Release Day Review: Led Astray by Kelley Armstrong
Led Astray by Kelley Armstrong
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. With tales that range from humorous to heart-stopping, these are the stories that showcase Kelley Armstrong at her versatile best.
I've really enjoyed all of Kelley's books, including the other anthology, Otherworld Nights. So when I had the chance to read this one I didn't hesitate. Unfortunately, while LED ASTRAY was enjoyable, it just didn't suck me or wow me like I had hoped. Anthologies, and short stories are tough tricks because unless they are longer novellas, the short format just doesn't lend to the full set up I would like. However, in cases like Otherworld Nights, the stories are set in an established world with established characters, so much of that build up is unneccsary anyway. Unfortunately that wasn't the case here as most of the stories were not set in Otherworld or Cainsville, and even the ones that were didn't revolve around the main characters, with just a few exceptions. And I would guess it's no surprise that the stories that those exceptions were the ones that I enjoyed the most.
As I said, the stories were largely entertaining, but I can't help being frustrated at feeling like I was left hanging in each story at the end. They were just too short to be developed how I had hoped, and some are still leaving me scratching my head, namely the Dragon story set in Cainsville. I also would have loved to have seen more from the Door story, but again, these short stories just didn't lend to a lot of detail.
It's a compliment to Kelley's writing in itself that I wanted more from these stories. Despite that short format, I was engaged with each new tale. I can only hope that some of these will be expanded upon in the future as my appetite has been whetted, but not satisfied. In the end, aside from anthologies firmly set in established worlds, I think I'll pass on groupings like this. I just wanted more.