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Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Anthology, Urban Fantasy
Tales from some of today’s leading UF writers are compiled in this collection of short stories involving carnivals. The background knowledge required for the stories varies: Some are true stand-alones while others star characters that are part of a author’s larger oeuvre. A “short story” should not require a reader to invest in a whole series to fully enjoy it. That being said, the tales that successfully stand alone are dark and fun and do a delicious job highlighting the creep factor inherent in traveling carnivals. At nearly 450 pages, it’s a surprisingly weighty read and a perfect choice to flip through during the season of fairs and festivals.
In Jaye Wells’ “The Werewife,” a husband brings his wife to an otherworldly carnival in search of a cure for her “condition,” only to discover something far worse. Rob Thurman’s “Painted Love” introduces a mysterious character who tries to stop a psychopathic carnival worker from abusing a fellow carnie he’s fallen in love with. In Delilah S. Dawson’s “The Three Lives of Lydia,” a young lady fond of body modification wakes up at a frightening carnival and decides she wants to stay, only to next wake up in a hospital room sans tattoos and pink hair. (GALLERY, Aug., 448 pp., $16.00)
Reviewed By: Leah Hanson
Published: August 2013