Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

This is an absolutely brilliant collection. One that I didn’t want to put down and introduced me to a whole new genre. It’s my first ever Gaslamp collection, and although I found some of the stories throughout a little weird and intense… I also loved the vast majority of them. Enough so that I plan to read this again and again in the future.

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Night Vision by Maria V. Snyder

Absolutely loved the idea of a “Light Bender” that was the core paranormal stake in this story. It was a completely unique take on a paranormal being. And one that I found more relatable and plausible than many of the paranormal beings I read about (at least the light sensitivity and ability to see in the dark anyway).

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Altar Boy by Jonathan Maberry

I love that this short story features a “recovering bad guy”. Unlike the other short stories in the Urban Enemies collection, this villain isn’t really trying to be a villain anymore. Rather, he is trying to atone for some of the horrifying acts that he has committed in the past. It’s a nice change from the more typical villain stories throughout the collection.

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Circle Unbroken by Ann Aguirre

I’ve always imagined reincarnation as a bit of a circle – alright, in my head it’s a seriously squiggly, knotted line. But, it joins up at either end in a never ending loop, so it’s kind of like a circle. Which means that a story in which this rebirth has been interrupted… it was kind of quickly going to pull me in.

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The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket

The third instalment in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series is just as hilariously tragic as the rest of the books. It is filled with everything and anything you could possibly think of going wrong. Which is exactly what you should be expecting by this point in the series. Yet, its still pleasantly surprising and somewhat brilliant in all of its horrible glory. Especially since, whilst you know that everything is going to go wrong… you’re not entirely sure how it will go so awry.

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The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket

This is quite possibly the first ever non-creepy snake story that I’ve ever read. Actually, it’s the first ever story which I’ve read in which snakes aren’t evil, kind of cute, and a lot of fun. The Baudelaire children in fact are very sad to leave the snake house (which they must because this is A Series of Unfortunate Events and nothing good every happens).

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