Book Review – Joy to the Worlds: Mysterious Speculative Fiction for the Holidays by Maia Chance, Janine A. Southard, Raven Oak, G. Clemans.

4 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank Grey Sun Press for providing me with a free ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an open and honest review.

Christmas time is almost upon us, I’m a dyed in the wool speculative fiction/ urban fantasy fan… how could I not find this group of short stories enjoyable?

Yes, as with any anthology, some of the tales were more a miss with me than a hit… but the overall selection was good and made for an enjoyable read.

‘Joy to the Worlds’ is a compilation of little snippets of urban fantasy worlds (some within our own, some not) all with the under lying theme of Christmas. No two stories alike – other than the Christmas theme – and for me, a great introduction to some authors I’d not yet read before. Which is exactly what an anthology is meant to be about, so a really great combo all round.

I couldn’t give it the full five stars as there was the odd bit here and there I didn’t enjoy or connect with. Sorry for being an overly picky Pagan, but making Yule and the winter Solstice two separate occasions still haunts me as annoying two days after I read that story. I’m cruel, I know… but that was a fantastic story all the same.

Would I recommend this book to others? Yes I would. It was a great little anthology of Christmas themed stories. I would advise people it had more of a YA/ NA feel to it… but as I love these sub-genres too I had no issues. But I would mention it just to prepare the reader a little more as I’ve known people to dislike a book I’d recommended as I failed to mention it was YA. Oops!

Would I buy this book for myself? Yes, I can see it being added to my electronic bookshelves and one to read when it ‘tis the season’. But I am the kind of book nerd who matches her reading lists to the times of the year they suit. So I do grab a certain Zelazny come October… and read about Green Knowe come Christmas. What is life without a little literary whimsy?

In summary: A good, well-paced and enjoyable anthology of speculative fiction/ urban fantasy short stories set around Christmas time. It is an enjoyable read, suits to season for this urban fantasy junkie and all in all something I suggest you pop in your eBook stocking tomorrow!

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO


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