Book Review

CARNIEPUNK
by Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Kevin Hearne

Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Anthology, Urban Fantasy

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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

Publisher: GALLERY

Published: August 2013

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