paperbackd's review against another edition

Go to review page


Since Kelley Armstrong announced this anthology I've wanted to get my hands on it and now that I've finally read it I can say that it more than met my expectations. I'm usually wary of buying anthologies, because they always seem to be a mixed bag - some stories leave you wanting so much more while others leave you wondering why you bothered to read them in the first place. But with such a fantastic line-up of authors, Enthralled was perfection from start to finish. Here's my (non-spoilery!) take on each story:

Giovanni's Farewell by Claudia Grey - A sweet story featuring a handsome, mild-mannered ghost and two twins trying to come to terms with their newfound supernatural gifts. I haven't read any of Grey's work before now, but this story definitely piqued my interest! 4 stars.

Scenic Route by Carrie Ryan - Beautifully dark story of family and loyalty set in the world of Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth series. As a huge fan of Ryan's zombie apocalypse novels Scenic Route was definitely one of my favourites of the entire anthology. 5 stars.

Red Run by Kami Garcia - A richly atmospheric ghost story in which not everything is as it seems. A lovely addition from one of my favourite YA authors. 4 stars.

Things About Love by Jackson Pearce - Another favourite, although I haven't read As You Wish (the story from which this one originates). Pearce tells the tale of a naive young djinn trying to understand the human condition of love. Very interested in reading more from this author! 5 stars.

Niederwald by Rachel Vincent - A quick detour to Niederwald, a town of Harpies, quickly turns sour for Sabine and Emma of Vincent's Soul Screamers series. Might have to bump this one up a few notches on my to-buy list. 3 stars.

Merely Mortal by Melissa Marr - Perhaps the only story I was underwhelmed by. I've heard great things about Marr's Wicked Lovely series but I wasn't impressed by this snapshot. 2 stars.

Facing Facts by Kelley Armstrong - Okay, I admit it. I brought this anthology for Facing Facts alone and I skipped straight to this one as soon as it arrived. And even if the rest of the anthology had been terrible it would've been completely worth it! As a huge fan of Armstrong's Darkest Powers series, this story was everything I could've asked for. Tori's featured heavily in this one. We see Chloe dealing with her guilt over the deaths of Dianne Enright and Dr. Davidoff at the end of The Reckoning. And Chloe and Derek are as adorable as ever. 5 stars!

Let's Get this Undead Show on the Road by Sarah Rees Brennan - A vampire-fronted boy band goes on tour. Yes, it's as hilarious as that summary suggests. 4 stars.

Bridge by Jeri Smith-Ready - A companion story to Smith-Ready's Shade, told in free verse. I have to admit, I'm not sure the style worked, but the story itself was touching. 3 stars.

Skin Contact by Kimberly Derting - It's hard for me to judge this one, as I haven't read the original story Desires of the Dead. But I'm interested in learning more about these characters. 3 stars.

Leaving by Ally Condie - A very powerful sci-fi/dystopian piece. This story reminded me why I loved Ally Condie's Matched and why I'm looking forward to reading more from her. 4 stars.

At The Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show by Jessica Verday - Can't you just tell from the title that this is a good one? Featuring flesh-eating Girl Scouts and vampires in drag, complete with Rocky Horror references. I wasn't expecting to love this one, as I'm not a fan of Verday's but I was pleasantly surprised. 4 stars.

IV League by Margaret Stohl - A couple of poorly educated vampire teens attempt to trick their way into Harvard. 3 stars.

Gargouille by Mary E. Pearson - A beautifully written story of love and self-sacrifice. Pearson's mythological world is gorgeously atmospheric and I'm looking forward to reading more from her! 5 stars.

The Third Kind by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - This is one of those short stories that I really wish could be made into a full-length story. With multiple sequels. Two sisters take a road trip to San Antonio. They don't know what waits for them at their destination but they know it's vital they make there alive. 5 stars.

Automatic by Rachel Caine - A soda machine full of canned blood is set up to meet the ever-growing demand for the vampires of Morganville. Chaos ensues. 3 stars.

julaliciousbookparadise's review against another edition

Go to review page


review to come.

rigel's review against another edition

Go to review page


Final rating: 3.31 stars (rounded to 3)

Giovanni's Farewell by Claudia Gray: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The ending was cheesy and a bit cliché, but the concept and the writing made up for that. I'd like to see this as a complete novel.

Scenic Route by Carrie Ryan: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Got me really interested in the world and makes me want to read The Forrest of Hands and Teeth even more now.

Red Run by Kami Garcia: ⭐⭐⭐
Kind of just jumped from timeline to timeline suddenly which made it slightly harder to follow. Also, the explanation of how people become ghosts doesn't make much sense (obviously because ghosts aren't real)- but she said that the electrical impulses when we're alive become electrical impulses without a body because energy can't be destroyed... but it does change form into heat, etc.

Niederwald by Rachel Vincent: ⭐⭐⭐
Another short story that's part of a series I haven't read, but this one made many references to the series that I couldn't understand... perhaps not the best choice of a story to submit for a short story collection.
I did enjoy the writing, although the action sequence was a little hard to follow.

Merely Mortal by Melissa Marr: ⭐⭐
I was bored out of my skull. Too much sappy romance and references to Wicked Lovely (which I, and I'm sure many others reading this anthology, have not read) which lead to confusion as to what exactly was going on. Again, probably not the best choice for a short story collection.

Facing Facts by Kelly Armstrong: ⭐⭐⭐
It's a short story that's part of one of her series (that I haven't read but would like to) and I believe it contains spoilers. Personally, I don't mind spoilers but of you do, avoid this short.
Once again, probably not the best choice for an anthology.

Let's Get This Undead Show on the Road by Sarah Rees Brennan: ⭐⭐⭐
So I guess the enemy nation of the UK in this universe is Canada, because we are rebellious people all thanks to hockey which makes our blood boil... true though. Needless to say it made me laugh a bit.

Bridge by Jeri Smith-Ready: ⭐⭐⭐
As I was reading this all I could think of was Dust in the Wind. It's written like a song (except less rhymey-rhymey). I think this was a short from a series and referred to some characters within the series, but wasn't so heavily dependent on the source material it made this short confusing to those of us who haven't read the original series.

Skin Contact by Kimberly Derting: ⭐⭐⭐
I have read The Body Finder and plan to continue in the series, and from what I hear Rafe turns up in the second book. People seem to like him and from what I read so far he seems like he might be an interesting character with some freaky deaky paranormal shit going on with him.

Leaving by Ally Condie: ⭐⭐⭐
The last book I read by Ally was Crossed, which I was not impressed with. Not going to lie but I went into this short expecting the same dry plot of Crossed... needless to say that was not the case.

At the Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show by Jessica Verday: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Got some serious supernatural vibes from this and I think if quite enjoy following this ragtag group of characters in a full length novel or series.
One thing that didn't sit well with me though was when MC seriously considered filming a half-naked guy without his consent which is not okay and sexual harassment.

IV League by Margaret Sthol:⭐⭐
I got really bored. Not much else to say.

Gargouille by Mary E. Pearson: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
'Twas very sweet. If I were more into high fantasy I think I would enjoy this as a full-length novel.

The Third Kind by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Oh god I want this to be a series so bad. If read the hell out of it!

Automatic by Rachel Caine: ⭐⭐⭐
I liked this enough to justify the first eight books of the series on my shelf...

beammey's review against another edition

Go to review page


I really liked this book! It's hard for me to pick a story I liked the most, or one I liked the least. Overall I thought it was very, very good. It kept me very entertained and is probably my favorite anthology I've read to date. I would definitely recommend this to others. 5 out of 5 stars.

hollylynna's review against another edition

Go to review page


Enjoyable short stories.

philyra91's review against another edition

Go to review page


What a lovely anthology! The collection of stories in Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions are amazing! Some of them were continuations of the authors' existing stories, while others are new creations. I especially loved Kelley Armstrong's entry because it featured our favorite characters, Simon, Tori, Derek and Chloe!! :D Claudia Gray's opening story was pretty good too, drawing us all in.

Let's Get this Undead Show on the Road, Things About Love and At The Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show were all very, very good as well, but my favorite has to be Gargouille. It was beautiful, romantic and just.. sigh. I really, really wish this one can have a sequel or at least be turned into a full-length novel. :)

busdjur's review against another edition

Go to review page


Some of them are great, some good, some only ok.

imaginesilentwriter's review against another edition

Go to review page


Actual Rating: 3.5.

emilykk's review against another edition

Go to review page


I'll be reviewing each story individually below, and my rating was calculated by adding all the ratings I gave the stories (sixteen in all) and collecting the average. I will only include the plots of books I rated 1 and 5 stars.

Giovanni's Farewell by Claudia Gray (a Nom de Plume for Rachel Vincent).
What's paranormal? A Ghost and Psychic Twins; he reads minds, she sees ghosts.
Able to read as a stand-alone? Yes.
My opinion: It was short and a bit interesting, but the line where Ravenna phonetically imagines Giovanni's name really ruined it for me. That, and the weird spectrophilic fantasy going on.
Would recommend? Maybe: 2-stars.

Senic Route by Carrie Ryan.
What's paranormal? The Undead.
Able to read as a stand-alone? Yes, even though it is part of the canon Forest of Hands and Teeth series.
My opinion: I was hoping this story would be straight-up horror, but it was soon infected with the virulent idea that all YA lit has to include romance. However, Calvin ends up being a full-out traitor and nearly kills her, so that tore apart every last shred of what little they had together. It's my personal opinion that he's so upset to hear his brother say that murder doesn't mean anything, that he just gives up, willing to let Margie live because she's got a better moral compass. I also like to imagine that she's furious at him afterward and takes an apathetic Calvin prisoner once more just as a sort of living map. It makes me feel much better than the slight possibility that they did any of what they did out of “love”.
Would recommend? Yes: 4-stars.

Red Run by Kami Garcia.
What's paranormal? A Ghost.
Plot: Shortly following the anniversary of her brother's death on the haunted Red Run road, Edie accepts the help of her two friends, who insist that they are ghost hunters. Driving at night on the isolated road, Edie finds her ghost by nearly running him down, and accepts his plead when he asks for a life to the next town. Weary but not terrified, she confronts him and he claims that he is the spirit of a boy who was killed on the road, and he spends the afterlife trying to save those from the same fate he suffered: a brutal death at the hands of a paranoid drug manufacturer. The manufacturer appears shortly after and says that the ghost is lying to keep Edie close so her can kill her. Edie believes the man and opens the car door, right as he springs forward with a knife, willing to kill to keep what he does a secret. The ghost shakes him off and tells Edie to drive off, but Edie crushes the man in the process, killing him. Edie says she's sorry for not believing, and the ghost insists that it's fine, though he is reluctant to move on. He and Edie leave the scene of the crime, ready to hang out together.
Able to read as a stand-alone? Yes.
My opinion: I understand that Edie's brother died a sudden death, but that was a year ago, so why does she still act like it's only been a month? Am I that insensitive? The one good thing I can say is that this story did not include spectrophilia, like the last ghost story. However, it was VERY predictable and from the ghost's first line of dialogue (“I'm okay, if you're worried.”) I knew that he wasn't the malevolent force in this story. BORING. It was a read I wanted to get over with.
Would recommend? No: 1-star.

Things About Love by Jackson Pearce.
What's paranormal? Djinn and Ifrit.
Plot: After accidentally stumbling upon the existence of Djinn three years ago, Lawrence has been plagued with a series of Djinn guards who journey from their world to watch over him. The latest in his series of guards, an Ifrit, is different from the rest: she asks questions, she seems interested in his life, and is generally more pleasant to be around. The Djinn named Juliet (she chose it herself from a classic tale of human love) is on a self-made quest: can Djinn fall in love with humans, or was it a one-time fluke? Juliet offers to help Lawrence find love if he helps her find it herself, but he imposes one rule: no magic. The two go to an art gallery together, with Juliet visible for the first time, as she tries to set Lawrence up with Jeffry. Unfortunately, Jeffery has a crush on her and kisses her, sending her fleeing and Lawrence crushed when he finds out. After Juliet returns and turns visible to only Lawrence once more, she explains what happened as they sit outside. The gallery's artist moves outside, looking for Lawrence, and Juliet can see in his eyes that he wants to get to know Lawrence better and is attracted to them. Juliet whispers a few of his wishes to Lawrence and the two hit it off. Juliet learns that love is more complex than she thought and is pleased with her research on the topic.
Able to read as a stand-alone? Yes.
My opinion: As soon as I saw that the story was told from two switching perspectives (Lawrence and Juliet), I groaned. I'm sorry I did, in a strange twist of luck. This story was so cheesy that it was adorable, and I love me a good story about Djinn. Juliet's naivety was endearing and I couldn't wait for her to learn a lesson or two about love really was. Bonus points for having GSM representation (Lawrence was gay), and not for following the traditional 'boy meets girl, they each look for something else but find each other' model that most of these stories have been following.
Would recommend? Yes: 5-stars (sometimes I love something super-cheesy, okay?)

Niederwald by Rachel Vincent.
What's paranormal? Mara, Banshee, Harpies, Hellion of Envy, and a Prophet.
Plot: Sabine, a mara, travels with the best friend of her ex's new girlfriend to Niederwald, Texas. There they meet up with some harpies and Sabine pays with a vial of envy to meet a young prophetess, who she asks whether she will ever be able to reclaim the love of her ex-boyfriend. The prophetess delivers her prophecies in the form of drawings, one that delivers the news that eventually, yes, her ex will break up with his current girlfriend. Sabine then searches the house for a treasured necklace she used last time as payment. She finds it, but is caught doing so, which leads to a fight between Sabine and the harpies. The human with Sabine, Emma, gets involved and is almost taken, but they fight off the harpies and leave. The two drive away with the necklace, the drawing for the prophecy, and the vial of envy.
Able to read as a stand-alone? Not recommended: part of the canon Soul Screamers series.
My opinion: This is part of a series, so I was really confused throughout most of the story. What are the abilities of all these creatures? What is Sabine's motivations? How does this all piece together? Combined with that Sabine's actions were driven by the loss of a boy *tear*, and suddenly this story is a dud for anyone who hasn't read the series.
Would recommend? No: 1-star.

Merely Mortal by Melissa Marr..
What's paranormal? Faeries (Winter Queen and Summer King)
Plot: The Winter Queen's significant other is none other than the Summer King, who has be turned mortal to save her. They go on a vacation.
Able to read as a stand-alone? Not recommended: part of the canon Wicked Lovely series.
My opinion: I've never read a single book in the Wicked Lovely series, so I have no idea who these characters are and why I should care for them. To me, the story was some faery whining about how her love was mortal and then they went on a vacation together. That's all.
Would recommend? No: 1-star.

Facing Facts by Kelley Armstrong.
What's paranormal? A Necromancer, Spellcasters, a Werewolf, and a Ghost.
Able to read as a stand-alone? Not recommended: part of the canon Darkest Powers series.
My opinion: The story was a great show of how Chloe has grown since the events of The Reckoning, mainly how she is unwilling to let people boss her around and make her afraid, whether they be living or dead. While this might not seem very important, any reader of the series can understand why it's sort of a big deal that Chloe's telling people no and refusing to be their pawn. I was not a fan of Chloe's relationship with Derek, and to be honest, found it a bit creepy...but I never was a fan of them together, so I didn't expect this story to change that.
To someone unfamiliar with the series: just skip this story. You won't know any of the characters, what they've experienced, and so on. It will just be a mess of asking what the hell is going on.
Would recommend? No: 2-stars (if you're not a fan, but I highly-recommended it if you're a fan of the series).

Let's Get This Undead Show on the Road by Sarah Rees Brennan.
What's paranormal? Vampires.
Able to read as a stand-alone? Yes.
My opinion: It was great to read a story free from any romance, and one that focused more on unbelonging. I'm not usually a fan of vampire novels, but I was sort of a sucker for this one. It had decent unintentional humor, and while it wasn't awful, it wasn't entirely memorable either.
Would recommend? Maybe: 3-stars.

Bridge by Jeri Smith-Ready.
What's paranormal? Ghosts and 'Shifters' (Those who can see ghosts)
Plot: After rising to fame, Logan dies in a celebration shortly after, overdosing on cocaine. He searches for anyone who can see him and is willing to let him talk to his brother. Krista accepts after Logan says that he's afraid his brother is going to kill himself. After finding him and Krista translating Logan's words, the two brothers eventually reach an understanding and mend their relationship.
Able to read as a stand-alone? Not recommended: part of the canon Shade series.
My opinion: It's boring to read stories about characters I don't care about. Plus it was in verse-form, which was weird.
Would recommend? No: 1-star.

Skin Contact by Kimberly Derting.
What's paranormal? Precognition.
Able to read as a stand-alone? Yes, even though it is part of the canon Body Finder series.
My opinion: It was an okay story, one of the first with a dark ending and no success. While it was a so-so story, the depiction of Sophie as your stereotypical emo-chick ruined it.
Would recommend? No: 2-stars.

Leaving by Ally Condie.
What's paranormal? References to Time Travel (wait, this is supposed to be paranormal, Condie)
Plot: After her father left several years ago, Sora has been dreaming of doing the same. She has been shamed by the others as an Untouchable, having gone beyond the walls of the Globe and exposing herself to the toxic outside. She was only an Untouchable for two weeks, but the stigma lives on. An outcast, she dreams of leaving, going back in time to a place called the Beautiful Time. She is nominated as a Star (essentially court royalty during prom) and has to go to her school for the nomination, where she dances with the Sun (prom king), Elio. She rushes away after the dance and returns to her home, where she tries to travel to the year 2011. Instead, she has an epiphany that leads her to see that the Beautiful People of times past were no different from the people in her life currently. She returns to her apartment and Elio's embrace.
Able to read as a stand-alone? Yes.
My opinion: Classic Condie: too many questions left hanging, ones that aren't intentionally left there. Does Condie know this story is supposed to be paranormal, not her excuse for science-fiction? Some other girl, Mia, has some powers and it is said that she would have been considered a witch in old times, but what can she do? It's never answered. Plus calling Sora an Untouchable leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. Did you know that Untouchables are real in the Hindu caste system? Did you know that in remote parts of India, such system still is in place? That's right, Condie uses the same name as those placed in an unfair, debilitating system of hierarchy, as she does for when her little protagonist went out into the toxic wasteland and got cooties for a fortnight. Her character tried to escape her world through time travel and almost got to 2011, but her ridiculous little epiphany brought her right back to her apartment and in the arms of a HAWT, MYTEAREOUS BOI. Unclear idea of how the world works, an outsider girl, ridiculous plot that is somehow filed under 'sci-fi', and a boy who ends up being the most important part of the story: classic Condie.
Would recommend? Why would you even ask me that: 1-star.

At The Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show by Jessica Verday.
What's paranormal? Vampires, Demons, Cannibal Girl Scouts, and Hunters (Yes, like Supernatural)
Able to read as a stand-alone? Yes.
My opinion: This seems like a story written by someone who has seen more than a few cheesy movies in their day. It's so over-the-top and ridiculous that you can't help but roll your eyes with Jane; I liked that Jane managed to kick-ass and accepted the spooky mansion with an irritated groan. Anyone who loves cheesy horror movies, or cheesy, bad movies in general will like this story.
Would recommend? Yes: 4-stars.

IV League by Margaret Stohl.
What's paranormal? Vampires
Plot: Two vampire siblings (?) use false IDs and transcripts in an effort to get into Ivy League schools. During her interview, Wren drinks from the admissions officer when told she won't be getting in, and then uses the computer to admit herself and her brother.
Able to read as a stand-alone? Yes.
My opinion: I think this story was about vampire siblings, but I can't be sure. It was boring and nothing really made much sense.
Would recommend? No: 1-star.

Gargouille by Mary E. Pearson.
What's paranormal? Gargoyles.
Plot: Giselle, a former gargoyle, has had her wings cut from her body and is thrown into a cart by a greedy peddler. It is intended that she will be sold to a local duke for a large sum, and she struggles as she begins to forget her past, a curse of losing her former majesty. She longs for her love, Étienne, but she realizes that he will be forced to forget her to protect the rest of her clan. But when the peddler stops in a village to woo the locals with his tale of great danger, Étienne appears, masquerading as a human. He has to leave her again, shortly after she forgets who he is. She is sold to the duke, who sees no value in her for another more than a servant girl, and she accepts her duties in his garden. Later, the peddler returns to sell another gargoyle to the duke, who buys the man as a stable boy and tells the peddler to leave. The stable boy initially does not recognize Giselle, but she finds him familiar when she brings him some herbs to help him heal his wounds. As she walks away, she calls him by his gargoyle name.
Able to read as a stand-alone? Yes.
My opinion: I found this story very reminiscent of a medieval love tale, sort of like Bisclavret and the like. I liked the use of gargoyles, referred to 'angels of the night' several times in the story, and found the love story positively adorable, the best done in the entire anthology. If you enjoy stories of courtly love with a hint of mythology, this is a good tale to pick up.
Would recommend? Yes: 5-stars.

The Third Kind by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.
What's paranormal? Angels.
Able to read as a stand-alone? Yes.
My opinion: Initially, I thought this story was going to be about aliens, what with 'The Third Kind' as the title, but I quickly realized that wasn't the case. I was not disappointed, however, except for when Jess ran into the man in San Antonio and Kissy's eyes turned back to their normal color and I got worried that the important mission was to make Jess meet her soul mate or something, but that wasn't the case. I'm pleased with how Barnes took on angels, unlike so many other authors do, and if she ever releases a full-length novel or another short story about what happens in the Mojave, I'd read that story in a minute.
Would recommend? Yes: 4-stars.

Automatic by Rachel Caine.
What's paranormal? Vampires.
Plot: Mike, a vampire, tries blood from a new vending machine as part of a demonstration in front of other vampires. Afterward, while walking with his goth girlfriend, Eve, he realizes that he is intoxicated by the blood he drank and runs wild in the town before he is brought under control. He wakes in a cell and goes through detox (not shown) before Eve is let in. Realizing he is no longer lusting for blood like mad, he is let go. The machine is vandalized and removed.
Able to read as a stand-alone? Not recommended: part of the canon Morganville Vampires series.
My opinion: I don't read the series, and this story doesn't make me want to start. Why should I care about some vampire named Mike and his human, goth girlfriend? Boring.
Would recommend? No: 1-star.

updated from a version posted April 22nd, 2014

zombiemom54's review against another edition

Go to review page


I loved getting back into the worlds of some of my favorite series.