Review: Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions

Harpercollins children's publishers, 2011
Harpercollins children’s publishers, 2011

Enthralled is a collection of 16 short stories from some of today’s best YA paranormal writers. Each story has a common theme of journeying and, like a lot of paranormal stories for young adults, has varying degrees of romance.
Kelly Armstrong, Rachel Caine and Melissa Marr have stories from their bestselling series. I haven’t read Kelly Armstrong or Rachel Caine’s books, but I have started Melissa’s Marr’s Wicked Lovely series and haven’t finished it, and I felt like ‘Merely Mortal’ was very spoilery, so if you haven’t finished the Wickedly Lovely series I recommend you don’t read that one.
I love YA paranormal short story collections (you can get your paranormal fix and the satisfaction of finishing a story in one short sitting) and this was a good one. The stories were well written, stuck to the theme and were of the high standard you expect from such well-known authors. All the stories were complete enough to read on their own, you don’t need to read the series behind the stories to understand them, well that’s what I found anyway.
One of the things I love about short story collections is that you get to know authors you haven’t read before, you can sample some of their work to judge whether you want to read them or not without having to invest in a whole book.

Here is the contents:

Giovanni’s Farewell – Claudia Gray.
Scenic Route – Carrie Ryan.
Red Run – Kami Garcia
Things About Love – Jackson Pearce
Niederwald – Rachel Vincent.
Merely Mortal – Melissa Marr
Facing Facts – Kelly Armstrong.
Let’s Get This Undead Show On The Road – Sarah Rees Brennan
Bridge – Jeri Sith-Ready
Skin Contact – Kimberly Derting
Leaving – Ally Condie
At The Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show – Jessica Verday.
IV League – Margaret Stohl
Gargouille – Mary E. Pearson.
The Third Kind – Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Automatic – Rachel Caine.

I’m not going to comment on them all but there are a few I’d like to mention as stand-outs.
The Vampire Christian is back in Sarah Rees Brennan’s ‘let’s get this undead show on the road’. I first met him in the short story collection ‘Kiss Me Deadly’ and it was nice seeing more of him.
‘The Bridge’ by Jeri Smith-Ready was a story about a ghost trying to reach out to his brother. What made this a stand-out and different from the rest was because it was a story in verse. I recently read my first verse novel and it has got me intrigued by this form.
‘Leaving’ is a dystopian about a girl who lives in a city under a bubble. She is an outcast in society because she once went outside. Her father has left her alone and now all she wants to do is leave. I loved this story and really hope that Ally Condie will write a novel based on it.
And the most stand-out story in the whole collection is ‘Gargouille’. It was original and romantic – A must read. This is one story I definitely want expanded.

If you love YA paranormal stories then I am sure you will enjoyed Enthralled, it is one YA short story collection that should not be passed up.

5 out of 5.


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