A partial review of individual stories at this point.
The Bespelled A story about Al and Ceri, well before the main storyline, this story was fair and dA partial review of individual stories at this point.
The Bespelled A story about Al and Ceri, well before the main storyline, this story was fair and did little for me when I first read it. **½
Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel A solid novella-length work about a young Rachel Morgan as she attempts to summon the ghost of her father in order to get permission to join the IS. Better than many of Harrison's other shorter works, I think part of its success is due to the fact that the longer novella format gives her more room to work with than the short story. Although a prequel to the primary novels, the events in this book set up characters and events that start to appear around the 7th book.
Unfortunately, some of the events detailed in this book are later contradicted in the primary novels. I don't think this story is to blame, as much as Harrison wanting to integrate characters and ideas without having planned ahead to do so, and thus essentially being forced to retcon certain details in the novels to fit the greater theme. It's a shame because the later changes potentially detract from what is a solid story. ****
Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil Another prequel to the primary series, this story focuses on the living vampire, Ivy. Unfortunately, it is not as good as her novels tend to be. Although there is a mystery-of-sorts plot, the story is really about vampiric sexual tension and was much more vampire porn than her longer works. Overall, it felt rather forced. I may be holding this to higher standards than the other stories because I expected more from the author I already liked. **½
Dirty Magic Enjoyable little tale, set in the Rachel Morgan universe, about a Banshee (Mia...who appears in both another short story and in one of the novels) looking for love. ***½
The Bridges of Eden Park A simple story about Rachel and Kisten, there's not much to it. **
Ley Line Drifter This is a nice story about Jax setting up shop on his own and the perception of the "minor" races (i.e. things that are not humans, witches, vampires, werewolves, or elves). ***½
Million Dollar Baby An original story for this anthology, it fills in Trent and Jax's side-trip to "kidnap" Trent's daughter. An interesting side tale with more depth than the others due to it's longer length, it still suffers a bit from Trent's uninteresting self-pity. ***½
Pet Shop Boys The first of the non-Hollows related works, an original short story that sets up a different sort of vampire universe, but not one that works particularly well. **
Temson Estates A short story about dryads, there's no there there. *½
Spider Silk A story about a family with a generations long conflict with the dryad guarding the woods by their farm. Only so-so. **
Grace(less) A pretty good story about a world where some people can manipulate energy and electricity. Definitely has potential for its own series. ***...more
The Millennium Trilogy isn't a trilogy in the traditional sense. The first book is largely independent, while the second and third are two halves of aThe Millennium Trilogy isn't a trilogy in the traditional sense. The first book is largely independent, while the second and third are two halves of a larger story. It also appears the author planned on more stories, but died before any of these books were published (rumor has it a fourth manuscript exists, but its level of completeness is unknown, and major legal battles over his estate may keep it (if it exists) in limbo for quite a long time). This is also a series which may be better than the sum of its parts. The books are very well plotted and written, although they occasionally suffer from some odd exposition and quite a bit of historical and political background of Sweden which wouldn't be known to an American audience (I wonder if Swedes find the background interesting or completely redundant with their understanding of their own recent history?). For the most part, the books are very gripping, although with some unusual plot structure here and there which can make the endings of two of the books seem overly-long. All-in-all, they are simply excellent stories....more