Editor: Carrie Ryan
Authors: Malinda Lo, Lisa McMann, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Laini Taylor, Michael Grant, Saundra Mitchell, Richelle Mead, Matt de la Pena, Meg Cabot, Heather Brewer, Diana Peterfreund, Simon Elkeles, Carrie Ryan
Release Date: Available
Anthologies don’t get enough love. It takes skill to create a well-fleshed out character in a single novel, let alone the thirty-odd paged stories that a proper anthology consists of. Like any anthology composed by multiple authors, some of these stories surpass the rest and a few flop, but most are decent. Despite those few failures, this one is well-worth the read. Unfortunately, there are too many stories for me to give a proper review of each one, so I’ll just mention the ones that stood out to me, from the favorites to the not-so-greats.
Laini Taylor’s “Gentlemen Send Phantoms” is, perhaps, my favorite story in this collection. “Gentleman Send Phantoms” is a supernatural love story like you will never find again (except for in the author’s novel The Daughter of Smoke and Bone). Taylor creates an unique world where magic works by its own unquestionable rules.
Lisa McMann’s “The Angriest Man.” I’m going to be honest here: I didn’t get it. I’ve read this story twice now, and I’m convinced it is a metaphor within itself, I just can’t figure out what the metaphor is supposed to be. Despite that, it’s a good story, if a bit confusing.
“One True Love,” by Malinda Lo, has the feel of a classic fairy tale, with a lesbian twist (of course). Regardless of sexual orientation, this is an elegantly written romance that may leave warm, fuzzy feelings in your stomach.
“This Is a Mortal Wound” disappointed me. In general, I like Michael Grant’s work, which is why it surprised me that this was probably my least favorite story in the bunch. It just seemed silly.
Okay, I take back what I said earlier: “Misery” by Heather Brewer is (probably) my favorite. In addition to being a fantastic story, the whole thing is also a lovely metaphor.
“The Killing Garden”: Only Carrie Ryan’s lyric prose could turn a story with a central theme of strangulation into something beautiful.
Be forewarned, this last story, “Homecoming,” gave me an unpleasant surprise when I realized it is set in the same world and features the same characters as Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. This wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact it takes place after the series ends, and I had not yet read the last book in said series. As you probably guessed, spoilers abound.
Carrie Ryan makes the perfect editor for this particular anthology, and she keeps her introduction short, sweet, and readable (which is not always the case). I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for future works by some of the authors in this collection.
Review by Sami Mae
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