Why Did I Read This:
I read Enthralled edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong because recently I made my way through Yellowcake by reading a story a day and I was like, oh I should do that with my other anthologies. And this one had the cover that attracted me the most with the pink and lots of authors I have been wanting to give a try. It was an okay anthology, a little uneven as there were some stories that knocked it out of the park and some that were very blahhhhh.
Giovanni’s Farewell by Claudia Gray
This short story is about a brother and sister named Cairo and Ravenna. Cairo has the ability of reading minds, but no one realizes this, so his schoolmates think he is a total freak. Ravenna is the normal one, or so she thinks. On a school trip to Rome, the siblings find that maybe they are not so different after all. With a trip to the catacombs, there is a ghost and some kissing. In all, I am glad this is the story to open, it’s sweet and left me wanting more. I liked the way it was written and am thinking I need to read Claudia Gray’s books.
Scenic Route by Carrie Ryan
Carrie Ryan’s short story Scenic Route opens with two sisters Margie and Sally planning a road trip. You’d think their world is ordinary and similar to ours from the way they are talking. Unfortunately, their world is overrun with monsters. The two sisters live in a remote cabin up on the mountain. Margie is the older sister and very protective of Sally, whom she tries to shield from the harsh reality of the world. The two live in pretty much isolation. Until one day when all that changes and a boy shows up in their midst. Unfortunately, it turns out that in this world humans are more dangerous than monsters. Guys, I loved this story. It’s well paced, tightly plotted, and perfectly contained. A+ story, Carrie Ryan.
Red Run by Kami Garcia
Red Run is about a girl named Edie who drives along the haunted road her brother died on with the intent of killing the ghost who murdered her brother. Interspersed are flashback scenes of how these boys she knows make a machine to kill ghosts using electricity. This story was kind of a dud for me, because instead of going all the way and the full monty into being something legitimately scary and awesome, it pulls back with a stupid twist and takes the easy way out.
Things About Love by Jackson Pearce
This story alternates between two characters – Lawrence and Juliet. Lawrence is normal, mortal boy and Juliet is a jinn. Juliet is an ifrit who is assigned to guarding Lawrence, however, she’s actually a historian back in Caliban and she accepts the assignment because she wants to do research on love. Lawrence desperately wants to experience a fairy tale romance like his best friend, hopefully with his friend Jeffrey. In all, I liked this short little story, it wasn’t my favorite BUT I am glad it featured a gay character. Also, I liked how it alternated points of view.
Niederwald by Rachel Vincent
I guess this short story was a companion to those Soul Screamer books, of which I have only read a novella. Basically what happens is Sabine goes on a road trip with a classmate named Emma to a cultural fair and on the way back they stop in a small town called Niederwald. Niederwald is crawling with harpies. Sabine is there to get a reading from an oracle and to retrieve a lost object. This story was okay, but I think I would have enjoyed it more had I read the Soul Screamers books.
A Mortal Winter King by Melissa Marr
I am glad that I read this short story very close to read Marr’s Desert Tales companion novel, because I knew who the characters were, the significance of being a Winter Girl and more. Basically this short story is about the Summer King Fairy, Keenan and his girlfriend, the once mortal Donia, who is now a fairy, taking a road trip sort of vacation during winter in various B&Bs. It’s pretty cute and was a quick story. I liked it. OH and in this story, Keenan is a mortal and not a fairy.
Facing Facts by Kelley Armstrong
Facing Facts takes place in the same world as Armstrong’s Darkest Powers series. Basically Chloe, Derek, Simon, Tori and Kit (Derek and Simon’s dad) are on the run from the St. Clouds. While on the run, certain news comes to light regarding Tori and Kit. Tori freaks out and runs away and Chloe goes after her. I liked this little glimpse back into The Darkest Powers but mileage may vary for people who haven’t already read Armstrong’s trilogy.
Let’s Get This Undead Show On The Road by Sarah Rees Brennan
Basically this short story is all about a vampire 18 year old boy named Christian who is in a boy band in England. It’s light hearted, cute and amusing. I don’t really have a ton to say on this one except that I enjoyed reading it and found it rather entertaining.
Bridge by Jeri Smith-Ready
Ahhh, I LOVED this one. Bridge takes place in the same world as the Shade series. Basically it’s about Logan trying to talk Mickey out of killing himself. FYI, Logan is a ghost and Mickey can’t see him. It’s written in free verse. It’s emotional and moving and well written. I think that it is my favorite in the collection.
Skin Contact by Kimberly Derting
Skin Contact was a very quick read that takes place in the Body Finder series. It’s told from Rafe’s point of view as he’s following up on some dream he had about an old girlfriend. It’s suspenseful, but I wonder how I would feel about it if I had not read two of those Body Finder books already.
Leaving by Ally Condie
Unfortunately, I thought that Leaving was kind of boring. Like, it was slowly paced and a chore to read and I did not understand what was going on. It seemed like the short story was trying too hard when it came to imagery. Main character Sora lives in a half globe as an orphan, because her father left and her mom died in childbirth. Sora is depressed and wants to Leave too, only things are holding her back. Oh and she’s obsessed with the Beautiful People from 2011. And there’s lots of Random Captialization. Meh. This was not a great short.
At The Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show by Jessica Verday
Main character Jane comes from a family of Hunters, meaning her family hunts down evil supernatural creatures and have been gifted with special abilities. All except for Jane who is perpetual bait. So, anyways, she is out on her own two hours away from home and decides to go hunting to prove she is more than just bait. She encounters some cannibal Girl Scouts and that is just the beginning. There are also vampire fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Y’all, this was really fun to read!
IV League by Margaret Stohl
This short story was about a senior girl named Wren who is going on a college tour. ONLY! She’s a vampire and is from a town of vampires with no breathers for 200 miles around. She scores an interview at Harvard and is hoping to be admitted, so that she will not have to worry about food and her future is secured. This story was alright. I don’t love it. I don’t hate it. I liked the concept, it made me laugh.
Gargouille by Mary E. Pearson
I think this short story is set in France and during an old sort of era. Anyways, it’s about this girl named Giselle who has been captured. She’s a supernatural creature known as a garouille and she has these wings. Only, her wings have been chopped off. Anyways, she’s in love with another gargouille named Etienne. You guys, this was probably the most unique story I’ve read in the book so far. It’s short but perfectly contained. It’s intensely romantic. I loved it. It’s definitely one of the best stories in this anthology.
The Third Kind by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Hmmmm. I normally like Jennifer Lynn Barnes, but I don’t love this short story. It’s kind of confusing. It’s about this girl named Jess who is seemingly normal and her sister, Kristy who is not. Kristy has these pulses that tell her to do something which usually ends up being important. Anyways, Kristy gets a pulse to take a road trip to San Antonio with Jess. And there they learn there are three kinds of whatever Kristy is. Jess also learns that she is special. This was alright I guess. But definitely not my favorite by a long shot.
Automatic by Rachel Caine
Automatic is set in the Morganville world. It’s about what happens when they install a vending machine for blood in cans. Michael Glass, idk who that is, is the main character and he has a certain reaction to the blood. This was an okay story, the last line was awesome though. As far as vampire stories go, this was okay. I am not complaining about it.
Disclosure: Review Copy Provided By Publisher