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Beyond the Pale is an anthology of fantasy, urban fantasy and paranormal stories that skirt the border between our world and others. Was that my imagination, or did I hear something under my bed? What was that blurred movement in my darkened closet? There is but a thin Veil separating the real and the fantastic, and therein dwell the inhabitants of these stories. Beyond t Beyond the Pale is an anthology of fantasy, urban fantasy and paranormal stories that skirt the border between our world and others. Was that my imagination, or did I hear something under my bed? What was that blurred movement in my darkened closet? There is but a thin Veil separating the real and the fantastic, and therein dwell the inhabitants of these stories. Beyond the Pale contains twelve short stories by award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors Saladin Ahmed (Throne of the Crescent Moon), Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn), Heather Brewer (Vladimir Tod), Jim Butcher (Dresden Files), Rachel Caine (The Weather Warden), Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures), Nancy Holder (Wicked), Gillian Philip (Rebel Angels), and Jane Yolen (Owl Moon). The noun “pale” refers to a stake (as in impaling vampires) or pointed piece of wood (as in a paling fence). “Pale” came to refer to an area enclosed by a paling fence. Later, it acquired the figurative meaning of an enclosed and therefore safe domain. Conversely, "beyond the pale" means foreign, strange, or threatening. You are about to go Beyond the Pale.


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Beyond the Pale is an anthology of fantasy, urban fantasy and paranormal stories that skirt the border between our world and others. Was that my imagination, or did I hear something under my bed? What was that blurred movement in my darkened closet? There is but a thin Veil separating the real and the fantastic, and therein dwell the inhabitants of these stories. Beyond t Beyond the Pale is an anthology of fantasy, urban fantasy and paranormal stories that skirt the border between our world and others. Was that my imagination, or did I hear something under my bed? What was that blurred movement in my darkened closet? There is but a thin Veil separating the real and the fantastic, and therein dwell the inhabitants of these stories. Beyond the Pale contains twelve short stories by award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors Saladin Ahmed (Throne of the Crescent Moon), Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn), Heather Brewer (Vladimir Tod), Jim Butcher (Dresden Files), Rachel Caine (The Weather Warden), Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures), Nancy Holder (Wicked), Gillian Philip (Rebel Angels), and Jane Yolen (Owl Moon). The noun “pale” refers to a stake (as in impaling vampires) or pointed piece of wood (as in a paling fence). “Pale” came to refer to an area enclosed by a paling fence. Later, it acquired the figurative meaning of an enclosed and therefore safe domain. Conversely, "beyond the pale" means foreign, strange, or threatening. You are about to go Beyond the Pale.

30 review for Beyond the Pale

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Mansfield

    4.5 stars actually. This is an absolutely fantastic collection of fantasy stories aimed at older Young Adults written by top-notch authors that all centre around the abstract theme of that thin veil that separates our world from the beyond. With most anthologies as a reader I always expect a mixed bag with perhaps a dud or two but Beyond the Pale is without exception the best collection of short stories I've read this year and this is my 10th. The stories range from great to excellent. Most of th 4.5 stars actually. This is an absolutely fantastic collection of fantasy stories aimed at older Young Adults written by top-notch authors that all centre around the abstract theme of that thin veil that separates our world from the beyond. With most anthologies as a reader I always expect a mixed bag with perhaps a dud or two but Beyond the Pale is without exception the best collection of short stories I've read this year and this is my 10th. The stories range from great to excellent. Most of the authors I had heard of, several I'd already read and the others I would read again. A couple of my all-time favourite authors are included here also: Peter S. Beagle and Jane Yolen. Superb! 1. Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela by Saladin Ahmed (2009) - A fine story to open this collection with! Hard to describe its genre as just what exactly but mostly it resembles a tale of the Arabian Nights with touches of Frankenstein, mythological creatures or perhaps demons and a narrative similar to Dracula's Jonathan Harker as he tells the tale of his strange journey and the summons he receives. Well done! (4/5) 2. The Children of the Shark God by Peter S. Beagle (2010) - I love this author and have read a lot of his work. This story grabbed me from the first paragraph as I entered the folkloric story of the shark god. The plot is quite simple and basic, one done many times, of the god transforming into human form, taking a maiden as his wife and siring offspring, here it is twins. He only returns to visit the wife once a year but the children are never told who their father is. It is Beagle's magical writing that transcends this tale beyond the typical plot. It is beautiful and ends up dealing with death (as much of his work does) and the selfishness of wallowing in one's own grief over the death of a loved one. Lovely! (5/5) 3. Misery by Heather Brewer (2012) - Misery is a small town but no one knows how it got its name. Certainly no one is ever miserable. They are all quite jolly, to a degree. They do wish, perhaps that Misery had colours, like somewhere they've been before, but no, Misery is black, white and shades of grey. And every year every one has a day when they get a Gift from the one with the psychic connection able to give the Gifts. Alek is afraid his Gift will be bad this year, not because it has ever happened to anyone before, but because he has an inner sense about it. And when Alek receives his Gift it is something the gift giver has only given once before. Nothing. (not just *not* a present). Nothingness. The absence of being... Creepy. Loved it (5/5) 4. Shadow Children by Heather Brewer (2010) - This is a new author for me so I was hoping this would be as good as the previous story by her, and no disappointment here. Total creep-out! Little brother Jon is afraid of the monsters in his room at night and big brother Dax is stuck babysitting him. Dax thinks to let Jon "cry it out" leaving him in the dark a little longer but the piercing scream sends him running. Then the two of them are battling not their just their own lives but the lives of the entire human race. Creepy!! (5/5) 5. Evan Hand by Jim Butcher (2010)- I'm not a Dresden Files reader; tried the first book and it didn't work for me. This story takes place in that world and is told by Marcone. It's an ok story about the underworld involving demons, etc and has a bit of a Cal MacDonald vibe. But Cal is waaay better. Harry is not actually in this story. First story I didn't love. (3/5) 6. Red Run by Kami Garcia (2012)- Oh, a ghost story! A girl goes out along a haunted road at night to get the ghost who has killed six people over the years including her older brother. Really, really, really good. Everything a ghost story needs and very tense at the end, not knowing what is going to happen. I hadn't heard of this author before. (5/5) 7. Pale Rider by Nancy Holder (2012) - Awesome! This is longer than any others yet and could be the story the title of the anthology is based on. This story actually feels very much like the prologue of a novel; it is so in depth, and even though it ends perfectly a whole novel could follow up from the story. Eight years after the end of the world a an African-American girl is found by a German young man and taken to Germany, there she discovers her magical talent and together they search for the answers that caused the great apocalypse. Wonderful fantasy about fairies and goblins. (5/5) 8. Frost Child by Gillian Philip (2011) - This starts with an editor's note explaining the story is a prequel to the author's novel "Firebrand". It is a haunting story of how a little girl came to be found and brought back to her own people and yet she is quite different. A tale of the Sithe, witches and kelpies. The girl is a fascinating creature but there is a darkness about her that is not evil, but uncomfortable. Well-written. I haven't read this author before (4/5) 9. South by Gillian Philip (2012) - Another haunting story of the sea but selkies this time. I love selkies! A generational story of a man who falls in love with a selkie, their daughter and eventually her son, his grandchild. A beautiful story, told skillfully with just a hint of darkness in the atmosphere. Selkies are my absolute favourite mythological creature. Both of these stories were good. I will have to look into this author. (4/5) 10. A Knot of Toads by Jane Yolen (2005) - Fantastic! I'm a long-time fan of Jane Yolen and this tale of witches, curses and days of yore is spellbinding. There are three knots mentioned in the tale and as each is recognised and undone in it's own way, a family loosens the ties the Old Witches have on them but not before the current patriarch is frightened to death by what he has found out. Wonderful! (5/5) 11. The Adventures of Lightning Merriemouse-Jones by Nancy & Belle Holder (2006) - As the editor's note proclaims the book will finish off like any great meal with a "light dessert". This is a fun, cute reimagining of the Dracula story but peopled with mice and rats. The story concentrates on the storm at sea and the count's attacks upon Lightning (Lucy). Cute. (4/5)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elspeth

    HOOVES AND THE HOVEL OF ABDEL JAMEELA ~ by Saladin Ahmed Nope. Not for me...just couldn't get into it. THE CHILDREN OF THE SHARK GOD ~ by Peter S. Beagle I can't believe I stayed up late to finish this. I am sure this was all full of deeper meaning and shit, but fuck that shit that ending was boring. HOOVES AND THE HOVEL OF ABDEL JAMEELA ~ by Saladin Ahmed Nope. Not for me...just couldn't get into it. THE CHILDREN OF THE SHARK GOD ~ by Peter S. Beagle I can't believe I stayed up late to finish this. I am sure this was all full of deeper meaning and shit, but fuck that shit that ending was boring.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Henry Herz

    Praise for Beyond the Pale includes: "Beyond the Pale features a stellar, diverse line-up, brimming with talent and imagination." - New York Times bestseller Jason Hough, author of The Darwin Elevator "Magic truly exists in Beyond the Pale. These tales are at times elegant, witty, romantic, frightening, exciting and always entertaining. Highly recommended." - New York Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry, author of Fall of Night and V-Wars "Beyond the edge of fear and dread, shadows tell each other beau Praise for Beyond the Pale includes: "Beyond the Pale features a stellar, diverse line-up, brimming with talent and imagination." - New York Times bestseller Jason Hough, author of The Darwin Elevator "Magic truly exists in Beyond the Pale. These tales are at times elegant, witty, romantic, frightening, exciting and always entertaining. Highly recommended." - New York Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry, author of Fall of Night and V-Wars "Beyond the edge of fear and dread, shadows tell each other beautiful and frightening stories. Crack open this book and listen to the voices." - New York Times bestseller Richard Kadrey, author of Sandman Slim "Beyond the Pale is the kind of thing to keep loaded on your reader in case you need a quick fix of fine fantasy by one of the field's finest fantasy writers." - Nebula Award-nominated Greg van Eekhout, author of California Bones "Light a black candle and crack open this collection of short stories from writers who are more than mere wordsmiths. A thrill runs up my spine as I wonder, could these scribes be messengers from in-between worlds sent here to prepare us for our own crossings? The veil thins and the candle flickers. Fiction? I’m not so sure." - New York Times bestseller Frank Beddor, author of The Looking Glass Wars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews)

    I really enjoyed the stories in this collection. Varying supernatural PG 13 stories. Each story completely different from the next and very memorable. My personal favorite story was Misery by Heather Brewer, that one really caught my attention and made me think. Stories about Gods, ghosts, Magic and many more. Escaping danger and standing your ground. It is definitely something I would recommend you pick up. I found it very entertaining and really great stories. There are some very good writers I really enjoyed the stories in this collection. Varying supernatural PG 13 stories. Each story completely different from the next and very memorable. My personal favorite story was Misery by Heather Brewer, that one really caught my attention and made me think. Stories about Gods, ghosts, Magic and many more. Escaping danger and standing your ground. It is definitely something I would recommend you pick up. I found it very entertaining and really great stories. There are some very good writers here and their stories and this collection is a great one. Well Done.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Evans

    I was delighted to receive an advance copy of this book in return for my honest opinion. First off, I have to say that I love fantasy and it has always been a favourite genre of mine. This book is a compilation of short stories, something I very seldom read. I was a little apprehensive but I'm glad I received this book and it has changed my opinion of short stories completely. I always thought of short stories as being too short to actually capture the mind or attention. I didn't feel that they I was delighted to receive an advance copy of this book in return for my honest opinion. First off, I have to say that I love fantasy and it has always been a favourite genre of mine. This book is a compilation of short stories, something I very seldom read. I was a little apprehensive but I'm glad I received this book and it has changed my opinion of short stories completely. I always thought of short stories as being too short to actually capture the mind or attention. I didn't feel that they would build the characters or allow me to become engrossed. I was terribly wrong and Beyond the Pale has proven that to me. Beyond the Pale contains eleven dark fantasy, urban fantasy and paranormal short stories by award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors: Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela by Saladin Ahmed The Children of the Shark God by Peter S. Beagle Misery by Heather Brewer Shadow Children by Heather Brewer Even Hand by Jim Butcher Red Run by Kami Garcia Pale Rider by Nancy Holder The Adventures of Lightning Merriemouse-Jones by Nancy Holder Frost Child by Gillian Philip South by Gillian Philip A Knot of Toads by Jane Yolen All of these short stories have their own merits and selling points and they all capture your attention and draw you in from the first paragraph. What really surprised me was the depth in the characters and how even with a short story you could become them, feel their emotions, go through their trials and tribulations and endure what they faced. The authors wrote each story beautifully and the words flowed with ease. I actually found myself wanting more and that is always a good thing. One of stories that really stood out for me is “The Children of the Shark God” by Peter S. Beagle. This was beautifully written and flowed really well. It was a strange tale but one that fully took over as the pages turned. The emotions that consumed me and drew me into the story were ones that I would normally only find in a full length novel. I was amazed at how much a short story could grip me and yet still provide a complete tale. This really was a true work of art and the story was something I had never read before. It wasn't a rehash of Twilight or vampire romance. It wasn't a shape-shifting or werewolf tale; it was something totally different and new and there is an excerpt below for those interested in reading some of it. All in all, this book is definitely one for my collection and one that I know I will recommend to friends. It is one that I can pull out when I need a quick read that will completely absorb my mind and take me to a new world of fantasy, where anything is possible. I also know that I will be diving into the novels of these best-selling authors too because their work is truly amazing and they have mastered the art of creating believable characters that draw you in and allow you to become part of their lives. I really enjoyed the stories contained in this anthology and each one is so different. They are memorable and will stick with you for quite some time after reading and there are a few that will have you questioning yourself and your beliefs too. You will find stories about Gods, ghosts, magic and so much more in this collection and there really is something for everyone. Beyond the Pale is a great collection and one that has proven to me that short stories can bring just as much reading pleasure as a full length novel when written in the manner of those in this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristin (MyBookishWays Reviews)

    http://www.mybookishways.com/2014/08/... I didn’t skip around in this anthology (because I usually don’t, but that’s just me), and I think it works better that way. It’s a fantasy collection, with a line up that frankly, if you’re a fan of fantasy/urban fantasy, it should blow your socks right off. The ultra talented Saladin Ahmed kicks things off with “Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela” about a physicker that is asked for help by a supposed mountain hermit, and it’s nothing like he ever coul http://www.mybookishways.com/2014/08/... I didn’t skip around in this anthology (because I usually don’t, but that’s just me), and I think it works better that way. It’s a fantasy collection, with a line up that frankly, if you’re a fan of fantasy/urban fantasy, it should blow your socks right off. The ultra talented Saladin Ahmed kicks things off with “Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela” about a physicker that is asked for help by a supposed mountain hermit, and it’s nothing like he ever could have imagined. This story is a beautifully written introduction to this should-be-a-household-name author. “Even Hand” by Jim Butcher is told from the viewpoint of one of my favorite characters, Marcone, crime boss and frequent nemesis (and sometimes reluctant ally) of Harry Dresden. It reveals a, shall we say, softer (but no less cunning) side of the self-professed “monster”, and as is usual for Butcher, is excellent. Two absolute standouts are “Frost Child” and “South” by Gillian Philip, about kelpies and selkies, respectively. If you haven’t discovered her books yet, read these stories and you’ll rush to buy them all. Trust me. Her writing is lovely and her stories are the stuff of dark fairytales. Just gorgeous. “Frost Child” is actually a prequel to FIREBRAND, so it’s perfect to read before you start the books. “The Children of the Shark God” by Peter S. Beagle is another one of my favorites and is about, you guessed it, the children of a Shark God, but it’s really a fable about two children (and their mother) longing for a father that is never there, but that loves them fiercely, and it will break your heart. It’s achingly lovely, and if you like fables, you’ll adore it. Heather Brewer has a couple of dark tales in there that will give you chills, and I especially liked the subtly creepy “Misery” about a town appropriately called Misery, built of shades of grey, and a young man that dares to hope for more. “A Knot of Toads” by Jane Yolen is fantastic, witchy, atmospheric fun, about a young woman who returns to her sea swept childhood home to bury her father, and finds out her father died a very unnatural death indeed. Kami Garcia adds a fun story to the mix called “Red Run” and if you think it’s your typical “road ghost” story, think again. “The Adventures of Lightning Merriemous-Jones” by Nancy and Belle Holder rounds things out, and it’s a delightful tale about a mouse and…well, Dracula. Trust me, it’s adorable, and it had me giggling with delight. All told, this is a full-bodied mix of tales from some of the most talented authors in the biz, and is a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marie-Therese

    Cover: It looks like the cover is hand drawn and that's a thing I really like! It looks like the woman is curious about something (going into the woods). Content: Every single story in this book is beyond awesome. Many different influences to the whole of the book. I have to be honest... I'm a fan of Gillian Philip since I read the two stories! Frost Child was ah-mazing!! <3 Also Red Run was pretty awesome, I was soo into the story that I would have love it to be a whole book. :D All in all, every s Cover: It looks like the cover is hand drawn and that's a thing I really like! It looks like the woman is curious about something (going into the woods). Content: Every single story in this book is beyond awesome. Many different influences to the whole of the book. I have to be honest... I'm a fan of Gillian Philip since I read the two stories! Frost Child was ah-mazing!! <3 Also Red Run was pretty awesome, I was soo into the story that I would have love it to be a whole book. :D All in all, every story is amazing and the authos are so talented (I have to admit I haven't heard of one of them before D-x). And now I will look up all their books, so, yes, this anthology pretty much shows how good they can write. <3 Conclusion: I highly recommend Beyond the pale, it makes you curious and it's totally fascinating (in general I not so much like anthologies.. this one is an exception! <3). Of course 5 of 5 stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Camilla Harris

    A lot of variety in the stories! Everything from stuff with a mythological feel to a good ghost story. Definitely dark fantasy, although sometimes the dark bit was quite subtle and didn't really sink in until I reread a story. I felt that Saladin Ahmed and Peter S. Beagle produced the most beautiful stories, although my favorite is Gillian Phillip's South. For the most part, its a consistently good, engaging anthology with stories I look forward to curling up with on nights when I can't sleep and A lot of variety in the stories! Everything from stuff with a mythological feel to a good ghost story. Definitely dark fantasy, although sometimes the dark bit was quite subtle and didn't really sink in until I reread a story. I felt that Saladin Ahmed and Peter S. Beagle produced the most beautiful stories, although my favorite is Gillian Phillip's South. For the most part, its a consistently good, engaging anthology with stories I look forward to curling up with on nights when I can't sleep and need reminding of why we try to sleep through the nights in the first place.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Williams

    http://lynnsbooks.wordpress.com/2014/... I was given an opportunity to take part in a book tour for Beyond the Pale and given the authors involved in this piece of work jumped at the chance. I love the way the book starts out with a definition of what the phrase ‘beyond the pale’ actually means – long story short it actually means to go beyond the boundaries of safety!! I like that. In fact the introduction got me off to a great start. Not to mention that cover. Just feast your eyes on it. It’s s http://lynnsbooks.wordpress.com/2014/... I was given an opportunity to take part in a book tour for Beyond the Pale and given the authors involved in this piece of work jumped at the chance. I love the way the book starts out with a definition of what the phrase ‘beyond the pale’ actually means – long story short it actually means to go beyond the boundaries of safety!! I like that. In fact the introduction got me off to a great start. Not to mention that cover. Just feast your eyes on it. It’s simply gorgeous. The line up is as follows: Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela by Saladin Ahmed The Children of the Shark God by Peter S. Beagle Misery by Heather Brewer Shadow Children by Heather Brewer Even Hand by Jim Butcher Red Run by Kami Garcia Pale Rider By Nancy Holder Frost Child by Gillian Philip South by Gillian Philip A Knot of Toads by Jane Yolen The Adventures of Lightning Merriemouse-Jones by Nancy & Belle Holder There is undoubtedly much to choose from here and frankly I enjoyed all the stories for very different reasons. The opening story is a great start involving a hermit and his wife and the man who they seek help from in order to achieve their dream. An unusual tale – prepare yourself for demons! Then move from demons to Gods and encounter the Shark God and the results of his love affair with a mortal woman. Misery was completely intriguing. A compelling little number about a strange town where each year the residents are given a gift – unfortunately this doesn’t always result in happiness as Alek is about to discover – he has a bad feeling this year! Then be prepared to cast back in time as the Shadow Children recall your childhood fears. What does lurk in the shadows? Are there monsters under the bed or hiding in the closet. Maybe! Will you check it out or are you trembling under the covers! Even Hand is Jim Butcher’s contribution and contains a story showing a completely different side to Dresden’s nemesis Marcone. We see something of a softer underbelly in this story although it ultimately doesn’t bode well for Harry. Fans of the Dresden series will love this story. I certainly did. We then move to a story called Red Run. This is an excellent and creepy little addition where a young girl sets out on a mission of revenge. To avenge the death of her brother who died out on Red Run – a route that most people, sensible people, never use after sunset! There’s always one!!! Pale Rider is an unusual tale about tortured souls and a strange world infected and blighted by Goblin and Fae magic leaking between two worlds. Frost Child and South are Gillian Philip’s additions to the book. The first a prequel to the absolutely fantastic Rebel Angel series which gives a little bit more background into Lilith and Griogair and their first deathly encounter. The second a tale of selkies. Can Philips write? Oh yes. Totally evocative. I adore her writing. It’s dark and powerful and she can make you see the beauty of the landscape in one sentence and totally give you the chills about a character in the next. Fans of Firebrand simply must read Frost Child and for that matter South – after all there aren’t enough stories about selkies! I also really enjoyed A Knot of Toads by Jane Yolen which is full of superstition, people willingly refusing to see what is in front of them and witches. I love stories of witches so this one definitely caught my fancy. Plus the toad shadows dancing on the walls – just read it and you’ll understand! Finally we conclude with a rather cheeky little take on Stoker’s Dracula. All in all – an excellent collection of stories with magic, demons, gods, ghosts, witches, – and, well frankly, a pretty comprehensive grouping of the supernatural. Now, reading this was a bit of an eye opener for me. I’ve read a number of anthologies and readily admit that short stories are not always my thing. I want something to sink my teeth into as a rule. I want character development, history, world building and plot and it’s pretty difficult to attempt this in just a few pages. So, what was the difference with Beyond the Pale. I think two things – firstly, this is a really good collection of stories from some awesome authors. It almost puts me in mind of bedtime tales or tales that you sit and talk about round a camp fire! They feel like real tales that people would tell, Urban myths! I think the second thing, and a bit of a revelation for me, was to take my time with this story and read the stories individually over time instead of attempting to gobble them all down in one sitting. It made me feel nostalgic reading them in that way, not because they’re anything like Red Riding Hood or Rapunzel – but more because they put me back in time to when I used to love tales being told. Strangely, I always preferred the creepy little numbers that my gran told as opposed to the more conventional stories! Go figure. This is my first contribution to RIP - an event hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Leah (Jane Speare)

    Overall an average 3ish rating. Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela by Saladin Ahmed: Not my cup of tea. I tried a few pages but couldn't get into it. Children of the Shark God by Peter S. Beagle: I'm not sure how to categorize this one. I haven't read any of his books before, but I've definitely heard about them. This story brings the classic moral-fairytale-esque idea and twists it all around for a completely original tale. There's something about the way he writes, like a true ancient storytel Overall an average 3ish rating. Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela by Saladin Ahmed: Not my cup of tea. I tried a few pages but couldn't get into it. Children of the Shark God by Peter S. Beagle: I'm not sure how to categorize this one. I haven't read any of his books before, but I've definitely heard about them. This story brings the classic moral-fairytale-esque idea and twists it all around for a completely original tale. There's something about the way he writes, like a true ancient storyteller with a vivid imagination. It's impressively creative, and now I really should get to reading The Last Unicorn... Misery by Heather Brewer: I've only read Heather's work in other anthologies, not her actual books, so I know I like her writing style. She's also an incredibly nice person. Misery, one of her two stories in here, is probably my favorite. It reads like a true black-and-white Twilight Zone episode, with almost a touch of The Giver. This story had me in goosebumps from the first sentence, and ended differently than I expected. (Also I realized I'd read this one in another anthology before, no wonder I liked it! Again!) Shadow Children by Heather Brewer: It's okay, but nothing original and sort of predictable…also too short to succeed in grabbing me. Red Run by Kami Garcia Supernatural fan? It's like a condensed version of an episode. Twisty turny creepy. Pale Rider by Nancy Holder Halfway through I realized I'd read this one before too. Its difference stands out--unique paranormal/dystopian combination. Frost Child by Gillian Philip Not a fan. Read a few pages but couldn't get into it, but it also had to do with one of her stories, like a prequel. So maybe that's why I just didn't understand. South by Gillian Philip One of the shortest stories, but in my top three favorite. Reads like an old tale of the north, but all I could gather was it's at an icy island in the middle of nowhere. Similar to Peter Beagle's story from near the beginning. Both have that older-story feel. A Knot of Toads by Jane Yolen Second favorite! If I remember correctly, it took place in Scotland in the early 1900s. Witches and curses and despite it's grossness, I totally enjoyed it. Don't miss this one! The Adventures of Lightning Merriemouse-Jones by Nancy and & Belle Holder This is a retelling of Dracula….with mice as characters. I think I'll leave you with that.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rabid Readers Reviews

    The editor of this novel, Henry Herz, gave me a copy in exchange for participating in this blog tour. I am a huge fan of “The Dresden Files” by Jim Butcher so when the editor of the piece approached me to write a review, that author was the one I was most looking forward to reading. I’d heard of some of the others but had never read them and wasn’t really interested in learning more about that work. Everything changed upon finishing this wonderfully laid out anthology. The stories leave readers w The editor of this novel, Henry Herz, gave me a copy in exchange for participating in this blog tour. I am a huge fan of “The Dresden Files” by Jim Butcher so when the editor of the piece approached me to write a review, that author was the one I was most looking forward to reading. I’d heard of some of the others but had never read them and wasn’t really interested in learning more about that work. Everything changed upon finishing this wonderfully laid out anthology. The stories leave readers wanting more when they shift to the next but the arrangement makes for a good flow while the sameness of dark tone peppered with humor keeps readers in the moment. My favorite story was by old favorite, Jim Butcher. As many authors do, he chose to use his anthology story to expand on a character from the Dresden world. Johnny Marcone is a mobster who makes life more interesting for Harry Dresden and Butcher gives us a closer look at his character in “Even Hand.” Butcher shows the readers Marcone’s view of himself as a professional monster and yet shows us a deeper side that has to be consciously kept at bay. In a classic economy of words, Butcher gives us a compelling story that easily stands on its own while thrilling existing fans. “The Adventures of Lightning Merriemouse-Jones” by Nancy & Belle Holder was a great way to finish the anthology. It was nice and light and fun. The author’s crafted a classic story (Dracula) and set it at sea using mice so there’s a “Secret of Nihm” gone wrong feeling throughout and it was just wonderfully hilarious. Miss Lightning Merriemouse-Jones is a Penelope Pitstop for a new generation. If you’re a fan of fantasy or the paranormal, I urge you to buy “Beyond the Pale” today. It’s a delightful look into a scarier world than our own with delicious flashes of brilliance from the authors. I’m a huge fan of short stories and fantasy in general and “Beyond the Pale” falls directly into the wheelhouse of fans of those genres.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I liked reading different authors. Some of the stories were great, some not so much.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Overall, not my kind of stories. A little too scary, and not enough mystery. The stories seemed fresh and original, however, if you like a bit of horror. Saladin Ahmed - Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela. Creepy and a little frightening. Mostly just ugh. Peter S. Beagle - The Children of the Shark God Imaginative, but i wasn't that into it. Heather Brewer - Misery. a little scary and odd. Original. Heather Brewer - Shadow Children. a very scary tale that explains why a night-light is important Overall, not my kind of stories. A little too scary, and not enough mystery. The stories seemed fresh and original, however, if you like a bit of horror. Saladin Ahmed - Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela. Creepy and a little frightening. Mostly just ugh. Peter S. Beagle - The Children of the Shark God Imaginative, but i wasn't that into it. Heather Brewer - Misery. a little scary and odd. Original. Heather Brewer - Shadow Children. a very scary tale that explains why a night-light is important. Jim Butcher - Even Hand. A Chicago crime boss is also a member of the Sith Council. He has a Valkyrie body guard. Very good. Rachel Caine - Death Warmed Over. A resurrection witch falls in love with someone she resurrects. So it's a weird romance. Kami Garcia - Red Run. Good ghost story. Nancy Holder - Pale Rider. Post-apocalyptic sitch. Special abilities. The Erlking rides again. Wrongs need to be righted. The story is a follow-up to one i read in _Chicks Kick Butt_, so i enjoyed learning more about that story, which didn't make much sense on its own. This story also feels like a small part of a bigger story. Write a book, why don't ya? Gillian Philip - Frost Child. a Sithe witch girl is rescued from the Lammyr. She woos a water horse. Seems like part of a bigger story. Gillian Philip - South. Kelpies in a remote Southern science station. Nice twist. Jane Yolen - A Knot of Toads. Scary tale of going home to your Dad who dies before you can get there. The funeral. Witches. Good, but not my style. Nancy & Belle Holder - The Adventures of Lightning Merriemouse-Jones. A vampire rat, a maiden mouse, a Texas champion. Silliness.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Dickinson

    In exchange for a free Audible copy of Beyond the Pale, I'm writing this review. Generally, I'm not a fan of horror, and I'm an occasional fan of the Thriller genre, but when I saw the line-up of authors, including Jane Yolen, the prolific children's author, I figured it was worth a listen. It started out slow for me, with the first story being rather confusing and lacking focus, but I warmed to the collection quickly. The stories range from paranormal romance to all-out ghost stories to dips in In exchange for a free Audible copy of Beyond the Pale, I'm writing this review. Generally, I'm not a fan of horror, and I'm an occasional fan of the Thriller genre, but when I saw the line-up of authors, including Jane Yolen, the prolific children's author, I figured it was worth a listen. It started out slow for me, with the first story being rather confusing and lacking focus, but I warmed to the collection quickly. The stories range from paranormal romance to all-out ghost stories to dips into a wide variety of cultural mythology and historical fantasy. One of the best things about the collection is the superb talent of the narrator. He handled multiple accents and ages for male and female characters without a hiccup. Generally, I listen to Audible while driving, so this short story collection was perfect for shorter trips. I highly recommend it and would read similar work by the same cast.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Beck Kalnasy

    Review originally posted on Bibliophilia, Please. I love love love to read short stories (the literary ones from college are my favorites!), but I don't think that I've ever reviewed an anthology. Since I was so intrigued by the authors and the premise of Beyond the Pale , I figured that I would give it a shot. I have to be honest and say that I skipped some of the stories for various reasons. I know that Jim Butcher is everyone else's favorite here at Bibliophilia, Please, but I am yet to Review originally posted on Bibliophilia, Please. I love love love to read short stories (the literary ones from college are my favorites!), but I don't think that I've ever reviewed an anthology. Since I was so intrigued by the authors and the premise of Beyond the Pale , I figured that I would give it a shot. I have to be honest and say that I skipped some of the stories for various reasons. I know that Jim Butcher is everyone else's favorite here at Bibliophilia, Please, but I am yet to read The Dresden Files. (Before you string me, I bought them on Kindle and Audible, so Storm Front will be happening soon.) I also skipped Frost Child by Gillian Philip because I wasn't in the mood for fairies at the time. Jan Yolen's A Knot of Toads and Nancy & Belle Holder's The Adventures of Lightning Merriemouse-Jones were both passed over, as I could get into them. That being said, these stories will not factor into my overall rating of the book. Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela Saladin Ahmed When I took classes on Middle Eastern history, I had to read One Thousand and One Nights because a culture's fairy tales are important to their history. (If you want an in depth conversation on this, I'm down for it later.) Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela is very like the stories that Scheherazade told. Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela was a fairy tale without a true villain, and I never felt any danger for the main character. However, I was engaged and creeped out through the end and will happily read more stories from Ahmed. 3.5/5 Stars The Children of the Shark God Peter S. Beagle I was a die hard fan of The Last Unicorn growing up, so I had the highest expectations of this story in regard to the rest of the collection. Thankfully, The Children of the Shark God is a story that I could walk away from and return to later because I got distracted despite the story's brevity. The Children of the Shark God a typical "god" story where no mortal can know or understand his/her ways. What struck me as funny is that the Shark God was not the character in the story that loved unconditionally. That's not really a spoiler as gods tend to act like assholes in mythology, but it was something interesting to read. I'm impatient, so I did get a little bored because nothing really happened except the exploration of the family dynamics between the Shark God's mortal wife, children, and himself. Of course their are supernatural/paranormal elements because, hello? God? The writing was good and I persevered. 3/5 Stars Misery Heather Brewer Misery was my favorite story in Beyond the Pale and resonated most strongly with me. Misery reminded me so much of depression. You can't remember life before it or how you got there, much like the characters living in the town of Misery. The eyes of the neighbors have the only colors in a world of black, white, and gray. That was pretty fucking profound. If that's not misery, nothing is. And, of course, Misery loves company. After reading the story, I looked up the author to see what she says about the story, and I was right. I mean, there really wasn't anything else that it could've been about. 4/5 Stars Shadow Children Heather Brewer I was unable to sleep one night, so I pulled out the anthology and read Shadow Children Big mistake. It's about the scary shadows that creep in the dark, and needless to say, there was no going back to sleep for me. 3.5/5 Stars Red Run Kami Garcia Red Run is the prefect example of what a short story should be like. I was on the edge of my seat, anxious to see what would happen next. Excellent ghost story! 4/5 Stars Pale Rider Nancy Holder Pale Rider is a bit more dystopian than paranormal at first. The world has pretty much ended, and Dana is scrambling to survive with her friends. Then Alex shows up and changes everything. There are quite a few things that I found to be inconsistent with the story, and I was scratching my head in confusion by the end. 2.5/5 Stars South Gillian Philip South was a bit confusing to me at first because of the narration of the story. However, I knew exactly what the story would essentially be about as soon as I read about the water, ice, and penguins. That's how you know I read far too much urban fantasy. 3.5/5 Stars *** I know my reviews were very short, but so were the stories. I did the best I could to avoid spoiling your enjoyment. That being said, I liked what I did read in Beyond the Pale , and I found some new (to me) authors that I'll be reading. If an author can successfully execute a short story, then I am very interested in seeing what they can do with a novel. - 3.5/5 Stars - To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance digital copy of the book from the editor in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Entertaining quirky and chilling Loved the Jim Butcher tale best. I may never go without a night light again after reading about Fax & Jon's adventure. Vampire rats and mice made me chuckle too. Entertaining quirky and chilling Loved the Jim Butcher tale best. I may never go without a night light again after reading about Fax & Jon's adventure. Vampire rats and mice made me chuckle too.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I've only read Even Hand by Jim Butcher. Book 11.6 of the Dresden files. Nice perspective, really different POV I've only read Even Hand by Jim Butcher. Book 11.6 of the Dresden files. Nice perspective, really different POV

  18. 5 out of 5

    Juliet

    Meh...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alysa H.

    A couple of good stories, but mostly meh.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    As with most anthologies a few hit, a few miss.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Indy Quillen

    Nice collection of diverse authors and their writings. Enjoyed reading pieces from some of my favorite authors and was introduced to some new authors I've not read before. Nice collection of diverse authors and their writings. Enjoyed reading pieces from some of my favorite authors and was introduced to some new authors I've not read before.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Read Even Hand in Brief Cases

  23. 5 out of 5

    Louisa

    I only read Even Hand, but it was a great story, loved seeing things from Marcone's perspective! Must read more of the series now! I only read Even Hand, but it was a great story, loved seeing things from Marcone's perspective! Must read more of the series now!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lissa

    IN breifcases

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I have a soft spot for urban fantasy, and for scary or creepy stories. So when the chance to read this anthology came up, naturally it pushed all my buttons and therefore I jumped at it. It certainly didn’t hurt at all that one of the stories in the lineup is tied into my favourite urban fantasy series! Jim Butcher’s “Even Hand” is among my favourite of his Dresden Files short stories, and despite having read it before I enjoyed it just as much upon re-reading as I did the first time. Being told I have a soft spot for urban fantasy, and for scary or creepy stories. So when the chance to read this anthology came up, naturally it pushed all my buttons and therefore I jumped at it. It certainly didn’t hurt at all that one of the stories in the lineup is tied into my favourite urban fantasy series! Jim Butcher’s “Even Hand” is among my favourite of his Dresden Files short stories, and despite having read it before I enjoyed it just as much upon re-reading as I did the first time. Being told from the point of view of John Marcone doesn’t hurt it much either – he happens to be one of the supporting characters I like most. So, this definitely helped to sell me on reading the rest of the book! For the most part, this sales pitch paid off. As with any anthology, I think, there were hits and misses for me, but thankfully the hits outweighed the misses. The first story out of the bag, for example, was one by Saladin Ahmed. He may only have one novel under his belt so far but if you’re the sort of reader who likes their fantasy formed outside the ‘traditional’ mould, do yourself a favour and seek out his stories. Kami Garcia’s “Red Run” is another story that stuck with me after I’d finished the book. It has more of a paranormal feel to it than strictly urban fantasy, and is one of the shorter stories in the lineup. It’s also not particularly ambitious; as paranormal stories go the plot is pretty familiar, at least in its bare bones, but for all that I still found it an enjoyable read. Another pair of stories that I knew would be worth the read were Gillian Philip’s contributions, “Frost Child” and “South”. As with “Even Hand” I had read “Frost Child” before (and, in fact, reviewed it!) and it’s a short story I absolutely didn’t mind coming back to. I love Gillian’s writing, and this prequel novella for her Rebel Angels series is a personal favourite. “South”, likewise, was a pleasure to read. This one isn’t tied to Rebel Angels, but it has much the same flavour to it – the coastal Scottish wilderness of the setting is so very present I could practically taste the air, the thread of local mythology is teased out in the story rather than tangled up in it, and the stark, striking impact of Gillian’s prose is also present and accounted for. And in the “pleasant surprise” category for this anthology, there’s Jane Yolen’s “A Knot Of Toads”. This one also has the Scottish/mythology angles covered, but beyond this it’s a very different affair. I’m familiar with this author but hadn’t read any of her work before reading this book. Thanks to a couple of friends and a meetup at a recent con, however, that can now be remedied – and thanks to this story, I’m pretty eager to get remedying. This is a pretty dark tale, in terms of its tone; not an unwelcome thing, as I like me some creepy on occasion. I admit I had never really thought of toads as being creepy before, but good grief, I do now… Where did I put that book…

  26. 4 out of 5

    Freda Mans-Labianca

    Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela by Saladin Ahmed was weird in parts. Creepy, intriguing and clever though. The slightly far-fetched gives a magical feel to it. 3/5 The Children of the Shark God by Peter S. Beagle is a story that you need to let your imagination go wild with. I do wish the Shark God reacted differently. 3/5 Misery by Heather Brewer was a miserable story. Misery wasn't just the name of the town, it was everywhere and in everything. Wasn't my thing though. 2/5 Shadow Children by Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela by Saladin Ahmed was weird in parts. Creepy, intriguing and clever though. The slightly far-fetched gives a magical feel to it. 3/5 The Children of the Shark God by Peter S. Beagle is a story that you need to let your imagination go wild with. I do wish the Shark God reacted differently. 3/5 Misery by Heather Brewer was a miserable story. Misery wasn't just the name of the town, it was everywhere and in everything. Wasn't my thing though. 2/5 Shadow Children by Heather Brewer was the second story by this author. It was a ton better too. It may have been short but it was creeptastic! 4/5 Even Hand by Jim Butcher started out with mobsters and I knew I was in. It ended with paranormal though and somehow still worked. 4/5 Red Run by Kami Garcia was my favorite in the book. It had a very powerful opening that pulls you in deep. Scared the crap out of me too. By now, you all know, that's what I love. 5/5 Pale Rider by Nancy Holder I wanted more from. The ending didn't work for me at all. There was cool elements, but not enough to say I liked it. 2/5 Frost Child by Gillian Philip is a fast paced fantasy that kept my attention from start to finish. 4/5 South by Gillian Philip is the second story she contributed to the book. It was really peculiar. I just didn't get it or like it at all. 1/5 A Knot of Toads by Jane Yolen is a story I loved! Had a great lesson; things are not always what they seem. 4/5 The Adventures of Lightning Merriemouse-Jones by Nancy and Belle Holder is a second story for Nancy Holder. This one is co-written though. It reminded me of the movie American Tale or Feivel Goes West. The story is about mice and that is reminiscent of this story too. It was a very cute tale, with a twist. 3/5 All-in-all it is a decent read with many things to attract the reader. I definitely know a bunch of people that would enjoy it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Katie/Doing Dewey

    Like every anthology I've read, this collection included some stories I liked much more than others. However, in this particular collection there were no stories I disliked and I thought the majority of them were truly enjoyable. The first few stories read like fables and I didn't find them well developed or emotionally engaging. The third story was bland, poorly developed, and predictable. The last story was a funny retelling of Dracula but I didn't feel like the author brought much to it. I th Like every anthology I've read, this collection included some stories I liked much more than others. However, in this particular collection there were no stories I disliked and I thought the majority of them were truly enjoyable. The first few stories read like fables and I didn't find them well developed or emotionally engaging. The third story was bland, poorly developed, and predictable. The last story was a funny retelling of Dracula but I didn't feel like the author brought much to it. I think those were the only stories I wasn't too impressed by. Two other stories were a bit scary and one actually made me jump when interrupted while reading. The one by Jane Yolen wasn't scary but it was enjoyably atmospheric. My favorite stories from the collection were the two by James Butcher and Kami Garcia. I suspect the fact that their stories related to fully developed worlds they've written about previously helped both of them to write successful short stories. Both of their stories focused on emotionally engaging, self-contained incidents which felt resolved but also hinted at the larger story to come. The collection as a whole was well organized, with neighboring stories often having something in common. I also appreciated the diversity of the collection which included stories drawing on many different mythologies and set all over the world. Overall, a very enjoyable, well curated collection of stories with some true standouts and very few duds. I'd recommend it to fans of the paranormal or magical realism. This review was originally posted on Doing Dewey.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Ardoin

    3.5 STARS While I did skip around when reading this collection, I don't think it made much difference to my review. Basically the only thing that tied the stories all together is that they all have some supernatural element. A couple I couldn't get into at all, but there were some standouts for me. "Misery" by Heather Brewer--In this very short story set in a world of grey, Alek is dismayed when he finds out he will not be receiving his special gift. But once he realizes what the gift is, he may c 3.5 STARS While I did skip around when reading this collection, I don't think it made much difference to my review. Basically the only thing that tied the stories all together is that they all have some supernatural element. A couple I couldn't get into at all, but there were some standouts for me. "Misery" by Heather Brewer--In this very short story set in a world of grey, Alek is dismayed when he finds out he will not be receiving his special gift. But once he realizes what the gift is, he may change his mind. "Shadow Children" another by Heather Brewer--Dax is tasked with babysitting his little brother Jon, who always needs a night light on because he is afraid monsters will get him. While Dax is trying his best to reassure him, they both fall into a nightmarish world. "Red Run" by Kami Garcia--A ghost story with a little twist. You know the main character is riding with the ghost immediately, but is the ghost the one making bad things happen out on Red Run? "The Adventures of Lightning Merriemouse-Jones" by Nancy & Belle Holder--A little difficult to follow at times, this is a sort of retelling of Dracula, but with mice as the characters! Original and amusing to say the least. The collection includes other tales, featuring fae, selkies, and children of shark gods. If you like original supernatural short stories that aren't TOO dark, you should check out Beyond the Pale.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    I started this assuming it was an anthology of similar stories and then had to go back and re-read the intro to discover.. there is really nothing to connect these stories in any way. They've just all got some sort of fantasy element and an award winning/NT Best selling writer. That's about it. Also a little disconcerting that a few of the stories are connected to other works, like Jim Butcher's story is connected to his Harry Dresden series and another acts as a prequel to a book, so if you have I started this assuming it was an anthology of similar stories and then had to go back and re-read the intro to discover.. there is really nothing to connect these stories in any way. They've just all got some sort of fantasy element and an award winning/NT Best selling writer. That's about it. Also a little disconcerting that a few of the stories are connected to other works, like Jim Butcher's story is connected to his Harry Dresden series and another acts as a prequel to a book, so if you haven't read these series, it makes it harder to relate. Ultimately though as a collection? It falls flat. Some of the stories are good and compelling, but there is no real reason why these stories should be together and that leads to a mixed experience as the stories appeal to too many diverse tastes. Also, selecting stories that are reflections of greater works makes it hard too if someone is not already a reader. It really feels like all these stories were written for other collections and just shoved together into this collection basically because the editor likes the writers and maybe the stories, but not because the stories belong together.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This was a very enjoyable collection of stories set in the fantasy realm. One of the things I really appreciate about short story compilations is that they introduce me to a lot of authors. I'd been wanting to check out Saladin Ahmed for some time; I now have been introduced to at least a glimpse of his style. I liked it, will definitely check out more. I also thoroughly enjoyed discovering Heather Brewer and Rachel Caine. And, of course, the main reason I purchased this book was that it feature This was a very enjoyable collection of stories set in the fantasy realm. One of the things I really appreciate about short story compilations is that they introduce me to a lot of authors. I'd been wanting to check out Saladin Ahmed for some time; I now have been introduced to at least a glimpse of his style. I liked it, will definitely check out more. I also thoroughly enjoyed discovering Heather Brewer and Rachel Caine. And, of course, the main reason I purchased this book was that it featured a Jim Butcher story- this was an excellent brief visit to the world where Dresden lives- but it didn't involve Harry Dresden at ALL, which was actually pretty awesome. Several other long-enjoyed characters from the Dresdenverse were present, however. Including one that I believe doesn't get nearly enough "screen time" as it were. Definitely would recommend this to fans of fantasy. Also: If you read this, and like it, I'd highly recommend checking out the works of KW Taylor (she is on Goodreads; find her!). As I was reading this, I noted that several of her own short stories would easily slide into this collection.

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