Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong by Kelley Armstrong

September 17th, 2015 Kimberly Review 65 Comments

17th Sep
Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong by Kelley Armstrong
Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong
by Kelley Armstrong
Genres: Anthologies
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

With her signature twists and turns, New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong (Otherworld, Cainsville, Darkest Powers, Age of Legends) always gives a fresh spin on city-dwelling vampires, werewolves, and zombies. She is equally exciting when traveling further afield, to a post-apocalyptic fortress, a superstitious village, a supernatural brothel, and even feudal Japan. Here is the first time that urban fantasy, young adult, mystery, and crime author Kelley Armstrong has had her stories collected from Otherworld and beyond. From humorous to heart-stopping, and including two original tales, Led Astray showcases Armstrong at her versatile best.

Fans of Kelley Armstrong are sure to love Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong. Within its pages are short stories of various lengths. Some are from the wonderful series she has created and others are standalone. I am currently reading her Cainsville series, but thanks to these short stories I fully intend to begin the Otherworld series this winter.

Spoiler free thoughts on the stories within Led Astray

  • Rakshashi (standalone) – This was a nice little standalone and introduced us to Amrita. She is a  Rakshashi who is doing penance for the life she lived previously. I found the myth and story to be interesting. Armstrong delivered a twist at the end that I quite enjoyed.
  • Kat (Darkest Powers universe, non-series narrator) Kat is set in the world of the Darkest Powers series, a young adult series. This was action packed as young Kat and a vampire named Marguerite flew from those who purse them. I found Kat’s story interesting her past, why she is with Marguerite and what she is. If this is a sample of the Darkest Powers world I want more.
  • A Haunted House of Her Own (standalone)- This was good and a perfect tale to share on Halloween. A young couple renovating a “haunted” bed & breakfast with a twisted twist.
  • Learning Curve (Otherworld universe, Zoe) This was short, but I loved Zoe. She is snarky, and her interaction with her stalker made me want to learn more about both of them.
  • The Screams of Dragons (Cainsville universe, non-series narrator) This was dark and creeptastic. Those who haven’t read the series need not worry, but it will give you a taste of Cainsville and perhaps make you shiver.
  • The Kitsune’s Nine Tales (Age of Legends universe, non-series narrator) This tells the story of a warrior sentenced to death in the Dead Forest, he is escorted by three of the king’s guards. Their leader has been warned at how clever Alvar is and we witness his warnings come to fruition. This offered a clever twist.
  • Last Stand (standalone) This was a post-apocalyptic story about a group of survivors holding up in an old farm. Armstrong delivered a jaw-dropping twist with this one, showcasing her ability to craft clever tales. I was impressed.
  • Bamboozled (Otherworld universe, non-series narrator) A band of outlaw thieves who are more than they seem. The story takes place in the Dakota Territories in the year 1877. The paranormal twist was interesting and has me curious about the Otherworld universe.
  • Branded (Otherworld universe, non-series narrator) The more I read about the Otherworld the more interested I become. This story begins within the walls of a human compound where humans have separated themselves from supernatural beings. The town discovers that a young man among them is a  werewolf. We learn what they do to him and then Armstrong weaves a crafty tale.
  • The List (Otherworld universe, Zoe) I was so excited to visit with Zoe again, I quite like this character.
  • Young Bloods (Otherworld universe, non-series narrator) The metro, vampires and a clever twist made this one a winner.
  • The Door (standalone, original to this collection) This was unique and the perfect tale to share. It highlights Armstrong’s talents at weaving a captivating tale.
  • Dead Flowers by a Roadside (standalone) Grab the truffles and tissues before starting this one. Not a favorite.
  • Suffer the Children (standalone) I loved Addie and Armstrong brought her to life in this dark and disturbing tale. This is not for the faint of heart.  *shivers*
  • The Collector (standalone) Stick with this even if at first you are a tad confused because it become very interesting. I loved the puzzle boxes and Armstrong delivered.
  • Gabriel’s Gargoyles (Cainsville universe, Gabriel) Now this is a series I am reading, so I was excited for this story. I love learning more about Gabriel and Armstrong shared some deets as Gabriel finds the last gargoyle.
  • Harbinger (standalone) Ghosts, and a young woman who I felt deeply for. This one kept me on edge.
  • V Plates (Otherworld universe, Nick) In this story we meet Nick, Reese and Noah. I haven’t read the Otherworld stories yet, but this was interesting with a touch of humor. Each taste I get of this world has me craving more.
  • Life Sentence (Otherworld universe, non-series narrator) Daniel is determined to become immortal. This was weird, and it took me a while to get a sense of the characters but the author pulled it all together.
  • Plan B (standalone) This little mystery with is unlikable cast of characters offered up a thrilling suspense. While I figured some aspects out the author managed to surprise me in the end.
  • The Hunt (Cainsville universe, non-series narrator) A really short story set in the world of Cainsville and based on mythology. This had potential but it was just too short to sink my teeth into.
  • Dead to Me (standalone) This reminded me of those campfire stories where you end up scratching your head at the end and thinking,  “What the heck just happened?”
  • Devil May Care (Cainsville universe, Patrick, original to this collection) I enjoyed this, but feel a little like I out the cart before the horse. I have not read Visions yet..but guess who is starting it STAT. Devil May Care renewed my excitement for the series.

Led Astray is a wonderful collection for fans of Kelley Armstrong and for those curious about her work. All the stories even those set within her series worked as standalone giving readers a taste of her writing and a look into the worlds she has created. My personal favorites were; Last Stand, The Door, and Suffer the Children.

About Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers’ dismay. All efforts to make her produce “normal” stories failed. Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She’s the author of the NYT-bestselling “Women of the Otherworld” paranormal suspense series and “Darkest Powers” young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw and Howler. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Find @kimbacaffeinate on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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65 Responses to “Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong by Kelley Armstrong”

  1. Olivia

    At first I was never for reading short story collections but I have read quite a few this year and have decided that I really like them. I have never read anything by this author so I will probably start with her novels but I will bear this one in mind for the future!

  2. MarthaE

    That is quite a collection! I don’t think I have read this author but these look like stories I would enjoy. I will add her to my wish list.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Lorna

    I haven’t ever read her, but I do watch Bitten on television. I really need to try her work, and you really about talked me into it with your review. There’s just too many series that I want to read 🙂

  4. Cyn

    My co-blogger Kim loves Kelley Armstrong, but I haven’t read anything of her’s yet. This might be a good taste for her writing!
    Awesome review, Kim!

  5. Sarah

    I’m not a huge fan of anthologies, but Kelly Armstrong used to be a favorite author of mine. This review has reminded me I need to pick up some of her newer novels!

  6. Bookworm Brandee

    I will definitely pick this up. I’ve read Armstrong’s Darkest Powers series and some of her Otherworld series. I need to catch up in it though. I love her world building and characters. I’m glad you enjoyed this anthology!

  7. Stormi

    Do you need to have read most of her books to enjoy this collection? I always wonder that when I see collections like this, I have only read a couple of hers though I did just buy Bitten a few months ago from bookoutlet.com! (that place is addicting…lol). 🙂

  8. Melanie Simmons

    I love all things Kelley Armstrong. I love these anthologies. I like that we get these glimpses into secondary characters lives and a deeper dive into the phenomenal worlds that she builds.

  9. Rita

    I have the first Cainsville, unread still, and I read The Gathering last year. I look forward to her Women of the Otherworld collection. Sounds like fun and from what I’ve read about the author, she seems like lots of fun too 🙂

  10. Kathy

    What a beautiful cover!! I didn’t realize this was a collection, either. I really am missing my paranormal reading so maybe as Halloween approaches, I’ll pull some off my shelf.

  11. Katherine

    I won a copy of Armstrong’s book Deceptions in a giveaway hosted by Bea and I’m really excited to read it. I like these anthologies as well. They can be a great way to get a sense of the author if you’re new to them. The story about the haunted B&B sounds especially intriguing.

  12. Ramona

    Quite a large collection, and very interesting at that. I like her writing, she’s got a great sense of pacing 🙂

  13. Bea

    Such a good collection and so varied. I’d read most before but there were a few new ones. I don’t think there was a bad story in the bunch.

  14. Kristin

    I started reading her Otherworld series and just couldn’t get into it past the first book. Weird, I know. But I enjoy her little stories in all the anthologies she puts stories in so I’m sure I’d like this whole book. You did a lot of work for this review, that’s for sure!!! 🙂

  15. Heidi

    I havent’ read enough Armstrong to read this yet. I think I would be a little bit lost. Glad though that for an anthology it was a win for you.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Not at all Heidi…these might be in the worlds but aren’t necessary to the series..so the setting is similar. I have only read book one of Cainsville..although I own two and three #realworldprobelms.

  16. Carrie

    I’m a huge Kelley Armstrong fan. I haven’t been reading much YA lately, but I have a ton of it to read. I’m going to get this book.

    Great post!

  17. Nick

    I haven’t read anything by Kelly Armstrong but I clearly need to change that since she has so many fans and they all have only great things to say about her writing!

  18. Quinn's Book Nook

    I read my very first Kelley Armstrong about a month ago. I read The Masked Truth which comes on out next month and I LOVED it! I definitely want to read more of her books.

  19. Lola

    I really enjoyed this anthology! I have read most of Kelley her books, except for her age of legends series. The stories set in Cainsville were probably my favorite, although that might be because I was reading Visions at the same time as this one. Some of the standalones were really good too. And I liked how every story had some sort of twist. Dead Flowers by the Roadside wasn’t my favorite either, it was just so sad. Suffer the Children was very well written, it was creepy, but very interesting as well. I think it’s better to read Visions before Devil May Care as it’s a bit spoily if you haven’t read Visions yet. Great Review!

  20. Silvia

    I didn’t particularly enjoyed Bitten, but I had a good time with every novella in her Otherworld Nights collection. I’m glad to hear this one actually worked so well for you, I may try it at some point 🙂

  21. Jeann

    Short stories drive me crazy, but this would definitely be a fantastic sampler for those who are curious about her work! I have wanted to read some of her PNR series for a while.

  22. Christy

    The only thing I’ve read by Armstrong is Suffer the Children. It’s in another anthology, but that was the only story in it that really stuck with me. I’m definitely going to read more of her books though.