I loved the Sookie Stackhouse series, so when I heard about this anthology I was definitely interested in checking it out...
"Nobody’s Business” by RacI loved the Sookie Stackhouse series, so when I heard about this anthology I was definitely interested in checking it out...
"Nobody’s Business” by Rachel Caine (featuring Kevin Pryor & Kenya Jones)
Interesting story about Kevin and Kenya--cops who are partners, and have a bit of a thing going. Well, not initially because there are several obstacles in their way. But this gives us a glimpse into their connection, work ethic, and we get to visit a different vampire club.
It's full of action, has a police chase, creepy vampires, an even creepier human, is well written and very entertaining.
Rachel Caine sure knows how to write a story!
“Tyger, Tyger” by Christopher Golden (featuring Quinn)
Quinn the weretiger was one of my favourite characters in this series. I enjoyed reading about his time with Sookie and felt sad when they broke up. But the reason was his family, and this story once again shows how much his mother and sister mean to him. Not to mention his girlfriend and son.
When Quinn gets the runaround from the nursing home his mother is staying in, he decides to drop in. And what he finds leads to his imprisonment and making the hardest decision of his life.
I loved this story! The humans and their despicable ambitions bring the beast out of Quinn. Great story.
“The Real Santa Claus” by Leigh Perry (featuring Diantha)
I loved this story! Not just because I always liked and was curious about Diantha and her uncle, Mr. Cataliades, but also because we catch a glimpse of Sookie & Sam several years after the series is over.
Also, it's a fun Christmas tale that's full of mischief and mystery. Perfect for this time of year.
“Taproot” by Jeffrey J. Mariotte (featuring Andy Bellefleur)
Now this was a story I wasn't sure I would enjoy. Andy Bellefleur isn't the most exciting character in the Sookieverse, and I'd never read anything from this author. But... I loved it!
This actually takes part shortly after Lafayette is murdered and dumped in Andy's car. Some reality TV show people take over Merlotte's, but Sam can't remember signing a contract.
As it turns out, the one girl who broke Andy's heart back on high school is one of the crew, and she might be back to hurt him a little bit more...
“Knit a Sweater Out of Sky” by Seanan McGuire (featuring Amelia)
Well, this turned out to be a fun but dangerous witchy tale!
It all starts in Amelia and Bob's apartment. Amelia is testing her ability by growing a cherry tree, and the results lead to pie. LOL. But when she goes to the river with the intention of summoning a breeze, something much worse happens because Bob and her aren't the only witches testing the weather.
I really enjoyed this story. I always liked Amelia.
“Love Story” by Jeanne C. Stein (featuring Adele Hale Stackhouse)
A quick glimpse into what happened between Adele and Fintan. Was written in diary format and didn't really bring anything new to the table. Well written, though.
“The Million-Dollar Hunt” by Jonathan Maberry (featuring Mustapha Khan)
I struggled with this one. I love the way the story is told, but just couldn't get into it.
“Borderline Dead” by Nicole Peeler (featuring Desiree Dumas)
Well written, sassy and fun. Though I barely remember this character from the series. LOL.
I skimmed most of this one. Just wasn't feelin' these characters, or their underwhelming tale.
“Don’t Be Cruel” by Bill Crider (featuring Bubba)
I honestly thought I would like this story because I've always liked Bubba, but I found it hard to get into. In the end, it lagged and went far too long.
Though it was good to see Bubba have a good time, I wish I could say I enjoyed it. :(
“What a Dream I Had” by Nancy Holder (featuring Alcide Herveaux)
Alcide has always been one of my favourite characters, so I was excited about this story.
It focused on his first love, which is when his girl trouble began. It was prom night and he's hoping to have a nice night with his date during an after party for two. But what they find inside the trailer changes their lives forever.
This turned out to be a weird little tale of woe. Poor Alcide. :(
“Another Dead Fairy” by Miranda James (featuring Claude & Claudine Crane)
This was an excellent story! A lovely surprise, since the fairy twins usually annoyed me, LOL.
Claude is performing at Hooligans when his cousin Seamus dies. It doesn't take long for Claude and Claudine to realise that Seamus was murdered on the couch in the male dressing room--and probably while doing the deed. ;)
What follows is an intriguing murder mystery as they try to figure out which female stripper us responsible.
I loved it! Very well written, paced very well, and had a just conclusion. This is how a tight and tidy short story is written.
“The Bat-Signal” by Suzanne McLeod (featuring Luna)
Interesting story featuring Luna the batshifter, Hunter and Remy.
“The Sun, The Moon, and The Stars” by Dana Cameron (featuring Pam Ravenscroft)
This was a good one! Enjoyed the glimpse into Pam's past, and how it blended with her present.
“Widower’s Walk” by MaryJanice Davidson (featuring Eric Northman)
This melancholy tale was too slow for me. It featured Eric 201 years after the series is over. So there's no Sookie or Sam, just their descendants. This was just okay for me.
The Dead But Not Forgotten anthology is a nice blend of short stories guaranteed to satisfy any Sookieverse fan. I enjoyed some stories more than others, but overall it's a great book. Every author featured in this anthology did a great job at keeping the atmosphere, mood and characterisation familiar.
It's a great addition to your Sookie Stackhouse collection. :) ...more
I found this book at the library and decided to borrow it. I've been reading a lot of really good short stories and novellas lately, so I thought thisI found this book at the library and decided to borrow it. I've been reading a lot of really good short stories and novellas lately, so I thought this would be a great book to read. Actually, I was quite excited about reading it.
Then I read the first story.
I found That the Machine May Progress Eternally really boring. I couldn't get into it, but kept reading because I thought it would get better. In the end, I just couldn't connect with the story.
I gave up on Losing Her Divinity pretty much right away.
By the time I reached Neil Gaiman's story, I was really hoping that the anthology would get better. And it did! The Sleeper and the Spindle was a wonderful story. I really enjoyed it!
But when I hit the next story, I found my mind wandering. I was restless and just couldn't get into the stories--no matter who they were written by.
So, I raced ahead and read The Soul Collector because I heard great things about it. It was an interesting, very dark story about damaged people who are touched by a spark of the paranormal. I enjoyed it.
After this story, I didn't bother going back to the others. Which is a shame. For whatever reason, the majority of the stories failed to hook me in. Neil Gaiman's and Kami Garcia's were the only ones I read all the way through and really enjoyed.
This anthology was disappointing for me. It ended up being a combination of skimming & DNF. :(...more
THE ASSASSIN AND THE PIRATE LORD This takes us back to a time when Celaena Sardothien worked for Arobynn Hamel, King of the Assassins. It's also a time when Sam Cortland was still alive, so I was looking forward to meeting him. I was surprised to find out that at first they can barely stand each other because they're always competing.
After a fellow assassin is captured and another is killed, Celaena and Sam are sent to meet with a Pirate Lord at Skull's Bay. She spends most of her time hiding behind a mask and arguing with Sam. Until they find out their boss is going into the slave trading business. That's when Celaena and Sam use their smarts and extensive training to risk their lives and save innocent slaves...
This was an awesome origin story. It's filled with action, witty dialogue, insane plans, horrible pirates, a remote island, and adventure. It was great to see Celaena as a spoiled, arrogant teen before the devastation that awaits her.
This act of disobedience also happens to be when everything changes and sets her on the path to Endovier.
THE ASSASSIN AND THE HEALER
After Celaena and Sam ruined Arobynn Hamel's slave trading plans, the ruthless King of the Assassins punishes her by beating her and then sending the young assassin on a mission to the Deserted Land. On her way, she stops in a small and filthy port town called Innish. While she waits for her ship to come in, she spends most of her days in a local inn drinking. She also looks for trouble, but mostly makes her presence known by hiding her bruised face under a cowl and drinking the day away.
A barmaid watches the visitor, and as she wonders about the mysterious woman who sits at the back and throws coins around, she ponders her own worthless existence. Yrene Towers comes from a long line of healers and intended to attend the Torre Cesme academy to further her training, but after running out of money she ended up here. No matter how hard she works, she can't seem to save enough money to leave this horrid place. Crossing paths with the mysterious visitor might just change her life...
I loved this story. It was short, but full of heart and action. Celaena's an ominous presence, but her power is felt deeply. Yrene was also a very interesting character, so I liked reading her POV. I also enjoyed seeing Celaena's harsh exterior crack enough to teach a young girl in desperate need of a helping hand how to protect herself, and not give up on her dreams.
THE ASSASSIN AND THE DESERT
It's taken Celaena weeks of being guided over the harsh and unforgiving conditions of the Red Desert to reach the Silent Assassin's fortress. Not to mention she spent a horrid birthday without much celebration, enduring endless heat and sand. She's been sent by Arobynn as punishment for ruining his slave trading plans by releasing them instead. She has to spend one full month training with the Mute Master and then get a letter of approval at the completion.
While she's there, she finds a league of assassins that live in silent harmony, and don't have to put up with a cruel master. She even meets and befriends a female assassin. Ansel is smart, tough, and Celaena enjoys spending time with her. But everything isn't as it seems because there's danger lurking from the nearby town of Xandria, or maybe it's from the inside of the fortress....
OMG. This was another amazing story! I enjoyed spending time with the Silent Assassins, while watching as Celaena realises that her master isn't the norm. Even assassins deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Seeing her forge a new friendship while learning about the Flatlands and the Witch Kingdom was also interesting.
Oh, and it was also sweet how she kept thinking about Sam. :)
THE ASSASSIN AND THE UNDERWORLD
After months of being away, Celaena has returned home to the Assassins' Keep. As soon as she arrives, she goes straight to Arobynn Hamel's study with the intention of letting him know she's going to buy her own freedom and intends to move out. But she's surprised to find him apologetic about his actions. He seems to be sorry about sending her away and begins to shower her with gifts. He's even got a new assignment for her. Something that'll make her a lot of money, as well as aid her plight to free slaves.
So she decides to put off her intentions for a while, but refuses to forget what Arobynn did to her.
Celaena finds herself eager to see Sam again, to see what happened to him after she left but when she finds him with a girl she despises, all of her eagerness fades. Still, she accepts his help in her assignment and as much as she wants it to feel like old times, when they got on each other's nerves and were one step away from killing each other... her feelings towards Sam are shifting. But it's easier to concentrate on her job. Except, things aren't as they seem and what Celaena's doing might have the reverse effect.
These novellas just keep getting better and better. It was good to see Celaena back in Rifthold, and read about how she interacts with Arobynn and Sam. There were some very tender moments in this instalment, a lot of kick-butt action, and even a good--or is that bad?--dose of betrayal. I really, really dislike the so-called 'King of the Assassins'. Since I know how it all turned out between them, I can already sense the vengeance he's plotting against her.
I'm loving this book. And I only have one more story to go. :(
THE ASSASSIN AND THE EMPIRE
Well, I just finished reading the last prequel novella. :( Although I already knew where Celaena's story would end up, the events leading to how she got there still twisted my stomach into knots and broke my heart.
Now that their debts to Arobynn Hamel have been paid in full, Celaena and Sam are living away from the Assassins' Keep. They're enjoying each other, and like the fact they're away from Arobynn even more. But money is running out, and they can't seem to score any jobs. So, even though she hates it, Sam has been fighting in the Vaults.
When they decide to sever complete ties with the King of the Assassins by paying their way out of the Assassins' Guild, Sam finds them one last job so they can get their payment and leave this city. But their last mission in Rifthold seems like an almost impossible assignment that wreaks of betrayal and shatters their lives forever.
Wow. This was such an intense story. No matter what was going on, I was on the edge if my seat. Knowing what happens to Sam, where Celaena ends up, and who betrays her actually made the heartbreak SO much worse.
This is one powerful and moving story that breaks the reader as much as poor Celaena.
The Assassin's Blade is a fantastic addition to The Throne of Glass series. Reading Celaena Sardothien's journey as an obedient assassin who is eventually punished for refusing to be a willing participant in the evil slave trade was quite a heart-wrenching experience. But you know what? I enjoyed every thrilling, breathtaking moment.
I also can't wait until she makes the King of the Assassins and the King of Adarlan pay for not only breaking her, but destroying her life.
I don't listen to many audio books, but I couldn't pass this one up. These are the first stories Clive Barker wrote, and they're very entertaining.
“ThI don't listen to many audio books, but I couldn't pass this one up. These are the first stories Clive Barker wrote, and they're very entertaining.
“The Wood on the Hill” is an interesting and dark short story that I really enjoyed. It's about a woman who learns a very valuable lesson.
The second story is a novella. “The Candle in the Cloud” is a dark fantasy children's story about three kids, a magical candle, a scary all-consuming cloud, and the fantastical world they stumble into.
I enjoyed the way both stories are narrated. And I thought they were great with just the right amount of intrigue, tension, and creepiness....more
I'm a HUGE Charlaine Harris fan, so when I found out two of her earliest books were being released as an omnibus I wanted to check them out...
SWEET ANI'm a HUGE Charlaine Harris fan, so when I found out two of her earliest books were being released as an omnibus I wanted to check them out...
SWEET AND DEADLY
Catherine Linton goes out one morning for a little target practice when she stumbles upon the dead body of a woman hidden inside a rundown shack. She reports the murder and an investigation begins. But Lowfield is a very small town and she knows the dead woman. She also soon realises that whoever is responsible for this murder is probably someone she's known most of her life. Someone with a secret dark enough to continue killing...
I have to admit that while I enjoyed this book overall, it took me a while to get into it. The writing style wasn't as smooth as her other books, and Catherine wasn't as likeable as her other heroines. Maybe it was because Charlaine Harris writes such awesome first-person POVs that this one felt a little, I don't know...dull. It's missing the excitement and intrigue of her other heroines--Sookie Stackhouse, Roe Teagarden, Lily Bard, Harper Connelly--plus the big reveal wasn't as shocking as I hoped.
Even though it's not as memorable as her other characters and doesn't have the charm of the other small towns she's written about, I'm still glad I read it. Besides, I think this was her first published novel. You gotta start somewhere, right? ;)
A SECRET RAGE
Nickie Callahan is a former model living in New York, but when her career seems to be over she decides to move to the college town of Knolls, Tennessee with her best friend, Mimi Houghton. She enrols into college and is determined to eventually pursue her career as a writer. But the quiet town isn't as peaceful as it seems. A college student was raped before Nickie got there, and then the same thing happens to her faculty adviser, Barbara Tucker. Things go from bad to worse when Nickie becomes the next victim and is attacked in her own home. The shocking violation leaves her physically and mentally scarred, frightened, damaged, and full of rage.
This isn't a book for anyone who might be squeamish about confronting the aftermath of rape and what it can do to a person. How it slowly turns Nickie and Barbara from victims, into women bonded by this tragedy and determined to figure out who dared to scar their lives in the most awful way possible.
The story was suspenseful, shrouded in mystery as every man in Knolls becomes a suspect. Nickie and Barbara start crossing names off their lists, and start to realise their attacker is probably someone they see every day.
I really, really enjoyed this book! Nickie was a very likeable character from the very beginning, so when she's attacked and I'd gotten a chance to get to know her, it really hit hard. I felt for her and went through the motions of her recovery. She's a strong character who, in spite of the harsh encounter that will impact her life forever, is determined not to let it stop her life. She continues to study, to go on at her own pace... There's even a spark of romance, which is encouraging to see during a time when her belief in men is at its lowest.
This was an excellent book that'll keep you guessing until the end!
Sweet and Deadly & A Secret Rage turned out to be a great omnibus. The first story wasn't as intriguing as I'd hoped, but the second one certainly made up for it. Being a Charlaine Harris fan, I'm really glad I got the chance to read where her writing journey began. Thanks, Hachette! :) ...more
This is a spin-off anthology of short stories set in the same (zombie-infested) world as the Living with the Dead Trilogy, so I was eager to read it..This is a spin-off anthology of short stories set in the same (zombie-infested) world as the Living with the Dead Trilogy, so I was eager to read it...
These are the stories:
BONEWRECKER 2: Zander is so busy playing his brand new game that the zombie apocalypse hits and he doesn't even realise it. Actually, the only reason he notices is because he can't log online to play against other gamers. LMAO. I love the concept!
Yeah, this was a fun, little story about a trio of unlikely survivors trying to get out of their apartment block before the bad things that happens to most characters in zombie games and movies, doesn't happen to them. Cool.
COMPANY'S HERE: Wow. This was an interesting and heartbreaking story about a couple who are on the run from real life problems and are living in a holiday cottage by the sea. Except, the day someone decides to drop in, it happens to be a zombie.
I really enjoyed Nadia and Randy's story, even though it's very sad. :(
THE TREEHOUSE: Brings two unlikely companions together and on the road, travelling through the US. Though when Robin and Carl find a feral child, they pick up another travelling companion.
PROPERTY LINES: OMG. This story cracked me up! Two neighbours who are constantly fighting over their property lines wind up having to work together in order to survive the sudden zombie apocalypse. This was a good one.
'TIL DEATH: This turned out to be a really cute story.
I CALL IT LOST WAGES: What a clever title! Two unlikely companions are travelling the country in search of a safe place to live, instead they wind up finding a bunch of kids with no real instincts in survival.
THEY'RE THE LIONS NOW: This one's a bit of a futuristic tale because it actually takes place after the Outbreak has been contained and a pair of zombies are the latest exhibit in the zoo. Two brothers go along to check them out, and instead wind up running for their lives.
What I loved about this story was the human stupidity of it all. It's just like humans to think they can spend a fortune acquiring two zombies to make money off them, and not think there'll ever be any danger of infection. Unbelievably stupid, yet I could see it happening. People can be so stupid, sometimes.
MR. McGYVER: Nice story about two very young, but brave sisters surviving in the new landscape of a post-apocalyptic world. The day they cross paths with 'Mr. McGyver', their life changes a lot more than they thought it would.
REALITY BITES: This is an effed up story about a zombie-style reality show. It captures all the worst bits of reality TV, that's for sure. :/
Overall, they were a great bunch of short stories. Some were better than others, but they were all a lot of fun and expanded on the frightening zombie world that Jesse Petersen introduced us to in the Living with the Dead Trilogy.
Though I have to admit that there was one thing missing... no, two things: Sarah and David. ;)
(It did have a few typos here and there, but it certainly didn't distract me from any of the stories.) ...more
This is the second volume of Rhiannon Frater's anthology featuring stories about other survivors from the As the World Dies Trilogy, and even a few noThis is the second volume of Rhiannon Frater's anthology featuring stories about other survivors from the As the World Dies Trilogy, and even a few not introduced before...
Revelation: This is Katarina's story--where she was, what she was doing, and how she survived long enough to get to the Hotel construction site. She was one of the characters I wanted to know more about, so this story was great.
It was good to see how the zombie apocalypse changes her into a much stronger person than she was during the normal times, when her selfish and cruel mother ruled her life. She takes to the rifle right away, and we catch a glimpse of the tough, skilful survivor she becomes.
A Terrible Moment: Is actually a story about a bunch of people that aren't in the trilogy, and I have to say that it was my favourite one in this anthology! Great, great story about a woman who is a wee bit delusional and totally loses it, putting everyone around her in danger.
It's a great study of human nature at its most paranoid.
Frienship in the Time of Zombies: You know, for some reason, it took me ages to finish this story. Before starting it, I was sure I was going to love Lenore and Ken's tale, but sadly I didn't. :( Not sure what it was, but their adventure of survival just didn't hook me in, no matter how many times I tried to get back into it.
In the end, I wound up skimming most of it. Though I did like Tito. :) ...more
I haven't read any Anita Blake books since Book 12. It used to be one of my favourite series, but something happened along the way and I just couldn'tI haven't read any Anita Blake books since Book 12. It used to be one of my favourite series, but something happened along the way and I just couldn't handle the path Anita is headed in. So I stopped reading her stories. I borrowed this from the library with the intention of reading the short stories only, so I skipped Micah.
THOSE WHO SEEK FORGIVENESS: This is actually an Anita Blake story, and I loved it! It's got everything I originally loved about Anita and her world. It focuses on a case that seems pretty straightforward--a standard reanimation--but ends up in a pretty bad place. It was great!
A LUST OF CUPIDS: Um... not sure about this one. It was a little too light and fluffy, I think. Even the description of the cupids, lol. And the ending was a little... meh.
THE EDGE OF THE SEA: Oooh, I liked the atmospheric feeling of this story.
The night Adria wakes up nervous and with a feeling of doom, she finds her best friend and housemate dead on the beach. Shortly after a man was taking advantage of her, and then disappears into the sea. Distraught and grief-stricken, she starts to hear a strange song inside her head, while other women turn up abused and dead on the shore. Soon, she finds herself in the same danger... but she might be strong enough to save herself and put an end to this monster.
Although the subject matter of this one was very dark, I liked the style of the story. I really got dragged into the middle of Adria's confused and haunted state of mind. Besides, I've always thought the sea to be super creepy.
A SCARCITY OF LAKE MONSTERS: Oh, I think this is my favourite story so far!
It's set in a world where lake monsters are actually real, and a wife and husband team take care of one in particular in the Enchanted Forest National Park. His name is Irving, and he's got quite the sense of humour, plus really likes his human caretakers. However, the night some assholes take their boat out on the lake and pretty much butcher the poor lake monster, Mike and Susan are distraught, but also discover something fascinating about these sea monsters.
I loved this story.
SELLING HOUSES: This is a short story set in Anita Blake's world, but starring a realtor. Abbie is trying to sell the house of a recent family massacre, but this isn't your average murder house. There's a really dark and evil stain left on it. Dark enough that some pretty heavy supernatural cleansing needs to be done before it can be sold. Lucky for her, other creatures of the night happen to be interested.
A fun and tension-filled story that I really enjoyed.
A TOKEN FOR CELANDINE: An interesting fantasy story about an elf, a healer, a demon and the quest to cleanse the healer. I really enjoyed this one!
A CLEAN SWEEP: This is a silly story that I didn't like. At all. :/
THE CURSE-MAKER: I just couldn't get into this one... DNF.
GEESE: Another fantasy story, but one that I really couldn't get into. So, in the end I read the beginning, skimmed the body, and read the ending. That's it.
HOUSE OF WIZARDS: Another fantasy story. Didn't bother with it.
HERE BE DRAGONS: Now, this was a great, psychologically insane story. In a totally screwed-up way. Wow. It hooked me in from the very beginning and I just had to read it in one sitting. It's a very powerful story set in a world filled with very dangerous, psychic children. Yikes! It made my skin crawl, and I agree with the editor LKH mentioned at the beginning--I feel unclean now.
WINTERKILL: This is another fantasy story, so I decided to skip it...
STEALING SOULS: ...and this one too.
THE GIRL WHO WAS INFATUATED WITH DEATH: Y'know, it wasn't until Jean-Claude entered the scene that I realised I'd already read this story, lol. Still, it's an Anita Blake story and it managed to hook me in once again. So, I just kept reading until I got to the end.
This was an interesting story, another one that reminded me how much I used to love Anita and her world. :/
Well, there it is. This book was a strange mix of short stories. Some I REALLY enjoyed, some I had to skim, and a few I decided to skip. Still, I'm glad I read this collection.
My faves were: Those Who Seek Forgiveness and A Scarcity of Sea Monsters. :)...more