Review: Led Astray

Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong

This is how fairy tales should to be - grim and harsh. @KelleyArmstrong #Bookreview

Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong by Kelley Armstrong

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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.

*provided by NetGalley

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