Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Book Received: Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong

Led Astray: The Best of Kelley ArmstrongOne of the best aspects of my job is receiving the finished product -- the published book -- after having worked so hard on the project, either as the editor, copy editor, proofreader, or all of the above.

This is how I began my June 30, 2015, blog post when I first wrote about my work on this collection:

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So, what does 148,000 words of short fiction physically look like? A stack of manuscript pages 2¼ inches high; or 530 pages, to be exact!

That's the size of the manuscript for "the best of" short story collection Led Astray by Kelley Armstrong, forthcoming in September from Tachyon Publications.
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Well, September is now -- Tachyon Publications, unlike the majority of independent presses, always ships ahead of schedule -- my comp copies of Led Astray arrived this past week. And those original 2¼ inches of manuscript pages? They became 535 layout pages in the published trade paperback edition.

For those not acquainted with Ms. Armstrong's work, her novels have made her a #1 New York Times bestselling author -- and the stories in Led Astray are a great starting point for new readers, since you get a taste of her many worlds. And as for seasoned readers, these stories will add depth to those worlds you are already familiar with.

Here's an excerpt from one review, courtesy of Net Galley:
...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... 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 in to 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 [collection] could be devoured in one sitting. It's best to savour each story by itself. The deferred gratification by slowly consuming each story...makes this painfully pleasurable book last longer... 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 lure 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 makes the stories unpredictable...being off balance is exhilarating. There is a certain horror aspect to several of these stories... This book is highly recommended to those who enjoy darkness and things that go bump in the night.
~ La Crimson F

Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong can now be ordered from Amazon, or from your favorite bookseller.

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