Laurell K. Hamilton
and William McCaskey
I was very interested in reading these urban fantasy stories and was mostly in for it for some of my favorite authors. This is a relatively new book for me since it is published earlier this year and I managed to fit it into my N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon for August! Also I was anticipating to read some great stories with characters I already know and love. Stories I was most interested in were Asil and the Not-Date by Patricia Briggs and Zombie Dearest by Laurell K. Hamilton. All the rest of the authors were mostly unknown to me. When I read the foreword I was pleasantly surprised by the general theme of the stories being something happy and something to make the readers feel good. We need more of those kind of stories in the world!
- Twilight Falls by Jonathan Maberry ★★★★★
Lately I’ve been watching some spy thriller conspiracy TV dramas and this story fit right up that alley. I was surprised at how much special operatives language and protocols felt familiar to me. I enjoyed this short story quite a bit! It was a good opening into the collection.
- Not in this Lifetime by Sharon Shinn ★★★
I must admit this story was a bit cheesy for me. Too many things were too convenient in the end. I liked the little group of characters a lot though.
- Mr. Positive, The Eternal Optimist by Larry Correia ★★★★★
This story has everything I like in my urban fantasy: some supernatural elements, some humor and something for me to connect with. The tone of the story is very endearing and I liked the action parts as well.
- No Greater Love by Kacey Ezell ★★★★
I was surprised by religious content of this story. It made me thread very carefully. I ended even more surprised by liking this story a lot.
- Broken Son by Griffin Barber ★★★★
Science fiction and space themed stories are really not my thing. But this one was really nice. It reminded me a bit at Vorkosigan saga by Lois MacMaster Bujold. I genuienuly liked this story against all odds.
- Heart of Clay by Kevin J. Anderson ★★★
I could describe this story as a really wild ride. There were too many supernatural elements and quirks for me to be able to really enjoy this story. I liked the humor that reminded me of works of Robert Asprin. I can point out some of the characters and ideas that were really engaging but as a whole I thought it was a bit too much.
- Reprise by John G. Hartness ★★★★★
So far this story was the easiest to get into. Considering I have never read anything by this author I might have to change that in the future! It’s a vampire themed and intriguing. I loved the slightly melancholly feel of the story combined with demons and slightly changed alternate history setting.
- Asil and the Not-Date by Patricia Briggs ★★★★★
This is one of the two stories in this collection I was most interested about. It is from Alpha and Omega book series. First, it was written by a favorite author and second, it is set in a world full of lovable characters I already know. Asil is not exactly a favorite character but it is quite endearing and releateable for me. I was scared this story would be a sappy one but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn’t. Loved the ending!
- In the Dust by Robert E. Hampson ★★★
Style of this story was more a series of short scenes than a traditional short story. Even with all that the emotions and the characters were very well done. This one is a bit science fictiony and thst is the only reason it was not that good for me.
- Fallen by L. E. Modesitt, Jr ★
Finally a story I did not like at all. The theme, the execution, the flow – it was all very unsatisfactory to read. The little screenshots from history were not picked out with care at all. Pseudo religious content left a really bad aftertaste for me.
- Working Conditions by Patrick M. Tracy ★★★★
This story is an excellent example of a sweet urban fantasy vampire story. And, yes! I am biased when it comes to vampires in urban fantasy! I like the simplicity and the kinda sad theme. It was very light and made me want to read more about the setting and the vampires in it.
- Last Contact by M. C. Sumner ★★★★
There was someting about this story that I liked and I can not pintpoint what it was. Theme is thoughtfull and has some aliens in it.
- Ronin by William McCaskey ★★★★
This one is a tear jerker! The story is a lovely blend of urban fatasy and harsh reality. It was a very endearing story.
- SKJOLDMOĐIR by Michael Z. Williamson and Jessica Schlenker ★★★★★
Earlier this year I’ve read two different interpretations of nordic myths and this story made me want to read more of them. T has a certain epic quality mixed with subtle pathos of the main characters. I liked it a lot!
- Bonds of Love and Duty by Monalisa Foster ★★★★★
Another story that surprised me in a good way! The theme was totally science fiction but it I loved it. It is definitely something I could keep on reading.
- Zombie Dearest by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★
This story fits into Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book series. I was very interested in this story and was not disappointed! I loved that this story has a little JC in it! Finally it is something that connects to one of the previous books. The idea that it represents is quite outrageous though. Loved reading it!
There were sixteen stories in this collection and about half of them were really excellent for me. Only one story felt underwhelming for me. All the rest were good and mostly surprised me in a good way. I found a few authors I will keep an eye out in my future reading and my two favorites were excellent. Zombie Dearest by Laurell K. Hamilton was especially bittersweet to read since the new book in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series – Sucker Punch, just came out and I will have to wait until next year for mas market paperback to come out to get it and read it! I am glad I got this collection!
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