Thursday, July 18, 2013

REVIEW: Carniepunk: Parlor Tricks by Jennifer Estep

Carniepunk: Parlor TricksCarniepunk: Parlor Tricks by Jennifer Estep
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This short story was a delightful interlude in the Elemental Assassin series, one of my favorite-adjacent urban fantasy series. Unlike the many other short stories in the series that are flashbacks and, to be honest, rather dull backstory building, this one took place in the present and had a fair amount of action. It was more than I thought it was going to have. Nothing that happened in the story had an impact on the series at large or would necessitate a read if you’re a follower of the series; it was only a slice of life story of a not-so-retired assassin, the series’ star Gin Blanco.

In this short story, Gin helped her younger cop sister, Bria, search for a lost girl at a transient carnival where the victim was last seen. I liked the story fine up until the bad guys ambushed our heroines and they almost got killed. I would have preferred Gin and Bria to discover the truth and the bad guys through their investigation. Our kickass heroines were lucky the bad guys didn’t kill them immediately. The Evil Gloating was cheesy but I admit it made the following asskicking gratifying.

The asskicking was my favorite part of the story, and I was ecstatic that Gin took no hesitation to magic up and magically whup their asses. Of course, she still used her special knives, her trademark weapon of assassination, but her super magic was what saved the day. I couldn’t believe this short story seemed to display more magic asskicking from Gin than most of the main books. I’ve been hankering for this kind of action because the series is unfaithfully stingy with it. I was happy to receive a good lengthy one in this short story.

In Conclusion

I rate Carniepunk: Parlor Tricks 3-stars for I liked it. This is a short story from the Carniepunk urban fantasy anthology. You can get the individual short story for free as an ebook on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Be advised that half of the ebook is the actual short story, “Parlor Tricks,” and the other half are excerpts of the other short stories offered in Carniepunk anthology. The free short story: good promotion. The excerpts taking up half of the ebook: bad promotion; publishers, don’t do this.

Anyway, if you’re looking for an urban fantasy appetizer as in-between read, this short story comes recommended. It’s simple: search for missing girl. It’s classic: good guys beat bad guys. It’s free.

Goodreads | Amazon

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