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Friday, October 30, 2015

106) Led Astray by Kelley Armstrong

The Blurb :

Two brand new tales anchor this wide-ranging collection from one of urban fantasy's most successful authors. Here is the first time that best-selling fantasy, YA, and crime author Kelley Armstrong has had her stories collected from Otherworld and beyond. With her signature twists and turns, Armstrong gives a fresh spin on city-dwelling vampires, werewolves, and zombies, while also traveling further afield, to a post-apocalyptic fortress, a superstitious village, a supernatural brothel, and even to feudal Japan.

My Thoughts :

I should really take the time to read the blurb before pouncing on books by my favourite authors.  I see their name, see a release date that is quickly approaching and just grab a copy.  However within seconds of starting the book I realised I had made a mistake.  This wasn't 'new' and this wasn't at all what I was expecting.

Led Astray is an anthology.  The best of Kelley Armstrong.  Now this may seem like a great idea.  All of Kelley's short stories in one book.  However I have already read the majority of them.  So I ended up speed reading at least two thirds of the book.  The other stories, two new, weren't anything extremely special to write home about.  Although on saying that, I do tend to get a little negative about anthologies.  I'm just not a fan and rarely find one worth praising.

Now if you are a hardcore fan you will have read most of the stories already.  Over the years we have all craved just a little bit more of Armstrong in between books and have grabbed the occasional novella.  So this won't be a top priority for you unless you really want to make sure your collection is complete.  Yes there are two new short stories in here but weigh up the pro's and con's first.  You are buying a whole book full of stories you have already read just to get two new short stories. Think about it and don't blame anyone else for your decision.

If you enjoy Kelley's books but haven't had the chance to read any or many of her short stories then you will want to get a hold of this one.  There are some really nice ones in here and the stories are set in all of her various 'worlds'.  So there is something for everyone.  However if you haven't read many or any of Kelley's books you may want to leave this one for a later date.  There aren't really huge spoilers in here but there are some.  It would certainly annoy me and most likely confuse me if I wasn't that far along with the books in any of the series.

Lots of the stories are standalone but quite a few fit into a certain series somewhere.  One of the original stories (and one of the longest of the collection) is from the Cainsville series where as the other is a standalone.  Actually my favourite of the bunch was the original standalone called 'The Door' but it was a quick read.

In all honesty I nearly didn't finish this book.  After about 20% I had to put the book down and have a break.  My head hurt and I felt like the book should be over already.  The first 20% felt like a whole novel.  If it wasn't for the fact that I was stuck at the doctors for two hours with only my trusty Kindle to keep me occupied I may not have finished this book.

All in all this is a nice collection and also a wonderful idea.  I don't think I would have bought this one but definitely would have borrowed it from the library or a friend.  Kelley is an experienced and special author with some amazing books behind her and hopefully more in her future.  She has the gift of writing a great short story so Led Astray isn't full unworthy reads.  Just full of novellas you may have read before.

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