on 8 October 2010
Kiss Me Deadly is a young adult paranormal romance anthology containing 13 shiny new stories. It is, sort of, the follow up to 'The Eternal Kiss' YA vampire romance anthology that was out last summer. TEK was awesome and completely worth the money, which not all anthos are, and this one had another great line up of authors so I was really looking forward to it.
It is a decent anthology. Lots of different tales, different styles and some interesting romance options. Probably not the best anthology I've read, or rather not the one I've most enjoyed. I actually liked the majority of the stories, but it was more a case of them being great and loving them, or not thinking much of them at all, no real in-between stories. I still think its well worth owning, for the stories from Rachel Vincent, Karen Mahoney and Maggie Stiefvater alone!
The stories in order:
1. The Assassin's Apprentice by Michelle Zink - 8/10 - descendants of angels hunting demons on earth. Nice short, wish it had been longer, liked the characters and the ideas a lot.
2. Errant by Diana Peterfreund - 4/10 - strange story featuring odd unicorns. Not much paranormal love to it, mostly just strange. Just didn't really work for me.
3. The Spirit Jar by Karen Mahoney - 9/10 - Moth, the vampire girl from Karen's short 'Falling To Ash' in TEK, is back and this time in London after a rare book for her maker, and she's not the only one after it. Great short story, I completely love Moth and really hope there is a full book from her POV in the future!
4. Lost by Justine Musk - 9/10 - fantastic short about a girl good at finding lost things, who meets a guy who's not quite human in an abandoned house.
5. The Spy Who Never Grew Up by Sarah Rees Brennan - 5/10 - Peter Pan working for Her Majesty's secret service. Bit strange, but fun as well. Liked it.
6. The Dungeons of Langeais by Becca Fitzpatrick - 5/10 - short set in her Hush, Hush world. An angel, the man tied to him, and the two women who they try to protect. Okay, but nothing great.
7. Behind The Red Door by Caitlin Kittredge - 5/10 - girl meets ghost who is not as great as first appears. Not bad, but felt quite detached. Wasn't too bothered which way things would go.
8. Hare Moon by Carrie Ryan - 8/10 - focuses on Sister Tabitha from The Forest of Hands and Teeth as a teenager, showing where she came from. Great story explaining how she came to be the way she is. Really liked it.
9. Familiar by Michelle Rowen - 8/10 - a reluctant witch has to pick out a familiar. She chooses a little runt of a kitten, who turns out to be a shifter and not a kitten at all. Fun and sweet. Loved it.
10. Fearless by Rachel Vincent - 9/10 - set in Rachel's Soul Screamers world, this story introduces us to Sabine Campbell, in a short set before the SS series begins. Sabine is a mara, someone who feeds off of nightmares to survive, but finds herself somewhere that's oddly empty of them. Really great short and I love Sabine. Looking forward to seeing more of her in SS #4 My Soul To Steal (out Jan 1st 2011), even if she and Kaylee are going to be enemies.
11. Vermillion by Daniel Marks - 4/10 - ghosts causing chaos, or not causing it. Basic idea was fine, but I didn't like the main character. The girl was just too volatile, going from calm happy to enraged too quickly and she wasn't too smart either, though she was meant to be. Could have been better.
12. The Hounds of Ulster by Maggie Stiefvater - 9/10 - beautiful, sad tale of two best friends and the fey girl who comes between them. Wish it had been longer! Loved the characters and the story and would have loved more about all of it.
13. Many Happy Returns by Daniel Waters - 8/10 - very sad tale of a father hoping, wishing, his daughter will rise again as a zombie after she and her boyfriend, and other friends, are killed in a car accident. Not often a zombie fan, but like the ideas and it's enough for me to look in to his Generation Dead series which is the same world as this short.
Overall, 7/10 but like I said, few of the stories would be worth owning the whole antho for on their own!