Book: Anthology ‘Hex Appeal’ part 3

It was a bit of a struggle but I managed to finish all the stories in ‘Hex Appeal’.

The remaining stories were:

P. N. Elrod’s Outside The Box
Simon R. Green’s How Do You Feel?
Lori Handeland’s There Will Be Demons
Erica Hayes’ Cherry Kisses
Carrie Vaughn’s The Arcane Art of Misdirection

hex appeal

‘Outside the box’ was rather good, it felt like an introduction to a universe – in this case P. N. Elrod’s ‘Vampire Files’ universe. However when I looked at the ‘Vampire Files’ books they were set in 1930s Chicago… whilst ‘Outside The Box’ feels pretty modern.

So despite enjoying the story I am not sure I can actually read anything else by Elrod – which is vexing!

Simon R. Green’s ‘How Do You Feel?’ was odd. An unwilling zombie goes on a quest to find the person ultimately responsible for his murder years before. It is an odd story and doesn’t really make me want to touch anything else by Green – personally I didn’t think urban fantasy involved cars from the future that turn into sex bots.

Lori Handeland’s ‘There Will Be Demons’ made me uncomfortable. The female lead is  set up by multiple people and clearly used sexually, and it bothered me that the reader was meant to be ok about this setting up the wider universe. It features fairies, skinwalkers, dhampires and angels – it was a vaguely interesting premise but it went downhill very very quickly.

Erica Hayes’ ‘Cherry Kisses’ was sleazy and the female lead was not a nice person – at all. It features fairies, vampires and demons, if it hasn’t been for the sleaze it might have been ok.

Carrie Vaughn’s ‘The Arcane Art of Misdirection’ wasn’t even 30 pages long and this was a pity as Odysseus Grant is one of the most interesting characters in the Kitty books.

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Book: ‘Hexed’ (specifically Jeanne C. Stein’s ‘Blood Debt’) – “History is just the present in retrospect. Times change but people do not”

My good intentions finally paid off and I read the fourth & final story in the ‘Hexed‘ anthology, which was Jeanne C. Stein’s ‘Blood Debt‘.

It was ok in so far as I’ve not previously considered what life would be like for a bounty hunter who is a vampire.

There was a fair bit of history to the character but it was handled in a high level so I had a decent flavour without feeling too bogged down in detail for a short story

If you’d asked me if I’d heard of Jeanne Stein before reading ‘Hexed’ I would have ummed for a bit and concluded that I hadn’t, however it transpires that I have another story by her in yet another anthology that I haven’t read fully, ‘Many Bloody Returns‘, oops.

anna strong the becoming

Then when I looked up her main series of books – the Anna Strong Chronicles, I realised that I *have* seen her books but the cover art put me off.

I have a feeling that the books might remind me of Chris Marie Green’s ‘Night Rising’, but the short story sounded interesting and if I can find the first ‘The Becoming’ cheaply enough I am willing to try it despite the cover art and despite knowing it features rape – which I usually try to avoid.

Maybe I should start reading all the stories in anthologies rather than just the one I bought it for…

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Book: Anthology ‘Hexed’ – “Well, in that case, your magic isn’t working. I’m still an a$$hole”

I bought this anthology because of the Ilona Andrews story ‘Magic Dreams’. However I felt that really should read the other stories in the book – unlike the other two anthologies that I bought simply because they have an Ilona Andrews story in.

Well I did actually try to read the other stories in ‘Must Love Hellhounds’ but the Charlaine Harris story which had the chap with two *you know whats* rather threw me so I stopped abruptly!

hexed

Back onto ‘Hexed’, I liked the Ilona Andrews story – but that was a given.

Yasmine Galenorn isn’t an author I’ve read before, her story ‘Ice Shards’ was ok but there were a lot of characters, references and backstory from her series so that made it a little odd to read. It was a cute enough story and had potential but the two instances of strong swearing felt out of place in the story and jarred me out of it at rather pivotal points.

Allyson James’ ‘Double Hexed’ was an interesting premise but it reminded me VERY VERY much of Tanya Huff’s ‘Summon The Keeper’ but with a magic mirror instead of a cat.

I do still need to read Jeanne C. Stein’s ‘Blood Debtand I have good intentions but a total lack of timescales.

 

For those who are interested, the chronological order of the Kate Daniels series – including short stories, is:

  • A Questionable Client – a short story included in the special edition of ‘Magic Bites’
  • Magic Bites
  • Magic Burns
  • Magic Strikes
  • Magic Mourns – Raphael and Andrea novella in anthology ‘Must Love Hellhounds’
  • Magic Bleeds
  • Magic Dreams – Jim and Dali novella in anthology ‘Hexed’
  • Magic Slays
  • Gunmetal Magic (Andrea’s book) – which also includes the short story Magic Gifts
  • Magic Rises
  • Magic Breaks – which also includes the short story ‘Magic Tests’
  • Magic Steals – Jim and Dali novella in anthology ‘Night Shift’
  • Magic Shifts – this isn’t out until July and I am very excited already.

There is also a Kate’s world story in the anthology ‘Hex Appeal’ but the name of the book puts me off so I don’t have that one… yet?

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2015 – excluding pictures! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content