Carniepunk will be available for sale tomorrow at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and BooksAMillion.
The traveling carnival is a leftover of a bygone era, a curiosity lurking on the outskirts of town. It is a place of contradictions—the bright lights mask the peeling paint; a carnie in greasy overalls slinks away from the direction of the Barker’s seductive call. It is a place of illusion—is that woman’s beard real? How can she live locked in that watery box?
And while many are tricked by sleight of hand, there are hints of something truly magical going on. One must remain alert and learn quickly the unwritten rules of this dark show. To beat the carnival, one had better have either a whole lot of luck or a whole lot of guns—or maybe some magic of one’s own.
Featuring stories grotesque and comical, outrageous and action-packed, Carniepunk is the first anthology to channel the energy and attitude of urban fantasy into the bizarre world of creaking machinery, twisted myths, and vivid new magic.
Carniepunk by Rachel Caine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A collection of Urban Fantasy short stories that reminded me of the anthologies edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. This collection has been dubbed Paranormal Romance and the title technically fits but there's a strong Horror element here that shouldn't be overlooked.
I enjoyed how this book approached the concept of love, showing it in a diverse manner. There's one or two stories with a lovey-dovey feature, but many display the love among family or friends close enough to be family. Erotica appears in only a couple of the stories.
And, speaking of diverse, Mark Henry's story, The Sweeter the Juice, has a transgendered main character. It's one of my favorite stories from this collection.
So, yeah, love appears in this book but every story is augmented by something not so nice. Horror. Despair. Strange characters with sociopathic tendencies. The opening story, Painted Love by Rob Thurman, displayed a bad guy that creeped me out and Nicole Peeler's back story in The Inside Man, an incestuous father, gave me the willies (I added Peeler to my reading list just so I can find out WTF is up with that plot line).
I took my time reading this book, like I do most short story collections (one story a night). I mourned when this book was over - it introduced me to several authors I added to my to-read list.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review.
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