Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong
by Kelley Armstrong
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 15 Sep 2015 | Archive Date 03 Feb 2016
Welcome to the many worlds of 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.
If possible, please hold blog and media reviews until after the publication date. Reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are welcome before publication.
A Note From the Publisher
Book Nook Ten Best Books I Read in 2015
“[STAR] From the first moment, this collection of
fantastical tales sizzles with dark promise, rich world-building, and complex,
often haunting characters. In "Rakshashi," Amrita has long since
completed her penance for the crimes she committed as a mortal, and is willing
to take any avenue to capture her reward. Tanya is a woman with a gaslighting
husband and a complicated history in "A Haunted House of Her Own."
"Dead Flowers by a Roadside" features a grieving man who can speak to
ghosts—all but the ones he most longs to hear from. "Harbinger"
introduces a group of spirits who have a message but no voice. Each story feels
innovative and exciting, and they work together to create a harmonious whole
from glittering supernatural fragments. The stories are set at various times
and places but all feel as though they spring from the same dark, dangerous,
and fantastical world. This excellent anthology will thrill Armstrong fans and
new readers alike.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“...excellent escapism for urban fantasy readers!”
“...excellently written.... I’m impressed, deeply
impressed by almost every story in this book.”
—Fangs for the Fantasy
“If you are a fan of any of Armstrong's series then this book is one that you NEED!” —Night Owl Reviews
“Kelley Armstrong’s Led Astray hits all the notes it’s supposed to, and quite a few higher ones as well.... plenty for hard-core fans and newcomers alike to enjoy.”
—Green Man Review
A Book Frivolity 10 Fantastic Fantasy Releases for September 2015.
“Shocks, horror, grief, magic and a little romance [—] this collection has it all!
—Just Talking Books
“All of the stories were really good. It was a lot like reading stories from The Twilight Zone. I highly recommend.”
An engaging dark fantasy collection for both fans and new readers of Kelley Armstrong's work.”
“[A] really successful combination of short stories. Thumbs up.”
“…she weaves the
fine threads of the supernatural world with that of horror and you might
just find yourself looking over your shoulder or wondering about the things
that go bump in the night.”
—Penny Dreadful Book Reviews
“[T]his collection shows just how versatile Armstrong is as a
writer. She does supernatural just as expertly as she does thrillers and
suspense. This is a must for her fans, and new readers alike.”
— My Bookish Ways
“Armstrong’s writing pulls
you in and keeps your interest. All the stories were well thought out and
imaginative, and the conclusions to some will definitely not be what you
—Readers in Wonderland
“Filled with romance and supernatural intrigue, this book will surely remind readers of Anne Rice’s sophisticated refurbishings of the vampire story.”
—Publishers Weekly on Bitten
“Will exhilarate even readers new to the series. . . . Dark alleys, undead bodies and bountiful blood will cause shivers. . . .”
—Kirkus, starred review on The Awakening
"Frankly, I enjoyed the hell out of it. . . . I cannot wait for the next installment.”
—Tor.com on Visions
· Consumer and trade advertising in U.S.
and Canadian outlets
· Promotion at major trade and genre conventions
· Promotion targeting online media, including blog posts, reviews, and interviews
· Planned book giveaways on Goodreads, SF Signal, and other online outlets
· Promotion on author’s website (kelleyarmstrong.com/) and extensive social media (facebook.com/KelleyArmstrongAuthor - 61K Likes; @KelleyArmstrong - 35K followers)
Average rating from 143 members
Usually at this point, I summarize the book I have just read. However, with this book, Led Astray by Kelley Armstrong, it is almost impossible to do such a thing. Not because it is hard to describe, but because it is a book of short stories. Included in this anthology are stories from most of Ms. Armstrong’s series: Darkest Powers, Otherworld, Cainsville, and Age of Legends. The book also includes some standalone stories, as well. As an aside, I have read and enjoyed all but one of the series listed. That series I’m going to have to pick up because the short story in this anthology intrigued me. If you couldn’t have figured it out already, I really, really enjoyed this book. I’m not normally a big fan of short stories because I just want more than a few pages of a story, but this book let me revisit places I’ve been to before and miss. Or, in the case of Cainsville, visiting a place I’m waiting to go back to. These stories are well-written, a little eerie, and all full of entertainment. Was it perfect? No, it isn’t but nothing really terrible enough that I feel disappointed in the stories. If you have never read Ms. Armstrong before, pick up this book and you will see how versatile and great of an author she truly is. And then go get her other series and enjoy. They are all well worth the read! Thanks to NetGalley and Tachyon Publications for the free e-book in exchange for an honest review. This review will also be posted on Goodreads.
Kelley Armstrong is undeniably one of my favorite authors and I will read anything she writes. This collection of short stories has some real gems in it and is absolutely worth the read. The first story really sets the mood for the ones that follow and draws you in to the anthology. There's a horror feel to the stories and some are downright spooky. I've read most of Kelley Armstrong's other books and so some of the stories were like returning to a familiar place. I'm especially fond of the Cainsville short stories because I'm eagerly anticipating the next installment of that series and the others short stories. However many of the original stories were wonderfully crafted as well. I particularly enjoyed A Haunted House of her Own and Suffer the Children. I would absolutely recommend this anthology to Kelley Armstrong fans and to anyone who likes horror or supernatural stories.
One comes to expect the very best when it comes to an author like Kelley Armstrong, and that is exactly what you get with this anthology. This book proves what a versatile writer this author is. You get a bit of everything in this book. Each short story is very well written and leaves you wanting more. That is really the only complaint that I have. Some of the stories ended too soon. Or at least in my mind they did. I wanted them to go on. I am more familiar with the Otherworld Series, so in this book, I was introduced to her other works and found that I was quite intrigued. However, I didn't absolutely love every single story. There were one or two that were not my cup of tea. That being said I must still credit Ms. Armstrong because each and every one was superb in the way it was told, no matter how I felt about the story itself. When one story ended I looked forward to seeing what the next had in store. It was kind of like Forest Gump and his box of chocolates because you never knew what you were going to get. That made it a fun read and kept me turning the pages. Because all the stories were so well written I feel I must give this book five stars even if I didn't love every single one. I did love most of them however and feel if you are a fan of Kelley Armstrong this is a must read. If you've never read any of her work, this is a great way to be introduced.
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection from cover to cover! It contains a blend of all of Armstrong's worlds, including a few originals - generally with twist endings. Interestingly enough, The Cainsville stories were my favourites. "The Screams of Dragons" being dark and psychologically terrifying. I have yet to read "Omens", but suspect now I shall have to look into it. Of the other stories, it was a bit disappointing that most of the Otherworld ones involved vampires - my almost-least favourite supernatural creature, although the one with the werewolves visiting the brothel, which contained my least favourite supernatural - zombies - I found highly entertaining. Armstrong has a way of drawing you into a story and painting a personality in only a few words, and her short stories have proven an inspiration to my own writing endeavours. It is also rewarding to revisit the old favourite side characters from her other novels - like Nick - and being given an insight into their lives, and of course learning the backstory behind those, like Gabriel. Overall, it is not often that I can read an anthology from cover-to-cover without considering some of the stories duds. In this case, although there were some I enjoyed less than the others, even the shortest ones still satisfied.
Led Astray by Kelley Armstrong, is a book of short stories. Included in this anthology are stories from most of Ms. Armstrong’s series: Darkest Powers, Otherworld, Cainsville, and Age of Legends. The book also includes some standalone stories, as well. I enjoyed this book. One nice things about this book is it let me visit characters and places I’ve read about before and miss. Some of the short stories were so good that I found myself wishing that I could read a full novel about that character or story line. These stories were eerie, interesting and unique Mrs. Armstrong is an extraordinarily versatile and interesting author. I highly recommend this and all her books and am grateful to have received this ARC via NetGalley.
I love compendiums and when you get the chance to sit down with a ton of short stories from a favourite author there is something of not only a treat about it but a title that is there to not only entertain but make you feel like a kid again as you know that you have a lot of fun ahead of you. What this title offers is a book that has a lot going for it and whilst these tales have appeared in other multi author releases this is the first time that they’ve been released as a single set. As usual with Kelley’s work it was not only a joy to read but really hit the spot, was great to dip into and a wonderful way to spend snatched reading time when I needed to escape from reality. All round it was great however my only real problem with this was that I’d have preferred to have it broken down so that all the relevant releases were together ie the Cainesville, the Otherworld and the others. That said though I did have fun with the book and can’t wait to see other short tales in future instalments. (Review will be live on day of release.)
I do not usually care for short story anthologies but this is Kelley Armstrong so of course I love it. Each story was surprising and interesting and well created. Many I wished for longer versions of. Many will stay with me for a very long time.
This dark anthology is fantastic. This is how fairy tales used to be - grim and harsh. In this collection of over 20 short stories, Ms. Armstrong demonstrates over and over again how she is a master of her craft. I enjoyed every single story and felt chills in some of them. Many of the stories have no happily ever afters or even a happily for now. Instead, it seems the warning is clear - be careful of what you wish for. For those who have never read a Ms. Armstrong book, this collection can be read as a standalone. A few of the stories do tie into her different series. The tie ins enhance the world building for those hooked on the various series. For those new to Ms. Armstrong, it will cause the new reader to salivate and rush to read all her series. This first-rate anthology could be devoured in one sitting. It's best to savour each story by itself. The deferred gratification by slowly consuming each story is worth it. It makes this painfully pleasurable book last longer. Each story is well written. It's tightly focused with nary a wasted word. The constant haunting gloomy feel keeps a reader on edge. The expressive descriptions of the places set the somber mood. The intriguing situations lures a reader into a bit of complacency before the trap is sprung. The endings to several of the pieces are gruesome and I reveled in it. Many times, it seems the villain wins the day. This is very different than most books and for this refreshing take, I applaud Ms. Armstrong. I particularly enjoyed the twists and turns in the stories. It keeps a reader on their toes. It makes the stories unpredictable. Since I'm used to figuring out the ending easily for at least 90% of stories I read, being off balance is exhilarating. There is a certain horror aspect to several of these stories. For those who enjoy horror, this book will be up your alley. This book is highly recommended to those who enjoy darkness and things that go bump in the night.
Kelley Armstrong is a prolific and well-known, talented author with a lot of great books under her belt. However, occasionally some of her books read like filler...in-between stories told to pass time until her next "real" book. These stories really are the best of Kelley Armstrong. Her voice is clear, her story-telling abilities are artfully displayed, and every one of them is engaging and interesting. As an introduction to her work or for fans of her various series this book is worth recommending.
Kelley Armstrong is an author who always seems to deliver top notch urban fantasy and this collection of short stories and snippets is such an interesting mixture. Because of the sheer amount here I won't review each and every one as that might make for an extremely lengthy review and truth be told that might be boring and also I already struggle to reign my enthusiasm in as it is! What I really liked was the simple fact that although we get snippets from her Otherworld and Cainsville universes we are also treated to completely new ( to this reader anyway ) and standalone stories. Led Astray had me eagerly reaching to read the Otherworld stories as they are my personal favourite. If frank I was a little dissappointed as the couple I adore ( Clay and Elena) are mentioned here but sadly not present and I suspect I'm not the only one missing them. The Pack is present though so watch out for the story V Plates and even vampire Zoe is featured in the stories Learning Curve and The List. If Cainsville is the series that enchants you then settle down and enjoy learning more about the towns inhabitants and in particular Gabriel in the stories Gabriel's Gargoyle and Devil May Care. I confess I've not yet started that series but this intruiging glimpse has me itching to begin. As for the other stories here well it was an interesting mixture of just about anything you can imagine. We get a glimpse at a post apocalyptic world in Branded, zombies in both Last Stand and V Plates, there's even a nod to Hell Raiser and Pin head in The Collector! So lots to entertain but also poignant stories because this author reaches out and squeezes her readers hearts in both Dead Flowers by a Roadside and Suffer the children . If a twist in the tale is what grabs yor attention then dive into Rakshasi or Plan B but most of all read this collection and judge for yourselves. I truly was gripped but sadly did miss my favourite characters and had read one or two shorts before but if you are new to this authors work then Im pretty confident that you will be very satisfied and hooked just like the rest of her fans. Shocks, horror, grief, magic and a little romance this collection has it all! I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review
Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite authors so I couldn't wait to read this book. I loved every short stories in this books. I wasn't planning on reading all of them in one day but I just couldn't stop reading. I highly recommend this.
An excellent collection of short stories set in each of her created worlds, these stories have you wishing they were full length books, disappointed they aren't each novel length. Normally, I don't like anthologies, but this one kept me engaged and entertained.
Kelley Armstrong is one of the most versatile and talented modern urban fantasy authors. Led Astray is a collection of short fiction, all unique and each ending with an unexpected twist that will more than satisfy fans of her novels. Some stories are set in the Otherworld, while others revisit the denizens of Cainsville. Still others stand alone, exploring the dark places of the human experience. Armstrong deftly blends horror with humor and myth with the everyday. In Led Astray, Kelley Armstrong doesn't take the easy path, the expected human-centric perspective. It makes her stories all the more delectable. In every story there is the touch of the unexpected, whether she tackles a werewolf needing to lose his virginity or life after the apocalypse. Anything can happen and frequently does. Led Astray is an incredibly entertaining collection that urban fantasy lovers will be certain to treasure. 5/5 I received a copy of Led Astray from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. --Crittermom Kelley Armstrong's new anthology sizzles http://muttcafe.com/2015/09/led-astray/ 9/15/15
Review copy Kelley Armstrong is a New York Times bestselling author. Her first novel Bitten was turned into a TV series which just completed its second season on the SYFY channel. In Led Astray, you’ll discover stories with 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. To be perfectly honest, prior to getting a copy of Led Astray through NetGalley, I had never read more than a couple of Kelley's stories, which may have appeared in an anthology or two along the way. Thanks to this collection, I am definitely a fan and am looking forward to reading much more of her work. Here we have twenty-one short stories and two that are more novella length stories. Most are tales that have appeared elsewhere, but two are completely new to this collection, including the novella, "Devil May Care", which closes out the book. In nearly every collection I've ever read, there are one or two stories that are just not as good as the others. That is simply not the case for Led Astray. Every piece was well-imagined and richly entertaining. Every last one. With so many stories in the collection, I'd rather not list them all. How about I give you a peek at three of my favorites. "A Haunted House of Her Own" - Tanya and Nathan are looking to purchase a B & B. hopefully one that comes with ghost stories attached. Be careful what you wish for. Look for more than one twist in this wonderful little ghost story. "Last Stand" - Kelley's take on Zombies with one of the best explanations ever for the walking dead. "V Plates - A totally fun story of what happens when a young werewolf visits a brothel in an attempt to lose his virginity. I was actually disappointed when I got to the last of the 434 pages in this book. Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong is available now in both paperback and e-book formats from Tachyon Publications. Strongly recommended.
I always love Kelley Armstrong's storytelling, this is an anthology of some of her short stories that may have been featured in previous anthologies and there are a few new stories just for this anthology. This anthology has 23 short stories. there are stories that feature familar characters from her regular series: The Otherworld Cainsville Darkest Powers Age of Legends I really enjoy anthologies because you get a sneak peek into other authors that you might not have ever read, but I really enjoy the best of anthologies where it is one paticuliar author and you are getting a glimpse into other series you might not have read. Now being a best of Kelley Armstrong I have pretty much read anything and everything she has written. I really enjoyed these stories, my favorites being: KAT-Darkest Powers- this is about a character who is not featured in the Darkest Powers series. The Screams of Dragons- Cainsville- I am pretty fascinated with any story out of Cainsville, since the town is such a mystery. Suffer the Children- Standalone- this story was disturbing and slightly creepy! Gabriel's Gargoyles- Cainsville- very intresting to see a younger Gabriel since he is such an enigma. V Plates- Otherworld- I love everything that is set in the Otherworld universe. This is a great collection and totally worth the read!!
In this collection titled Led Astray we have The best of Kelley Armstrong, from the author that brought us series such as Women of the Otherworld and Darkest Powers, and has over thirty books out; surely you've heard of her. Overall this is a strong anthology, with a good mix of reprints from more popular publishings and those a little less so (and hence, harder to find), with a few original also. We see characters from the above mentioned series but probably half the shorts in this collection are standalone, showing exactly how strong Armstrong is in the art of the short story - introducing us to character and plot in such limited space. As far as subject go, this anthology is much of the now with post apocalyptic and zombie shorts being the first that come to mind. As far as emotion goes, these are certainly shorts you might want to read somewhere quiet as they draw you in and wretch your heart around quiet fiercely at times, showing exactly how tightly drawn into the narrative you become so quickly. What works best about this anthology is how assessable it is for those who aren't entirely familiar with Armstrong's work. As previously mentioned, there are a few original stories to this collection but most importantly, it's the amount of stories that are standalone, which aren't purely there for fans specifically of one of her best-selling series. This anthology is highly recommended, and was very enjoyable to read!
This is a collection of odds and ends stories by Kelley Armstrong. They vary from her difference series’ and beyond. I’ve only read two of her series, but was still really excited to read this. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t read any of the others. All of the stories were really good. It was a lot like reading stories from The Twilight Zone. I highly recommend.
I came into this anthology as a fan of Armstrong's Otherworld stories, but with little familiarity with her other work. After reading this collection, I'm really not sure why I haven't read more of her work, particularly her other paranormal/dark fantasy books. Really, why the hell haven't I? *Glaces at current pile of library books* *Checks ILL holds* Dammit. Well, time to fix my lack regardless of how many books I'm in the middle of reading. Led Astray doesn't limit itself to one canonical universe, but spreads across the different worlds that Armstrong has created and introduces several others. An engaging dark fantasy collection for both fans and new readers of Kelley Armstrong's work.
This is an excellent collection of stories from an author who mainly writes contemporary supernatural and urban fantasy. Some of the books are connected to her book series and some are stand alone. You don't have to have read other books to appreciate these stories all of which can be understood very easily. You get a lot of stories here and there is plenty of variety but some of them verge from the paranormal into mild horror - nothing too gory but definitely rather dark in places. If you like this author's books then this is an excellent complementary volume and an opportunity to meet some of the characters and worlds that you already know. If you haven't read her books before then you might find it an excellent place to start. I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley.
This short story collection has bit of everything for a Kelley Armstrong reader. Covering her well known series, standalone short stories and new material written for the book the selection certainly entertains the reader. Several of the stories have appeared in themed anthologies and to have them here without trying to track them all down is a treat since I enjoyed the one for the Clive Barker book but I don’t think I would have bought that collection and would have missed that gem. A great read to get the full flavor of writing and story universes from a very prolific author.
5 out of the otherworld stars! This anthology was just freaking fantastic. I am a self confessed Kelley Armstrong fangirl and I gobble up everything she writes so I was very excited to read this book. That being said, I'm not usually a fan of short stories unless they're set in a world I already know and love and so I didn't have particularly high hopes for the standalone stories in this anthology although I knew i'd love the Otherworld stories. I am so glad to say that all my expectations were wrong, dead wrong. Every story in here was fantastic, there honestly wasn't a single story I didn't love and that surprised the hell out of me. The Otherworld stories were, as expected, fantastic and a real treat for fans of the series. I was very pleasantly surprised by the Cainsville stories. I haven't read any of the books in this world yet and yet the short stories set in Cainsville were some of my favourites. I'll definitely be giving that series a read soon. You can read my rambley, incoherent, non spoilerish thoughts and star rating for each book below: 1. Rakshashi - 5 stars - I loved this story, it was such a strong opening to the anthology and not what I expected at all. I would very happily read a book set in this world (please Kelley Armstrong!), it was very cool and totally hooked me in. 2. Kat - 5 stars - This was a fab little novella, again it totally sucked me in and I wanted to know more about Kat and her story. A whole book (or series) on Kat would be awesome. 3. A Haunted House of Her Own - 4 stars - This story was very creepy and not what I expected at all. A lot of the stories in this anthology were really quite dark and brought the creep factor but as this was one of the first it took me by surprise and I really enjoyed it. The twist at the end of this was also fantastic, I didn't see it coming! 4. Learning Curve - 5 stars - This was short and fun. Zoe is very tenacious and I really enjoyed that about her. 5. The Screams of Dragons - 5 stars - When I read this I thought it was by far the best story of the bunch up to that point and now that I've finished the anthology this is still one of the top 3. This novella was my first introduction to Cainsville and it blew me away, it was really just brilliant. Bobby was a great (if not particularly pleasant)| character, the world was super odd and the ending was excellent. 6. The Kitsunes Nine Tales - 5 stars - Yet again, another 5 star read. I know i'm being boring and repetitive (and it's only gonna get longer) but honestly, all of these stories are just so good. Again, I'd happily read a fully book about this character. More please. 7. Last Stand - 4 stars - I adored the twist in this story. I wasn't sure i'd like this one, I assumed it was just another zombie story, I was WRONG! As usual, Kelley Armstrong is a master storyteller. She took a trope I hate and turned it on it's head. 8. Bamboozled - 5 stars - This was very different, set in the old west in the Otherworld universe! It features another turned female wolf, just like Elena, it was awesome!! 9. Branded - 5 stars - This one was quite dark but it was awesome. Again, another story I could happily read a full book about. 10. The List - 4 stars - This was another Otherworld story, it automatically gets points for that. I really like the Zoe stories and this one was short and fun. Name dropping Clay and Elena helped too! 11. Young Bloods - 4 stars - Another quick glimpse into the Otherworld. Short and sweet. 12. The Door - 5 stars - Again I just wanted to read more! Why are some of these so short, it's not fair! 13. Dead Flowers by the Roadside - 4 stars - This was creepy and sad. I enjoyed it but it was too short to be particularly remarkable. 14. Suffer the Children - 5 stars - This one was creepy as all hell. As usual it was very well written and I was totally engrossed. I really liked the Preacher and his family, the ending was excellent, if a little sad. 15. The Collector - 5 stars - Again, this was creepy! It seems to be a theme through most of this book. I don't usually enjoy scary stories but these are all awesome. I loved the main character in this one and yet again there was another twist I didn't see coming. 16. Gabriel's Gargoyles - 5 stars - I enjoyed this just as much as the first Cainsville story, it was excellent. Even though I haven't read the main series yet, I adore this world and the Cainsville stories are my favourites. 17. Harbringer - 4.5 stars - Creepy! It the word of the day apparently but it's true to this story too. Again, I'd happily and eagerly read a full book about these creepy dead girls. 18. V Plates - 5 stars - Another Otherworld story. I adore Nick and I love reading about his escapades, even if he's supposedly all grown up and responsible now. 19. Life Sentence - 5 stars - Yet another Otherworld Story, this one was simply awesome! I really enjoy reading about the cabals. They're the bog bad in the Otherworld and it's nice to see them get what was coming to them for once. 20. Plan B - 5 stars - This was different to what I expected but still excellent. I love how so many of these stories have such a great twist. 21. The Hunt - 5 stars - Super short but very creepy. I adore Cainsville, it be crazy. 22. Dead to Me - 5 stars - Again, a very short but cool and creepy story. 23. Devil May Care - 5 stars - One of the best stories in the book! Im seriously dying to read the Cainsville books. The Cainsville short stories in this book, including this one, were just brilliant. This story was definitely a standout. In case you missed all of my gushing, this anthology was just amazing. Despite the awful cover, it really blew me away. I'd happy read a full length book about most of these stories. Fans of Kelley Armstrong NEED to read this.
Kelley Armstrong is such a talented author. I absolutely love her Cainesville series, and was so thrilled to read more about it in Led Ashtray. I'm not usually a huge fan of short stories, but this book was fantastic! Armstrong always delivers such suspense, addicting and imaginative stories. I cannot get enough of her books!
Kelley Armstrong's short fiction is often delightfully dark, drawing as much on the horror roots of urban fantasy as it does on the fantasy. The pieces included in Led Astray are no exception--this anthology collects short stories set both in and outside of Armstrong's established universes, most of them with more surprising twists and horrifying endings than the novels set in those same universes. The stories range from "Rakshasi," the story of an Indian demon tied to a master and longing for release, to "Plan B," a tale of art, infidelity and murder that avoids anything "too expected," aiming instead for "something more surprising there," to "Kat," featuring the more usual urban fantasy fare of vampires, albeit in some unusual ways. Ultimately, Armstrong's collection is an excellent companion to her other works for current fans, and a wonderful introduction to the author's versatility and style for new readers. Five stars.
This book was amazing! This is the first time I have reviewed a book that was a collection of short stories. I was pleasantly surprised.
I am a huge fan of Kelley Armstrong, so when I got the chance to review this collection from NetGalley, I was ecstatic. Led Astray is a collection of 23 short stories and novellas, some were from familiar worlds, others were stand-alone stories, unrelated to her previous series. I had read a few of these stories in the past in other anthologies, but most of them were completely new to me, particularly the stand-alones. All of these stories are of the fantasy and paranormal genre – vampires, werewolves, demons, fae, etc. My favorite books by Armstrong are her young adult series (Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising) and I wish there were more stories in this anthology from that universe; however I did love the variety of stories Led Astray offered. This anthology gives you a little bit of everything, stories set in the Darkest Powers universe, the Cainsville universe, the Otherworld universe, as well as many stand-alone stories that are dark and intriguing. * I was given a free copy of this on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is a great collection of stories by one of my favorite authors. I really loved all the stories in this book that were set in Cainsville, this is rapidly becoming one of my all time favorite series that she has written.
For years I have said that I'm a Kelley Armstrong fan, but truth is I'm a fan of her Otherworld Universe. Until now. Now I can say I am fan of Armstrongs work. This book is a fabulous collection of short stories, some from her existing series, but some are standalone tales. I had intended to do short reviews for each of the tales, but some of them are almost impossible to review without spilling some major spoilers. This is a collection of books I will find myself reading again and again. And it has introduced me to the Cainsville series. That's definitely next on my reading list. now i can say I am a fan of Kelley Armstrongs writing.
As a big fan of Kelley Armstrong I was excited to see so many stories included in this collection. With each of these stories you get a glimpse into the wondrous worlds this author has created. If you are a fan of Armstrong you will not be disappointed, and if you are new to her works this will surely make you a fan.
Ms. Armstrong is one of my favorite authors. I love the Otherworld series & read some of her other works. She builds characters & worlds, pulling you in with each sentence. Ms. Armstrong’s characters are complete, and you get to know they type of person she is creating in them. The worlds different from what we live in and she provides you with the details so you can see that. Rakshashi is an interesting tale of a woman who must complete assignments to correct the errors she made in her own life. She has been doing this for over 200 yrs., without being released. If she is released then her master’s family will have to find another way to get income to support themselves. Kat tells you about a young woman who was tested on before she was taken away from it all. She was taught how to survive, but is on the run … is it because of the vampire who raised her or because those testing her want her back? A Haunted House of Her Own is an interesting tale of a couple who are wanting to open a Haunted Bed & Breakfast. But is the house they are buying really haunted or is it just nerves spooking them? Learning Curve is about a vampire who is being stalked. Zoe has been letting this stalker chase her for over 2 weeks. How will she handle this? Or will the stalker handle her instead? The Screams of Dragons is a disturbing tale of a boy who is abused by his grandmother because of dreams he is having about castles. The grandmother fully believes in the folklore of how the Fae would swap their children with those of mankind. She drugs him, making him sick. She beats & refuses to let him eat at night. The parents … they turn a blind eye. This turns a beautiful child into something else. Something shockingly disturbing. The Kitsune’s Nine Tales is about a warrior who was accused of deserting his troops during a battle, as well as being a sorcerer. A man must take this warrior to the Forest of the Dead, the his punishment for this crimes. The guards have been warned that this prisoner will try 9 times to convince them to turn him loose. They have been given the exact things that he will try. Will they make it there & back? Are the charges for the crimes accurate or completely false? Last Stand is about the after effects of an antibiotic that destroys a good part of humankind. Creating two groups … those who were infected by the new virus and those who were not. One group is just trying to live, while the other is set out to destroy them. This group must decide who they are going to fight with so few individuals. Will they use the prisoners they have captured? Or will they simple parish? Bamboozled is set in the Dakota Territory in 1877. You have a group that is set out to for thieving. They choose their targets and then work on completing that mission. But for some reason this “job” does not go exactly as planned. Some of the characters aren’t who they appear to be. Branded is about the after effects of when the paranormal individuals or creatures have come out. Where human-kind has sealed themselves in away from what they fear. If they discover you have paranormal blood, you are branded and exiled. But they, also, use this for other crimes. In this story you read about a young man & woman, one is branded and exiled from the city. The other is distraught and not believing they punished the other correctly. How will they solve this? Will they be able to survive it? The List is simple about a list that was provided of supposedly vampires in . Zoe is determined to listen to what this scientist has to say. She is amused that she is not on this list. She is, also, determined that Brittany (1/2 demon) learns more; educationally, self-defense & style-wise. They both go to listen to Dr. Adair lecture about vampires. Discussing the what he got close to being right about & what he did not. But when you have lectures about vampires, you bring out the strangest individuals & even some of the dangerous ones. Young Bloods is about two vampires who have created a bit of a crime issue in the city they arrived at recently. They are caught on a subway, where a passenger realizes they are the criminals leaving dead drained bodies around the city for the police to investigate. Will this passenger be able to make it off this subway car? Will any of the other passengers? The Door is a strange story. The child in the story has been told never to exit the front door, never to even go out it. She is allowed to be in the back yard, but never the front door. She is not to go over the fence, she must stay in the yard. It is about a small family, that grows to include another child. But the father dies after becoming ill, leaving it to the mother to collect food for her family. Sadly, going out the front door seems to be the reason of the illness. What is causing it? Will the two sisters be able to survive this? Dead Flowers by the Roadside is about a man who looses his wife and child during a vehicle accident 3 months ago. He is devastated & depressed, barely making it though each day. All he wants is to see his wife & daughter again, but the ghosts he does see are not them. Nor will they help him find them or get a message to them … they completely avoid him because they know he will not help them now. Suffer the Children is about a town/village that loose many individuals. Sadly most of them are children. The town is given a chance to “bring the children back from the dead.” There is a cost, financially & ethically. It comes down to what you would consider doing to get your child back … even from death. The Collector discusses different types of puzzles. As well as the person solving them. The woman enjoys solving them, as well as the story that go with them. Gabriel’s Gargoyles is about finding the last gargoyle in Cainsville. In this story you learn what a great deal about Gabriel. He’s mature for his age, as well as determined to discover where the finally gargoyle is. Harbinger is exactly what it says “a person or thing that announces or signals the approach of another.” In this case it happens to be the “spirits” of dead girls who were drowned. The reason for them being there is something that Jenna must discover on her own, because these “spirits” aren’t going to tell her at all. V Plates, I about hit the floor laughing when I figured out what “v plates” meant. I love the Otherworld series, and this one has Nick watching over a teenage Pack mate. From the past stories that involved Nick, you know he’s a “playboy.” So how he handles this “problem” will prove to be interesting! Life Sentence is simply about living & immortality. Everyone wants to live longer. Everyone would also like to be immune to everything. In this story, it is gone over in varies ways. How to become immortal. Pity that people don’t always see the down side. Plan B is something you always need in life. But in this story, you will find that having a Plan B is REQUIRED. The Hunt teaches us that no matter what you hunt, there will always be something or someone out there to make you pay for what you did. Dead to Me explores what happens when a person dies and has not been given what they are searching for. Devil May Care provides an interesting tale of a Fae who lives without responsibility. Oh, he might have an income … but other than that, he enjoys the lack of responsibility. He does not want to be be tied down. He does not want commitment. Sadly, fate or destiny might just jump in & slap you silly if you think you can live that.
This was a collection of short stories that I have never previously read anywhere else. Some were from the Otherworld series, a few from the Cainsville series, one from the Age of Legend series and quite a few that were standalones. As with all of Armstrong’s works, I loved this book and the tiny snippets I received. Armstrong is one of the few authors that can make me actually like a short story (which I usually despise). Even in just a few pages, I become immersed in the author’s writing and lose myself. I have devoured all of the Otherworld books, and have her other series on my wishlist to read and this collection has upped them on my next-to-read-list (especially the Cainville series with the gargoyles and strange people). A few standout stories were: A Haunted House of Her Own- I found the book to be scary and kept me on my toes, the twist I never saw coming and the ending was perfect. Bamboozled- This ended up being my favorite story in the entire collection mainly because I am a sucker for werewolves. It was set in the Otherworld universe, but back in the old west, focusing on a gang that swindled people who may or may not have deserved it. Harbinger and the Collector were also standalone stories that did an awesome job of setting a creepy ambiance and drew me in for crazy endings I never could have predicted. The Door- I was intrigued as to what was really going on and then the ending left so many blanks for me that I would love to have this been a full length story. Branded- This book stated that it was part of the Otherworld universe but nothing that was described could be related to what I know, so I am not sure how it ties in except for werewolves. I would also like to have a longer story for this plot because it raised a LOT of questions. Screams of Dragons- This was such a disturbing story. Anytime kids are involved I am already on alert, but the longer the story went on, the more horrifying it became, yet I could not put it down. This tale has increased my need to read the Cainsville series STAT. V-Plates- I was hoping to read about some of my favorite characters so I was happy to see that there was a Pack story featuring Nick. It was a fun quick read, and I love that Nick is the “coolest dad”. I would love to have more books about Reece and Noah in the future. (hint hint) After reading this collection I realized that Armstrong has the skill to create pretty terrifying plots and settings and I would love to read some horror by her. I was surprised by how much I loved the standalone books since I expected to like the familiar story lines better. Overall, I am in love with everything this author writes and look forward to more. I received this title from the publisher in return for my honest review. The review is also available on my blog at http://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/
Kelley Armstrong is one of my favorite authors. I'll read anything she writes.
I loved these stories! I just can't get enough of the Otherworldl series! I could read each book over and over without ever losing interest! Kelley Armstrong is so talented. I have read each and every book of hers so far, and Led Astray is just another example of perfection! 5 Srars
Each one of these short stories are from her hit Otherworld, Cainsville, Age of Legends, and Darkest Powers/Darkness Rising series or original short stories. Here are my ratings the short stories: Original Short Stories Rakhashi: I needed more information on the Rakhashi! I wish Kelley would write more on them. 6 out of 10 Book Charms A Haunted House of Her Own: We meet married couple Tanya and Nathan, who are seeking out a haunted house in order to transform into a B&B. The more the story unfolds, we find that the story nor the actions of the house are what they seem. Is it truly haunted or a matter of madness? 8 out of 10 Book Charms Last Stand: Different twist on a zombie story. What happens when the monsters become aware and go after the humans that attacked them? 6 out of 10 Book Charms The Door: This story made my cry! A father and mother will do anything to protect their family - even if it means risking their own lives. 8 out of 10 Book Charms Dead Flowers By a Roadside: I could not stop crying with this one. No matter how short it is, you can feel the father's grief over losing his daughter and wife. My only question is did he turn into a ghost in the end? 7 out of 10 Book Charms Suffer the Children: The idea was there, but the resolution fell flat. 6.5 out of 10 Book Charms The Collector: Now I want to track down the Hellraiser short story collection! Great adaption of the Hellraiser lore. 10 out of 10 Book Charms Harbinger: If dead people are trying to give you a warning, listen and don't yell at them. 8.5 out of 10 Book Charms Plan B: Hell Hath no fury than the "Other Woman's" scorn. 7.5 out of 10 Book Charms Dead to Me: Was not expecting how this story went. 7 out of 10 Book Charms Age of Legends The Kitsune's Nine Tales: The Katsune's Nine Tales: 9 Tales = 9 Lies. Beware of the Katsune's tricks. You may end up with a knife in your back. 7 out of 10 Book Charms Cainsville Series Stories The Screams of Dragons: Wow, I'm ready to start reading the Cainsville series! A strange town filled with magnificent beings who only want to help the misunderstood and gifted. Unfortunately, they couldn't help Bobby. Even though someone may come from a dark past, it is up to them to give into the darkness. The ending was completely unexpected! 10 out of 10 Book Charms Gabriel's Gargoyles: Wasn't really needed.... 6 out of 10 Book Charms The Hunt: Sometimes it's not the animal you're hunting, but yourself. 6 out of 10 Book Charms Devil May Care: Prequel to Gabriel's Gargoyles, Love the fae lore aspect! Darkest Powers/Darkness Rising Kat: I haven't read the Darkness Rising series since I was in high school and it looks like I may need to pick them up and refresh. We're reminded of the genetic experiments operations of the Edison Group as they are seeking to retrieve the escaped experiment, Kat. Quick, Simple, but good story from that world. 9 out of 10 Book Charms Branded: It was missing something, I don't know what, but something... 5 out of 10 Book Charms Otherworld Universe Learning Curve: Welcome back to the Otherworld. If you're going to try to stake a vampire, make sure you don't run into Zoe and are better prepared, kids. 6 out of 10 Book Charms Bamboozled: The story as ok. Imagine a heist involving supernaturals that goes wrong. 6 out of 10 Book Charms The List: More like Learning Curve Prt. 2 6 out of 10 Book Charms Young Bloods: Wasn't anything too special. 5 out of 10 Book Charms V Plates: Play on "V-Card"! I missed Nick from this series! 8 out of 10 Book Charms Life Sentence: A bit slow, but love the ending! 7 out of 10 Book Charms