

edited by Melissa Marr & Kelley Armstrong

Enthralled is an anthology of paranormal stories by leading authors in the field. Each story has something to do with the theme of a journey, either physical or metaphorical.

As with any anthology, there are some stories I loved, and others that I didn’t care for. Overall, though, this is a strong anthology, and I enjoyed most of the stories. There’s a wide variety of stories here: romantic, humorous, tragic, scary, and funny. There are fairies, ghosts, vampires, zombies and various other things that go bump in the night.

Many of the stories in the anthology tie in with a book or series by the story’s author. I had no problem understanding any of these stories, but I felt that a couple of them depended too much for character and world development on people having read the corresponding books, and in those cases I found that I never came to care very much about the characters. Good short fiction packs a lot of punch in a short word count, and the ones that were most successful were those, like Carrie Ryan’s “Scenic Route,” where the author created new characters and a new story within the context of their pre-existing world.

Other stories that I loved in this anthology:

“I.V. League,” by Margaret Stohl. It was a little strange at first, but it turned into a hilarious satire of the college admissions process.

“Things About Love” by Jackson Pearce. Although this is another one that ties in with a book, I thought this story stood well alone and had good character development. A young man tries to help a female genie understand love, as he struggles with his own crush on another young man.

“Bridge” by Jeri Smith-Ready. Another book/series tie-in that stands well alone. This is a touching free verse story of two brothers, one dead and one alive, trying to reconcile their past.

“Giovanni’s Farewell” by Claudia Gray is a sweet ghost story about an unfulfilled life.

Authors included in this anthology are: Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Sarah Rees Brennan, Rachel Caine, Ally Condie, Kimberly Derting, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Claudia Gray, Jackson Pearce, Mary A. Pearson, Carrie Ryan, Jeri Smith-Ready, Jessica Verday, and Rachel Vincent.

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FTC required disclosure: Reviewed from ARC. Review copy provided by the publisher to enable me to write this review. The bookstore links above are affiliate links, and I earn a very small percentage of any sales made through the links. Neither of these things influenced my review.

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