Tag Archives: Nathan Ballingrud

Sunbleached by Nathan Ballingrud

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Sunbleached
Author: Nathan Ballingrud
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 15th August 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: That’s why it’s so easy for us to seduce.

Synopsis

Josh thinks he has the perfect plan – he’s got a vampire trapped, he’s going to be immortal and he’s going to get rid of his mum’s annoying boyfriend. But, as with all teenage plans, things just don’t quite go to plan.

Thoughts

I always want to yell at the silly children in vampire stories who make a deal with, well, a vampire… I mean, come on! Haven’t you read the stories? Don’t you understand that it NEVER TURNS OUT WELL?!?!?

This story was no different. I spent the whole time metaphoriy banging my head against an imaginary wall… I mean, seriously Josh? You expected any of this to end in any other way? Silly, silly boy…

Alright, even though I was constantly finding Josh frustrating and seriously silly in this… I did also enjoy the story. It was one of those that you knew things would end bad, but you kind of wanted to see HOW they would end badly…

<- Sit the DeadBaby ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Naked City edited by Ellen Datlow

Overview
naked-city

Title: Naked City
Author: Ellen Datlow, Jim Butcher, Delia Sherman, Richard Bowes, Ellen Kushner, Christopher Fowler, Patricia Briggs, Pat Cadigan, Peter S. Beagle, Naomi Novik, Matthew Kressel, Kit Reed, Lavie Tidhar, Nathan Ballingrud, Melissa Marr, John Crowley, Holly Black, Jeffrey Ford, Lucius Shepard, Caitlin R. Kiernan & Elizabeth Bear
In: Naked City (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Short story collections, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 28th June – 26th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Out in Brooklyn in a couple of spots you can walk down a street and almost think it’s a hundred and twenty-five years ago.

Synopsis

In this thrilling collection of original stories, some of today’s hottest paranormal authors delight, thrill, and captivate readers with otherworldly tales of magic and mischief. In Jim Butcher’s “Curses”, Harry Dresden investigates how to lift a curse laid by the Fair Folk on the Chicago Cubs. In Patricia Briggs’s “Fairy Gifts”, a vampire is called home by magic to save the Fae who freed him from a dark curse. In Melissa Marr’s “Guns for the Dead”, the newly dead Frankie Lee seeks a job in the afterlife on the wrong side of the law. In Holly Black’s “Noble Rot”, a dying rock star discovers that the young woman who brings him food every day has some strange appetites of her own.

Featuring original stories from twenty authors, this dark, captivating, fabulous, and fantastical collection is not to be missed!

Thoughts

This is a seriously diverse collection of urban fantasy short stories. Not to mention fun and engaging. Probably moving right to the top of my list if I’m being honest. Normally my purview of urban fantasy is kind of small. But the breadth and width of these stories and the style in which they’re written… just wow.

I loved the fact that most of these short stories were standalones. I used to really enjoy finding new series through short stories and novellas. But, I have so many now that sometimes just reading a standalone without having to hunt out more of that world (I’m obsessive, I do this EVERY time) was kind of nice. I got a great taste of the imaginations and storytelling talents of a variety of authors, without actually feeling the need to buy more, more, more. Honestly, there is nothing worse than finding myself a new series to obsess over and then realising that I have a whole slew of new books to buy…

Although this is an urban fantasy collection, it does have a darker twist to it than usual. Every single one of these stories is a little bit dark, a lot bit fun and most don’t have a happy ending. Which, I tend to love, because I get a bit over all the happily ever afters… but it’s definitely something to keep in mind as you rip through the stories.

<- CorpsemouthCurses ->

Image source: Patricia Briggs

The Way Station by Nathan Ballingrud

Overview
naked-city

Title: The Way Station
Author: Nathan Ballingrud
In: Naked City (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 6th November 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: I’m worried, bro.

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Synopsis

We are all slightly lost, but Beltrane is more lost than most. Especially when he is forced to leave his own city. Will he embrace the beauty of his past, or the hope of his future?

Thoughts

We’ve all felt like we’re a little in the “between”. Which means that a story about this feeling makes total sense, and is a completely relatable feeling. Alright, the paranormal, drifty feel of the story isn’t as relatable. But that in between, lost ideal is.

Beltrane is an engaging lead. Normally I would find a man like this as a lead a little bit tedious and irritating. Yet, there is something relatable about him – his sense of loss with the advent of Katherine, his need to reconnect, but his unwillingness to let go of his past. This is echoed gloriously in the flickering between the stories’ timelines.

Whilst Beltrane didn’t really seem creepy, the presence of the other Betweeners highlighted that there is just something not right about his foot in the past. We all need to find a way to move forwards in our life, and sometimes to do so we have to actually let go of the past.

 <- The Projected Girl ReviewGuns for the Dead Review ->
Image source: Patricia Briggs