As with all anthologies I have reviewed I wanted to review a large selection of the short stories to give you a g...moreOriginally posted on Book Chick City.
As with all anthologies I have reviewed I wanted to review a large selection of the short stories to give you a good indication if this book is worth reading/buying, unfortunately with the lead up to Christmas I just haven't had the time to read much at all. So I only have two mini reviews for you. Hopefully I will review a few more from this anthology in due course.
GIFT WRAP ~ Charlaine Harris
How does Ms Harris do it? In just twenty odd pages she pulled me into the story and I didn't want to leave. This is a lovely self-contained little story with a beginning, middle and end and written with Harris's usual easy southern style.
Being without family and friends over the Christmas holiday, Sookie is feeling a little lonely. While out the day before she'd heard a strange noise in the words and so decides to investigate. Well, what else has she to do?
She happens upon an injured, naked man who, in Sookie style, she takes back to her place to clean him up and take care of his wounds. She knows he's a were from his psychic waves and also finds she can't quite keep her eyes off his naked body!
But things are not as they seem. Sookie feels something's off about him but still lusts after him. And after a while a howl from outside alerts the man, who calls himself Preston, that the creatures that hurt him have found him and he's in danger. Sookie hides him and manages to see off the bad guys with her shotgun in hand.
Things take a surprising turn for Sookie as she finds herself in bed with Preston. Let's just say she wakes up Christmas morning with a smile on her face. The ending I didn't see coming which was great, especially for such a short story and there's also a little twist. When I finished I desperately wanted to go and read the next book in the Sookie series that's sitting on my shelf. (8/10)
LUCY, AT CHRISTMASTIME ~ Simon R. Green
Although I've heard of this author and even have one of his books on my shelf, I've never read anything by him before. His writing style is great with a dryness that I liked a lot.
We meet a guy in a bar who's remembering a lost love on Christmas Eve. His thoughts are with Lucy from years ago, when they first met, how their love grew. This is a bittersweet story with a sting in its tale. I enjoyed this story even though it was very short story (seven pages), but it was enough of a taster to want to read more by this author. (7/10)
The two stories I read were great and I am looking forward to reading more from this anthology, I'm just sorry I didn't have time to read and review more for you. (less)
How interesting does this anthology sound!? I loved the idea of reading from the view point of the monster. I'm a...moreOriginally posted on Book Chick City.
How interesting does this anthology sound!? I loved the idea of reading from the view point of the monster. I'm also getting more and more into reading short stories. They really are great for when you're short on time, or going through a rough reading slump. And that's exactly what was happening to me when "The Monster's Corner" dropped through my letter box.
I decided I would read four of the stories in "The Monster's Corner" and write mini reviews of each. I thought this would be enough to give you an idea of the different styles you would find from the many different authors who contributed to this anthology and hope they will give a little taster if you will of what is on offer from this awesome looking book - the cover is fab don't you think? So here are my four choices from this bumper selection of supernatural shorties.
Succumb by John Mcllveen
This was a very visual, slightly dark but also tongue-in-cheek story with a huge amount of sexuality. The story is literally about a sexual act that has you guessing who, or what, is the entity doing the act. It's very difficult to explain without giving anything away, but let's just say I changed my mind about three times before the story ended. I liked the authors writing style a lot and even though this was a very short story there was a lot of information about the two characters involved. It had my complete undivided attention while reading.
Rakshasi by Kelley Armstrong
This is an excellent story. I really enjoyed it and I was disappointed when it ended. It's from the view point of a Rakshasi demon, who are cursed to walk the earth as a monster but are offered a way to repent and redeem their sins by a member of an isha family. If they accept, the member of the isha family becomes their master. When the Rakshasi has repaid their debt they will be set free. However, this hasn't happened for this particular demon who calls herself Amrita. Her 'family' have kept her for two hundred years as her job, with her master's help, is to seek out evil and eliminate it. When this is done the isha family can keep the wealth of their victim and because of this Amrita has become too valuable to set free, and she is not happy about it...
The ending is satisfying, although I must admit I was expecting something a little more dramatic, but over all this story is fab. I think Ms Armstrong should write a full length novel with Amrita as the heroine - I think this would make a very original type of urban fantasy.
Less of a Girl by Chelsea Cain
Sophie is in her bedroom with the bloody, dead body of, what I assume is her friend, Charlotte, on the floor. The narrator watches as Sophie scoops out an eyeball and offers it to her to eat, which she does and then continues to eat until there is no more trace of Charlotte, except for a blood stain on the carpet.
I do have my own thoughts as to who or what the narrater is, the clue for me is in the ending when the narrater slips under Sophie's bed, but I won't say any more as I don't want to influence you if you choose to read this anthology. However, it was a little too ambiguous for my taste and felt as though the author was relying on the reader to make their own assumptions as to who the narrater was. I'm not a huge fan of this style, but this story still had me instantly engrossed and is a great piece of descriptive writing.
Jesus and Satan Go Jogging in the Desert by Simon R. Green
This was my favourite story out of the four I selected to review. It is just so clever and funny, I loved it. It's exactly as the title suggests. Satan comes up from Hell to talk to Jesus who has been walking through the desert for forty days and forty nights. He's there to tempt Jesus, to test him at the instruction of their Father, God. It's quite poignant in places, and so funny in others. This story definitely makes me want to pick up a novel by this author.
Last year I read and reviewed a selection of stories from "Zombie: An Anthology of the Undead" (also edited by Christopher Golden), and thought it was excellent. From what I have read so far of "The Monster's Corner," it looks as though this is another fantastic collection of short stories from a great list of authors. I will definitely read more from this anthology, so look out for the review!(less)
Containing three novellas, two of which feature established characters of Lackey’s.
Arcanum 101 – Featuring Diana Tregarde
Having never read the Diana Tregarde series, I was worried I would have to know all the details but I was happy to see this was a prequel, and it’s a good introduction to the series. Set in 1970 at Harvard, Diana helps to investigate a kidnapping, which involves a ‘psychic’ who is hindering the case, rather than helping it. Who or what is this ‘psychic’?
I enjoyed this novella, I loved the way Diana used magic for everyday concerns, and how even though she has power, some trivial things are not above her! Some of it did feel slightly forced, whether this was due to the setting I'm not sure but it felt as thought the era's decriptions were unnatural. I definitely want to read the original series though, and see the woman Diana has grown into.
Drums – Featuring Jennifer Talldear
Although a continuation featuring a character from a previous book, it was quite enjoyable. Jennifer Talldear (what a great name!) is a shaman, who is asked to help a friend’s girlfriend who has attracted the attentions of an Osage ghost who want her to be his bride!
I loved the subjects in this novella, it deals with Native American legends and it was a treat to read them. I did feel that some bits were clunky, and some issues were raised which led me to wonder if Lackey is planning more stories featuring these characters. I do want to read Sacred Ground, the novel which introduces these characters, because I thought the actual culture and legends surrounding the Native magick very interesting.
Ghost in the Machine – Featuring Ellen McBridge
A fresh story and a brand new heroine for us. Ellen is a computer programmer – a ‘techno-shaman’. A MMORPG game character is actually killing player’s characters, and Ellen needs to figure out how to stop it before it finds out how to get into our world.
Out of the three novellas, this was my favourite. I thought the use of popular MMORPG games was a really great idea, and mixing it with a supernatural threat was brilliant. I hope we get more of Ellen, she was a fantastic heroine and I loved the idea of a ‘techno-shaman’.
A great mix of urban and paranormal fantasy, it’s a good, decent trio of short stories featuring magical women spanning the past 40 years. If you are already a fan of Diana and Jennifer I am sure you won’t be disappointed by revisiting their lives, and if like me, you were new to them you will probably end up wanting to read their previous novels. For me the showcase was Ellen’s story and I look forward to seeing more of her – hopefully! (less)