Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: August 17, 2015
Challenges: What An Animal | NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
Welcome to the many worlds of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong (Otherworld, Cainsville). As her SyFy channel series, Bitten, enters its second season, Armstrong continues to breathe new life into city-dwelling vampires, werewolves, and zombies. Now travel even further with her, to a post-apocalyptic fortress, a superstitious village, a supernatural brothel, and even feudal Japan.
In Led Astray, you’ll discover the stories of new characters from within and outside Armstrong’s popular novels. Here you will find two original tales from Cainsville, plus journeys to and beyond the worlds of Darkest Powers, Age of Legends, Otherworld, and more.
Bold and humorous, passionate and heart-stopping, here is Kelley Armstrong at her versatile best.
"Led Astray" is a collection of short stories from a wide variety of anthologies with stories ranging from YA to horror to urban fantasy to mysteries and thrillers.While I'd read many of the stories, there were some that were new to me and there are two stories written specifically for this anthology.
The stories showed off Armstrong's strengths - characterization, pacing, plot, and twists. A few stories were weak in one area or another but there were no duds. I've read "Plan B" several times and am still surprised every time. "The Door" left me with lots of questions and I'd love to see a follow-up that fills in some of the details. "Suffer the Children" I didn't much care for when I first read it several years ago but this time, it clicked with me and I was able to appreciate the psychological study and the horror aspect. Still a favorite is "The Hunt", a spooky and horrific tale of justice, though I was sorry to see it retrofitted into the Cainsville universe (it was written and published several years before the first Cainsville book).
"V Plates" made me laugh and also wish for a story featuring Antonio from the Women of the Otherworld series. "Dead Flowers by a Roadside" was a quiet, introspective, sad story.
"Led Astray" is a solid collection that showcases Armstrong's talents and her diversity. If you're new to any of her series, stories from those series are full of spoilers but overall the anthology is a good introduction to Armstrong's works and writings.
I love anthologies and Kelley Armstrong, so it's a no brainer to figure that I was a happy fan girl while reading this. Even when I foolishly read the haunted house story in the middle of the night with no one else home. *shudder*
Armstrong has the amazing ability to make me enjoy any genre she tackles. I attribute that to her characters. Very rarely do I find one I don't connect to, or feel compellingly curious about, even the villains and bit characters. "Led Astray" definitely highlights that talent. I've read almost everything she's published, but to see the range her work spans, in one book, brought home why I recommend her to nearly everyone. Like Bea says, there are tales that aren't as good as others, but none that weren't worth reading.
As a fan, I love when her short stories explore the universes of her established series. It's lovely when you get to see some of your favorite supporting cast members take center stage. Intriguing when it's from completely different time periods. Armstrong has said that when she writes, you get information as the main character does. You know what they know, even if what they know is wrong. New perspectives add so much to the worlds she creates.
This book is a good way to get know her style and stories. Check it out, and see which one leads you to a new place.