cover image Kiss Me Deadly: 13 Tales of Paranormal Love

Kiss Me Deadly: 13 Tales of Paranormal Love

Edited by Trisha Telep, Running Press Teens, $9.95 paper (416p) ISBN 978-0-7624-3949-2

"Paranormal love" may be the subtitle, but it's better to approach this anthology as paranormal, period. Most of the writers are more occupied with communicating the otherworldly apparatus of their tales than with supernaturally inflected romance. Daniel Marks's story about purgatory, "Vermillion," overstuffed with cultures, time periods, and genres, is perhaps the most extreme of these. In a few cases, such as Sarah Rees Brennan's Peter Pan/James Bond mashup, "The Spy Who Never Grew Up," a potentially cool concept misfires. It's notable that several stories tease their authors' series: "Errant" by Diana Peterfreund (Rampant) is a harsh and poignant take on the unicorn myth; Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush) delves into the angelic possession of Chauncey Langeais; and Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth) offers a story about devastating decisions in villages threatened by the Unconsecrated. The most successful stories come from authors willing to forgo the happy ending. Maggie Stiefvater captures the agony of first loss in "The Hounds of Ulster." And Daniel Waters, in a companion to his Generation Dead books, looks at the tragedy of "differently biotic" children through the eyes of an anguished father. Ages 14–up. (Aug.)