Enthralled Anthology Review

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Title: Enthralled
Author: 14 Authors
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publish Date: September 20, 2011
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Pages: 443
Source: Publisher
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 land-scapes 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.

This is a new one for me, and it's not something I can follow my normal reviewing process on, as Enthralled is an anthology of 14 unique stories from a wide range of YA talent today. The authors include Rachel Vincent, Sarah Rees Brennan, Jeri Smith-Ready, Mary E. Pearson, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Jessica Verday, Claudia Gray, Jackson Pearce, Carrie Ryan, Rachel Caine, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Kimberly Derting and Ally Condie. Needless to say, with talent like that, this anthology is a powerhouse of great writing, fresh ideas, dynamic characters and short stories that pack a powerful punch.

I've never reviewed an anthology before, so you'll have to bear with me as I navigate the full range of short stories that Enthralled carried. There were definitive standouts in the anthology, and I'll be honest and say there were a few stories that fell a bit flat for me. I'll also say that, at times, I think writing a short story might just be more difficult than writing a full-length novel. An author needs to encapsulate an entire novel in a just a fraction of that space without losing depth, intrigue and that emotional connection. It's because of this that I can honestly state that Sarah Rees Brennan's story, "Let's Get This Undead Show on the Road" really stood out. It had absolutely fantastic characters, hilarity and a fun/ironic setup that managed to execute a seamless story in a small amount of pages. Speaking of the characters, by the way, I want Faye's pumps that had stakes for heels, please. 

Unfortunately, with every gem, you'll have a few stories that fall short and leave something to be desired. In Enthralled, both "I.V. League" by Margaret Stohl and "Red Run" by Kami Garcia, unfortunately, fit that bill for me. Both stories lacked memorable characters, and the plot holes were severe, often leading me to become lost in the few pages I had to read. In the same vein, I struggled with Ally Condie's "Leaving." It felt a bit weak when I compared it to others and, to be honest, it felt like a tiny version of Matched. Thankfully, Jackson Pearce kicked Enthralled back up a notch with her story, "Things About Love." In a short story, a theme resonated above all else, and it left me thinking - a feat some of the other stories failed to accomplish.

Overall, Enthralled was a fun-filled anthology. While some stories far exceeded the limits of other stories, it was a good, cohesive read. If nothing else, I was given a chance to test the waters with some authors I've yet to try, and will absolutely read more of in the future. I give it a 3.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all YA fans, especially those who enjoy paranormal stories and are fans of the authors listed above.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. I've never been a short story person but I'm very intrigued by this. I love so many of the authors. It's disappointing the Stohl and Garcia's stories weren't good. I love the Caster Chronicles. Similarly about Condie, although I can understand why her story might have issues given my thoughts about Matched.

  2. I really don't like to read Anthologies. But, I also don't like Short Stories. However, I heart amazing things about Enthralled and I'm still deciding if I should pick it up or not. I love many of those authors so maybe I should give it a try! So sad that Kami and Margi's Short Stories didn't do it for you:(

  3. I've been meaning to pick this one up. I don't usually read anthologies but they're good for 10 mins reading spurts where you can just forget about it after haha. Great review!

    Xpresso Reads

  4. Ohhhh so many good authors there :D
    New comments too it seems

  5. yes, indeed - there was an issue with people being unable to comment, so I tried to alleviate that ;)

  6. have you tried disqus? it's pretty simple, and it's currently importing all my comments from the past :)

  7. I am not a huge fan, cos when I clear my browser I always have to log in again ;)

  8. ahhhh gotcha. I just couldn't think of a better way to simplify it for those who couldn't comment haha

  9. Hm I can't see the comment, but yes it works. I guess when I do clear my history I will survive ;) And at least you do not got word ver, they just updated it and it bugs me soooo much today

  10. it shows up...it just takes a bit of time. I hate word verification. It makes me so cranky!

  11. Have you seen the new version? It's more like what wordpress have and sometimes it is so hard to see what the words are. Takes a lot longer

  12. I have this book and still need to read it! Loved the review!

  13. Reviewing anthologies is pretty tough, especially because there are always some stories that stand out and some that lag behind. I did love Jackson Pierce's story but I don't really remember those two that didn't do it for you (maybe that's why...). Definitely worth a read.

  14. I think that's the trouble with anthologies. There are always going to be disappointments, whether it's because they're just not that strong or because one of the stories is SO GOOD that the rest pale in comparison. I did enjoy the stories that I read in this one, for the most part. The one close to the beginning with the twins and the tomb? I liked that one. Mostly I read this for Jeri Smith-Ready's 'Bridge' and that one definitely did not disappoint. So gorgeous!

  15. Just came across your blog and added your feed to Bloglines.  I really love the reviews and the design!  

    I've had my eye on this anthology and have been on the fence about getting it.  Anthologies are so hit or miss but I might give it a try based on your review.

    Happy Weekend!


  16. Testing! :)

    Also, we really like this cover!


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