Many Bloody Returns – Book Review

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Finished reading

Many Bloody Returns

edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner

★★

Expectation

This is was my TBR Jar Draw for September. I was looking forward to it and reading some good short stories. I like reading short story collections because they introduce me to some new authors and ideas.

Summary

There were all together thirteen stories in this collection and what made me squeal was a dedication before the stories in the book. This gave me some extra enthusiasm for reading the stories. I went and wrote a few thoughts on each story.

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1. Dracula Night by Charlaine Harris ****

I very much enjoyed this story. It reminded me how much I loved reading Sookie Stackhouse book series. The funny and quirky dialogue was delightful. And offcourse Eric <3.

2. The Mournful Cry of Owls by Christopher Golden ***

This story had a YA feel to it. The timeline placing, the cultural tidbits and the actual supernatural creature in question were different than expected. It was more baffling than anything else.The mystic and pensive feel to it just did not work for me. And the owls I just cant perceive as anything but cute nocturnal animals.

3. I was a Teenage Vampire by Bill Crider ****

This author was completely unfamiliar to me before. At first this felt like a story for much younger audience and since the true age of the narrator character is somewhere around middle school it kinda fit. I was nicely surprised by the vampire of the story. It was a truly intriguing portrayal and I loved its subtle creepiness.

4. Twilight by Kelley Armstrong ***

This was so far the heaviest story. It was interesting and thought provoking but also kinda depressing for a short story. I expected more from a well renown author.

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5. It’s My Birthday, Too by Jim Butcher *****

I never read The Dresden Files and have only watched a few episodes of the TV show that did not last long. I loved this story. It had meat to the plot and characters were quite lovable. Everything about this story made me want to learn more about the characters and had me wondering about them. I had reservations about starting yet another UF book series but this one sure is intriguing.

6. Grave-Robbed by P.N. Elrond ****

I have not read anything from this author before but I have few other books and collections edited by her. This was an unexpected surprise. While the vampire of the story made me wonder quite a bit the setting and the general feel to this story was overwhelmingly positive.

7. The First Day of The Rest of Your Life by Rachel Caine ****

I loved this teasing introduction to Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series. I enjoyed the dramatic background and intriguing hints on characters in the story. I will definitely give these a chance when I get some other books series to a close.

8. The Witch and the Wicked by Jeanne C. Stein ***

This story seemed quite silly. The main character is kinda depressing and the plot was kinda far fetched. I did not know should I laugh or pay more attention. The vampires in this story bugged me. It was just not my kind of story it seems. This author was completely new to me and I have no desire to read more from her.

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9. Blood Wrapped by Tanya Huff ****

I have not read this author but I am familiar to her characters Henry Fitzroy and Vicki Nellson from the TV adaptation. I kinda like the TV show. This story is very much different from what I remember. This short story was interesting to read but I was annoyed with „What would Vicki think?“ that the characters kept asking themselves. Other than that I really enjoyed the story.

10. The Wish by Carolyn Haines ***

This author was new to me. The story was probably the shortest one in the whole collection. It was kinda morbid and nostalgic. The descriptions were depressing and ominous. I had to start reading it twice and force myself to concentrate since this short story already had a slow start and it took a few pages for anything other than setting descriptions to actually start. I’m still not sure what the author was talking about. The only thing I like in this story except the ever present madness is the actual vampire of the story.

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11. Fire and Ice and Linguini for Two by Tate Hallaway ***

This story was rich in interesting new creatures and mythology. Author was new to me and some ideas were intriguing. There was something kinda off with the characters though and it made me not like them all that much. The characters were not compelling enough for me to be believable.

12. Vampire Hours by Elaine Viets ***

A new author and a bit different story. There was something intriguing in the main character. Vampire of the story seemed sappy and kinda off. I’m not sure how I feel about this story though. The vampire bit seemed almost fairytale in quality. There were some interesting points in this story but the vampire part seemed forced.

13. How Stella Got Her Grave Back by Toni L.P. Kelner ****

What I did not like from the start was a title of this story. It made me think it was going to be another „girl power“ story like the one that came before it. I’m so glad I was wrong. The characters were lovable and the story was interesting. Vampires of the story were somewhat different than expected but they fit in nicely with the story. Strangely I did not mind many of the „curtain down“ love scenes that normally annoy me. I enjoyed this story.

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Conclusion

I’ve had this short story collection for almost a decade now and I’m glad I’ve finally read it. I am happy with the stories I’ve read. Most of the stories were good and better with only a few that just did not sit well with me. When it comes to vampires I can be quite picky. In the end it was a few little things that made me not love the story. I’m happy with the different vampire types the different stories brought out. I liked the action packed and funny stories more.

TBR Jar Draw September 2017

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After finishing the last TBR Jar Draw from May in a lot longer than expected I took my time with pulling out the new titles for reading. No doubt that my little reading project is going rather slowly if taken into account that I skipped on it for the last few months. I’m considering indulging and reading some books off my shelves that strike my fancy as well as those titles I pull from the jar to compensate for these few months. Lately some of the books on my shelves caught my eye.

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The last book I was reading for the TBR Jar Draw was Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles #1) by Anne Rice. I’m very pleased with finishing it and I made a short review of my reading experience that can be read HERE.

The two draws I have not read are going back in the jar:

 # The Crooked Sixpence (The Uncommoners #1) by Jennifer Bell, Karl James Mountford (Illustrator)

# Angel Souls and Devil Hearts (Shadow Saga #2) by Christopher Golden

My three new TBR Jar draws are as follows:

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1 # Many Bloody Returns edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner

I love these urban fantasy short story collections. This one has many exciting authors for me to try out. I bought it a long time ago and even forgot about it. All the stories in this collection share a topic of supernatural birthdays. I think I’ve read the one from Charlaine Harris long time ago somewhere. This would be a nice pick to read!

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2 # Necroscope (Necroscope #1) by Brian Lumley

This is one of the gems from the eighties. This book was praised by H.R. Giger whose macabre masterwork art inspired many. This book series is one of the first i got interested in when I started exploring the vampire themed literature. I got first two books of the series but never actually got to reading them. Interesting pick for sure.

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3 #  Naamah’s Kiss (Naamah Trilogy, #1) by Jacqueline Carey

This book is actually part of a longer series. Before this trilogy there were two others which I’ve read years ago. I got this Naamah trilogy as a whole. What kept bugging me was that the editions were different from the first two trilogies and looked just awkward on the shelf. As much I enjoyed first two trilogies I loved the main characters and had doubts on how I was going to like this one. I’m still unsure since I want to like it :/

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Again I am reminded at some books that I’ve completely forgotten about. I kept being surprised by why I find on my bookshelves. While all three books have their merits I will have to think and choose one carefully. Right now I’m leaning towards Many Bloody Returns or even Necroscope.