ARC Review: Led Astray by Kelley Armstrong

September 6, 2015 Review 32 ★★★½

ARC Review: Led Astray by Kelley Armstrong
Led Astray by Kelley Armstrong
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Source: Publisher
Pages: 384
Release Date: September 15th 2015
Genres: Anthology, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal
Two brand new tales anchor this wide-ranging collection from one of urban fantasy's most successful authors. Here is the first time that best-selling fantasy, YA, and crime author Kelley Armstrong has had her stories collected from Otherworld and beyond. With her signature twists and turns, Armstrong gives a fresh spin on city-dwelling vampires, werewolves, and zombies, while also traveling further afield, to a post-apocalyptic fortress, a superstitious village, a supernatural brothel, and even to feudal Japan.

With tales that range from humorous to heart-stopping, these are the stories that showcase Kelley Armstrong at her versatile best.
This book may be unsuitable for younger readers due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence. Note that this review itself does not contain any inappropriate material.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


I’m always a little hesitant when it comes to anthologies, as my experience with them can be varied. Still, when the opportunity to review LED ASTRAY came along, I couldn’t pass it up. I’ve fallen in love with some of Armstrong’s past novels, like her Darkest Powers series and was anxious to read more of her writing.

Usually, my main issue with anthologies is that the story can feel incomplete due to the length or the characters aren’t developed enough. I had no such problems with the majority of the stories in LED ASTRAY; each of them were entertaining, and some I now can even call favorites. Also, ironically, my favorites were sometimes the shortest ones.

There are so many different genres mixed into this anthology: fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, and even a little horror was thrown in. There are some stories more geared towards adults and some to YA, but they are all enjoyable and will appeal to multiple audiences.

Some stories from her Darkest Powers, Age of Legends, Cainsville, and Otherworld universes, plus some standalones. They all read as companions, which was incredibly helpful as I have not yet read some of her adult series. You can jump right into the narrative without confusion. Some of my favorites like Rakshashi, The Door, and Harbinger were standalones, and they stood strong enough alone and still felt like a complete story.

Armstrong’s writing pulls you in and keeps your interest. All the stories were well thought out and imaginative, and the conclusions to some will definitely not be what you expected! There are some pretty creepy ones in here as well. They might not keep you up at night, but they definitely can give you a chill and raise the hair on the back of your neck.

I would definitely recommend this to Kelley Armstrong fans, and fans of related genres.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.5

32 Responses to “ARC Review: Led Astray by Kelley Armstrong”

  1. Joy // Joyousreads

    I’ve wondered about this book when I started seeing it everywhere. I, too, am not much of a fan of anthologies especially one that was set in world I’m not that familiar with. In this case, her Otherworld series. I am a huge fan of her YA series, though. And her writing is so easy to get into.

    Great review, Alise!
    Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…Hoarders, Books Edition: Episode 159

    • Alise

      This was was pretty good, it gives a sample of a lot of different styles and genres of her writing. Same, I love her YA series!

      Thank you!

  2. Faye la Patata

    Interesting! As someone who hasn’t read a single Kelley Armstrong book but want to try her writing, I could get this one! It would be a good sample to see her hand in the different genres :D

  3. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I often have the same issues with anthologies but from the way you described this one, I think I could enjoy it too! I love Armstrong’s Darkest Powers trilogy and most of her other books/series are on my tbr shelf. I like the idea of reading shorter stories, as stand-alones or as part of her other series. And for some reason, I feel like a bunch of shorter stories would read quite quickly too, which is always fun :D Awesome review Alise^^ ♥
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Fandom Mashup #18

    • Alise

      I think you would! There is such a great variety of stories here, and each of them are pretty interesting. Yeah, they did! Quick but effective at telling a story, which was great. Thanks :3

    • Alise

      Thank you! She has some great stuff, and in so many different genres so I think you could find something to enjoy :) Thanks!

  4. Romi

    This does sound interesting, Alise! I’m not that fond of anthologies, either, because I need longer with the characters to love them and be able to settle into their stories, and I have only had that once. The Assassin’s Blade was the best collection of short stories I’ve ever read, and the pace was perfect. But I’m reluctant to try short story collections and anthologies, unless I love the author or authors, because there are so few examples of times I’ve really loved them.
    I’m happy this was pretty good for you! It’s nice, reading extra work from an author you’re already a fan of that isn’t necessarily set in the world- or is!- that you recognise their work from.
    Nice review!
    Romi recently posted…My individualistic writing and editing process of terror.

    • Alise

      I completely understand, I usually have the same issues with anthologies. I feel like these were told in a way where the message and/or plot was the driving force, so the characters didn’t HAVE to be as developed, if that makes same. Understandable! Thanks :)

  5. A Canadian Girl

    I avoid anthologies and so probably won’t read this one, but thanks for reminding me to read another one of Armstrong’s books. I read the Darkest Powers series way back in high school but haven’t read any of her novels since. I have a copy of The Gathering; have you read it and what did you think?
    A Canadian Girl recently posted…Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

  6. Kat Snark

    I’ve been looking to starting in on Kelley Armstrong for quite some time. Would you recommend I start with a certain series or anthology first?

    • Alise

      Hmm, I would actually maybe recommend this book to see what sort of genre and age group you prefer! I’ve only read her YA books, like the Darkest Powers series, but this has a wide variety of stories in it that I think would help you narrow it down :)

    • Alise

      I’m usually not a fan of anthologies either but this one worked really well for me, there wasn’t a story that made me go wow, this feels incomplete.

  7. Kirsty-Marie Jones

    Everytime I’ve tried one of hers I haven’t gotten into it, so maybe these would be more my thing? I’m glad they read more like companions, considering I haven’t read any of hers, haha. But yay for them not feeling like they were uncomplete (that’s usually my issue with anthologies too, which is why I haven’t read many).
    Kirsty-Marie Jones recently posted…Yo, Queen of Shadows, I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish, but Crown of Midnight was the best book in one of my all time favourite series.

    • Alise

      Yeah, there are some much shorter stories in here that would be a really great way to see whether or not her writing is for you.

  8. Lola

    I really enjoyed this one as well, I have read almost all of Kelley her full lenght books, except for her newest YA series the Age of Legends. I really enjoyed the Cainsville stories as they really add something to the world and reveal more.
    I was really happy with how you could jump into every story without being confused. Some of the standalones were really done well. I also liked it that most of the stories had some sort of twist. This really was a great anthology for those new and familiar with her writing. Great Review!
    Lola recently posted…Review: The Storm Behind Your Eyes by Alicia Kat Vancil

    • Alise

      I haven’t read her adult books yet but I want to! Good to know, the Cainsville stories were interesting so I’d like to see more from that world. Right? I liked that too. Yeah! The one about buying the haunted house-did not expect that AT ALL. Thanks :)

      • Lola

        I would definitely recommend her adult books, I really love the Cainsville series so far! And her Otherworld series is awesome too. The twist with the haunted house one was done really well. The Zombie one also took me by susprise when you realized who the zombies were. I thought it was very well done how almost all stories had some sort of twist.
        Lola recently posted…My To-Be Read List #13: chosen book

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