Friday, January 6, 2012

Anthology Review: Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions {Anthology}

Title: Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions
Author(s): Kelley Armstrong, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Sarah Rees Brennan, Rachel Caine, Ally Condie, Kimberly Derting, Kami Garcia, Claudia Gray, Melissa Marr, Jackson Pearce, Mary E. Pearson, Carrie Ryan, Jeri Smith-Ready, Margaret Stohl, Jessica Verday, and Rachel Vincent
Editor(s): Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Psychic Abilities, Ghosts, Zombies, Genies, Harpies, Fae, Werewolves, Necromancers, Witches, Sorcerers, Vampires, Cannibals, Demons, and Angels
Publisher: Harper, Harper Collins
Format: Paperback, 452 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-201578-5
Release Date: September 20, 2011
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): ~None~

Summary: A journey may take hundreds of miles, or it may cover the distance between duty and desire.

Sixteen of today's hottest writers of paranormal tales weave stories on a common theme of journeying. Authors such as Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, and Melissa Marr, return to the beloved worlds of their bestselling series, while others, like Claudia Gray, Kami Garcia, and Margaret Stohl, create new landscapes and characters. But whether they're writing about vampires, faeries, angels, or other magical beings, each author explores the strength and resilience of the human heart.

Suspenseful, funny, or romantic, the stories in Enthralled will leave you moved.

Review:

Every story in Enthralled, as the summary states, takes the characters and readers on a journey of some kind. Whether it's a journey of survival, love, hope, forgiveness, or any number of other things; every story, some more than others, will leave it's mark.

I really enjoyed reading the stories like "Niederwald" by Rachel Vincent and "Facing Facts" by Kelley Armstrong that return to the worlds of their bestselling series. We get to see what happens with our favorite (or least favorite) characters outside of the main plot.

There are a few of the stories that left more of an impact on me than others. Sarah Rees Brennan's "Let's Get This Undead Show on the Road" shows that even those you're not close to at first can become family once all the barriers are removed. Jeri Smith-Ready's "Bridge" shows us the healing power of forgiveness. Ally Condie's "Leaving" shows that even one person who's willing to reach out to you can change everything. And Mary E. Pearson's "Gargouille" shows that nothing can stand in the way of love. These four stories stayed with me even as I went on to read the next story.

With moments of happiness, sadness, anger, guilt, heartbreak, and loneliness, this anthology is an emotional journey any fan of paranormal YA shouldn't miss out on.

Quote: "And all the distances traveled tonight, the one I think of now is the one when Elio reached out his hand and touched me." - "Leaving" by Ally Condie

About these Authors:

Melissa Marr grew up believing in faeries, ghosts, and various other creatures. After teaching college literature for a decade, she applied her fascination with folklore to writing. Wicked Lovely was her first novel. Currently, Marr lives in the Washington, D.C., area, writes full-time, and still believes in faeries and ghosts.
Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed. Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts, demons, and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She's the author of the Darkest Powers young adult urban fantasy trilogy, the Women of the Otherworld paranormal suspense series, and the Nadia Stafford crime series. She lives in southwestern Ontario, Canada, with her husband, kids, and far too many pets.

A resident of San Antonio, Rachel Vincent has a BA in English and an overactive imagination, and consistently finds the latter to be more practical. She shares her workspace with two black cats (Kaci and Nyx) and her # 1 fan. Rachel is older than she looks-seriously-and younger than she feels, but remains convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan.

Sarah Rees Brennan is Irish and currently lives in Dublin. For a short stint, she lived in New York and became involved with a wide circle of writers who encouraged and supported her, including Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. She has developed a wide audience through her popular blog, mistful.livejournal.com, where she writes movie parodies, book reviews and some stories.

Award-winning author Jeri Smith-Ready has been writing fiction since the night she had her first double espresso. She holds a master's degree in environmental policy and lives in Maryland with her husband, cat, and the world's goofiest greyhound.

Mary E. Pearson is the author of bestselling, award-winning novels for teens. The Miles Between was named a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, and The Adoration of Jenna Fox was listed as a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, an IRA Young Adult Choice, NYPL Stuff for the Teen Age, and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. She is also the author of A Room on Lorelei Street, David v. God, and Scribbler of Dreams. Pearson studied art at Long Beach State University, and worked as an artist before earning her teaching credential at San Diego State University. She writes full-time from her home in Carlsbad, California, where she lives with her husband and two dogs.


Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been, in turn, a competitive cheerleader, a volleyball player, a dancer, a debutante, a primate cognition researcher, a teen model, a comic book geek, and a lemur aficionado. She's been writing for as long as she can remember, finished her first full book (which she now refers to as a "practice book" and which none of you will ever see) when she was still in high school, and then wrote Golden the summer after her freshman year in college, when she was nineteen. 

Jen graduated high school in 2002, and from Yale University with a degree in cognitive science (the study of the brain and thought) in May of 2006. She was awarded a Fulbright to do post-graduate work at Cambridge, and then returned to the states, where she is hard at work on her PhD. 

Jessica Verday is the bestselling author of The Hollow Trilogy, first published in 2009 by Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse. Book Two in the trilogy, THE HAUNTED, debuted at #10 on the New York Times Bestsellers List. Book Three, THE HIDDEN, will be available September 2011. She wrote the first draft of THE HOLLOW by hand, using thirteen spiral-bound notebooks and fifteen black pens. The first draft of THE HAUNTED took fifteen spiral-bound notebooks and twenty black pens. THE HIDDEN took too many notebooks and too many pens to count. Her novella, FLESH WHICH IS NOT FLESH is now available for Kindle. Find out more at jessicaverday.com.

Claudia Gray is not my real name. I didn't choose a pseudonym because my real name is unpleasant (it isn't), because I'd always dreamed of calling myself this (I haven't) or even because I'm hiding from the remnants of that international diamond-smuggling cartel I smashed in 2003 (Interpol has taken care of them). In short, I took a pseudonym for no real reason whatsoever. Sometimes this is actually the best reason to do things.

I live in New York City. So far, in life, I've been a disc jockey, a lawyer, a journalist and an extremely bad waitress, just to name a few. I especially like to spend time traveling, hiking, reading, and listening to music. More than anything else, I enjoy writing.

Jackson Pearce is twenty-five years old and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with a slightly cross-eyed cat and a lot of secondhand furniture. She recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and a minor in Philosophy. She auditioned for the circus once, but didn't make it; other jobs she’s had include obituaries writer, biker-bar waitress, and receptionist. In addition, Jackson coaches both colorguard and winterguard at a local high school.

Jackson began writing when she got angry that the school librarian couldn’t tell her of a book that contained a smart girl, horses, baby animals, and magic. Her solution was to write the book herself when she was twelve. Her parents thought it was cute at first, but have grown steadily more concerned for her ever since.

Carrie Ryan was born and raised in Greenville, SC and is a graduate of Williams College and Duke University School of Law. A former litigator, she now pursues her true passion and writes full time. Although Ryan's 2009 novel, THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, is set in a world roamed by the living dead, before meeting her fiance JP she was actually a self-proclaimed "scaredy-cat" who avoided horror movies. JP was the one who convinced her to go to her first zombie movie and opened a whole new world up to her, which is why she dedicated her first book to him. The second novel in The Forest of Hands and Teeth Series, THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES, came out in 2010 and the final in the trilogy, THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES, will be out March 22, 2011. She lives in Charlotte, NC with two fat cats and one large puppy.


Rachel Caine is the internationally bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the bestselling Morganville Vampires series, the Weather Warden series, the Outcast Season series, and the new upcoming Revivalist series. She was born at White Sands Missile Range, which people who know her say explains a lot. She has been an accountant, a professional musician, and an insurance investigator, and until very recently continued to carry on a secret identity in the corporate world. She and her husband, fantasy artist R. Cat Conrad, live in Texas.

Kami Garcia is The New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly & international bestselling author of Unbreakable, the first book in THE LEGION series (Little, Brown 2013), which is being developed as a major motion picture by producer Mark Morgan (THE TWILIGHT SAGA & PERCY JACKSON AND THE LIGHTNING THIEF).

She is also the co-author of THE BEAUTIFUL CREATURES NOVELS (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness & Beautiful Chaos). Beautiful Creatures has been published in 39 countries and translated in 28 languages, and it is currently in development as a major motion picture by Warner Brothers, with Academy Award nominated writer Richard LaGravenese adapting the screenplay and directing.
Kami grew up outside of Washington DC, wore lots of black, and spent hours writing poetry in her journals. She has always been fascinated by the paranormal and believes in lots of things “normal” people don’t. She’s very superstitious and would never sleep in a room with the number “13” on the door. When she is not writing, Kami can usually be found watching disaster movies, listening to Soundgarden, or drinking Diet Coke.

Kami has an MA in education, and taught in the Washington DC area until she moved to Los Angeles, where she was a teacher & Reading Specialist. In addition to teaching, Kami was a professional artist and led fantasy book groups for children and teens. She still lives in LA with her husband, son, daughter, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Margaret Stohl is the author of the forthcoming YA novel ICONS, the first book in the Icons Series – as well as the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Indie-Bound and internationally bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels with Kami Garcia, which have been translated into 28 languages and 37 countries and optioned for film by Warner Brothers.

A longtime veteran of the videogame industry, Margaret’s work includes - to name a few – Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Dune 2000, The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow, Defender, The Sopranos, Slave Zero, Apocalypse, Zork Nemesis, Zork Grand Inquisitor, Spycraft, Command & Conquer: Red Alert Retaliation, and Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun.

A graduate of Amherst College, Margaret earned a MA in English from Stanford University, and completed classwork for a PhD in American Studies from Yale University. Margaret was a teaching assistant in Romantic Poetry at Stanford, and in Film Studies at Yale. She attended the Creative Writing Program of the University of East Anglia, Norwich, where she was mentored by the Scottish poet George MacBeth.

Margaret loves traveling the world with her daughters, who are nationally and internationally ranked epee fencers, and living in Santa Monica with her husband and two bad beagles, Kirby and Zelda.

I (Kimberly Derting) was born and raised in the Seattle area, with the exception of a few short stints in Phoenix, Boise, and San Jose. I had a colorful childhood, raised by a single mother who worked her butt off to make ends meet. She showed my brother and me how to enjoy life on a shoestring budget. She was the kind of person who, given the choice between paying a bill and taking us to the circus, would always opt for the circus…and somehow, she always managed to pay the bill. She was the one who taught me how to laugh.

My publishing career began at an early age, when I started making homemade coloring books with sheets of blank paper and a stapler, and then went door-to-door to sell them. Unfortunately, my neighbors had limited disposable income for such frivolous purchases, so I was forced to seek my fortunes elsewhere.

I first fell in love with writing (giving up my childhood dreams of being a veterinarian, and then my later aspirations of "lady trucker") when I signed up for Journalism as my 7th-grade elective. It was supposed to an easy A, but it soon became my passion. I moved on to be Copy Editor of the high school yearbook so that I could correct other people's writing mistakes and fill in when they missed their deadlines (and, hey, it was high school…deadlines were frequently missed!).

I still live in the Pacific Northwest, which is the ideal place to be writing anything dark or creepy…a gloomy day can set the perfect mood. I live with my husband and our three beautiful (and often mouthy) children, who serve as an endless source of inspiration for my writing.

Ally Condie is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling novel MATCHED, and its just-released sequel, CROSSED. She is also a former high school English teacher who lives with her husband and three sons outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, running, eating, and listening to her husband play guitar.

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