I had kind of a love/hate relationship with this anthology. There were stories in it that I found to be highly imaginative, and then there were those that I thought were just plain cheesy. Some of the authors in the anthology I had never read before, and I know some of these were shorts from their series. Those in particular made me highly interested in finding out what those series are like.

I found the backdrop of the Carnival to be a fantastic idea to build this anthology on, because there are so many bizarre, creepy, weird things that can be done with it. While some of these things were highlighted in the stories, only a few really pulled off what I was looking for. I particularly loved (in no certain order) the stories by: Rachel Caine, Kevin Hearne, Delilah S. Dawson, Jennifer Estep, and Seanan McGuire. While I wasn't completely smitten with all the others, the only one that stood out to me as not being on par was Rob Thurman's short story. It had nothing to do with his writing style, because I actually thought it was well written. I just did not like the concept.

Overall, this anthology was a great addition to the genre, and I think it does a good job of encapsulating all the different styles and ways in which Urban Fantasy goes.

Any fans of Urban Fantasy should add this to their To-Be-Read pile and anyone who wants to have a taste of what it's all about should pick it up as well!

Book Blurb for Carniepunk

A star-studded urban fantasy anthology starring bestselling authors Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Kevin Hearne, Seanan McGuire, and Rob Thurman, and including Delilah S. Dawson, Kelly Gay, Mark Henry, Hillary Jacques, Jackie Kessler, Kelly Meding, Allison Pang, Nicole D. Peeler, and Jaye Wells, whose stories explore the creepy, mysterious, and, yes, sometimes magical world of traveling carnivals.

The traveling carnival is a leftover of a bygone era, a curiosity lurking on the outskirts of town. It is a place of contradictions—the bright lights mask the peeling paint; a carnie in greasy overalls slinks away from the direction of the Barker’s seductive call. It is a place of illusion—is that woman’s beard real? How can she live locked in that watery box?

And while many are tricked by sleight of hand, there are hints of something truly magical going on. One must remain alert and learn quickly the unwritten rules of this dark show. To beat the carnival, one had better have either a whole lot of luck or a whole lot of guns—or maybe some magic of one’s own.

Featuring stories grotesque and comical, outrageous and action-packed, Carniepunk is the first anthology to channel the energy and attitude of urban fantasy into the bizarre world of creaking machinery, twisted myths, and vivid new magic.

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2013 4.00