Book Review: Carniepunk Anthology


A star-studded urban fantasy anthology featuring bestselling authors Rachel Caine, Rob Thurman, Seanan McGuire, Jennifer Estep, and Kevin Hearne, whose stories explore the creepy, mysterious, and, yes, sometimes magical world of travelling carnivals.

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

My Review:

I do love a good anthology. They really open your eyes to new authors and give you just enough of a story to make you think. Carniepunk is one of those rare little gems that takes you on an urban fantasy ride through highs and lows and leaves you breathless.

Each story was amazing and I must admit that I’d been meaning to check out some of the authors included – I’m sooo glad I did, it’s opened up a whole new line-up of urban fantasy and paranormal series to me now. I’ve just bought one of  Jennifer Estep’s books.

The problem I have though, is that Rob Thurman’s story ‘Painted Love’ was amazing, and I loved it so much that most of the others, although brilliant in their own right, didn’t live up to it for me. If that had been the last story, it would have been the best anthology ever!

From a writer’s perspective the theme of carnivals is a wonderful starting point for an author and it amazed me that so many stories could be written with so many takes on it – again another thing I love about anthologies.

The front cover is great – understated yet attractive and gives a really good feel for the overall content of the book.

Overall I’d give Carniepunk 5 out of 5 stars – buy this book, whether you’re a fan of the genre or new to urban fantasy.


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