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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
The Art of Capturing Phantoms: Definitive Edition is a short story collection by Karen A. Parker. A gifted young girl's world threatens to shatter as doubt creeps into it, leading her to seek help from her five loyal knights. A professor of magic contemplates the usefulness of their after-work hours when a student seeking help gives them a new perspective on things. A podcast host interviews an up-and-coming local entrepreneur, only for things to go south when the interviewee reveals he is a vampire. A woman debates whether or not she should venture into the dangerous woods to rescue her lost husband. A prince would rather die - or become a slave to a former assassin who kills for fun - than partake in an arranged marriage. A daughter sees her mother in a new light after her estranged father makes an unexpected appearance.
Karen A. Parker touches on a wide range of genres to tell a diverse collection of stories, each more unpredictable than the last. The Art of Capturing Phantoms includes tales from speculative fiction to fantasy, sci-fi, and everything in between. Parker has a unique storytelling style that almost feels like a deconstruction of several genres, and it gives the narrative a welcoming breath of fresh air that readers are bound to love. It is impressive how much information they pack into such a short space without wasting a single word. I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology and can't recommend it enough.