Another anthology book picked-up because I wanted to read the Jim Butcher story inside.
Of all the urban fantasy collections I've read recently, this oAnother anthology book picked-up because I wanted to read the Jim Butcher story inside.
Of all the urban fantasy collections I've read recently, this one is probably my favorite to date. I enjoyed nearly all of the stories included, and most I would consider to be very well written -- not just quickly thrown out tales better left untold, as is often the case. Perhaps this is due to the editing skills of Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner.
This anthology's theme of the combination of Vampires and Birthdays are illustrated in the following short stories:
"Dracula Night" by Charlaine Harris -- Sookie Stackhouse is invited to attend "The" Dracula's Bithday Party at Fangtasia. I loved this one. Fun, funny and with a great little twist.
"The Mournful Cry of Owls" by Christopher Golden -- A sad, coming of age tale about Donika Ristani, who tries to be a typical teenager while also adhering to her mother's more traditional values. She struggles not to give in to the temptation of her attraction to her friend Josh, but her rash decision to streak through the woods with him leads to unexpected circumstances.
"I Was a Teenage Vampire" by Bill Crider -- Carleton, the teenage vampire in question, tells his tale of how her became a vampire. A cute tale, even if it was predictable.
"Twilight" by Kelley Armstrong -- No not THAT "Twilight". I really liked this tale about vampire Cassandra DuCharme, who is having trouble making her annual kill in order to stay alive. In this vampire world, vampire must live by the rule: "Another life taken. Another year to live." While vampires drink blood regularly to feed, they must drain one person before the anniversary of their rebirth as a vampire or rapidly weaken to death. A different take on the vampire myth, interesting characters, and cool story.
"It's My Birthday, Too" by Jim Butcher -- Another winning short story in the life of Harry Dresden. It's Valentine's Day. Harry and Molly have just slain a slime golem, and due to the snowy weather, Harry plans to drop Molly home, but needs to swing by Thomas' apartment to deliver his birthday gift. Thomas isn't home, but helping an employee by "pretending to be a 'straight' vampire" at her vampire LARP Valentine's night party at a mall restaurant. When Harry & Molly arrive at the mall, they notice that it's closed and there's suspicious activity afoot.
"Grave-Robbed" by P.N. Elrod -- I haven't liked any previous stories by this author, so I didn;t even bother to read this one.
"The First Day of the Rest of Your Life" by Rachel Caine -- What would happen if vampires controlled your town, humans were their chattel, and when you turned 18, you had to swear allegiance to the vampire who was your family's official protector, pick a new protector, or try to live without one being constantly hunted. A very intriguing tale of Eve and the horrifying events on her 18th birthday.
"The Witch and the Wicked" by Jeanne C. Stein -- A fun, humorous tale of witch caterer Sophie and how catering the birthday party for vampire Jonathan Deveraux and her dream of starting her own cosmetics line meshed in quite an unusual way.
"Blood Wrapped" by Tanya Huff -- I didn't know that the Canadian TV series "Blood Ties" was based on a series of novels, so imagine my surprise to discover a Vicki Nelson related tale herein. Vampire Henry Fitzroy (bastard son on Henry VIII) and his sired companion Tony Foster contemplate 40th birthday gift ideas for Vicki, while investigating a possible kidnapping of a 4 year old girl by werewolves. Great story.
"The Wish" by Carolyn Haines -- An odd, yet moving story about a woman whose spirit (and subsequently her marriage) died along with the death of her twin children in an auto accident. She witnessed death in the form of a wind wraith take her children away after the accident, and she hope to die in their place. For years she's tried & hoped to join her children, but the angel of death told her her time was not up. Now the wraith has appeared again.
"Fire and Ice and Linguini for Two" by Tate Hallaway -- Witch Garnet is taking her vampire boyfriend Sebastian out to dinner on Christmas for his birthday. Sebastian is convinced that his birthday is cursed due to all of the unfortunate events that always occurred to him on that day beginning with his birth. Garnet doesn't believe this, but their car breaks down on the way into town in the middle of a snowstorm. Despite this ominous portent, Garnet is sure that they can find someone living nearby who will be willing to let them call for a cab. Her wish is granted soon thereafter ... or is it. Another well written, fun & twisty tale.
"Vampire Hours" by Elaine Viets -- As Katherine's 55th birthday approaches, she's feeling neglected by her cheating husband, but afraid to confront him because the upper-class circle to which she belongs tends to toss aged divorcees aside like garbage. Despite being married to the most successful plastic surgeon, she avoid her husband's cajoling to have work done and opted to embrace aging gracefully. Now, she realizes that decision has lead to her current predicament. Due to bouts of insomnia, she notices the penthouse in the trendy condos across the canal has been hosting frequent parties in the evening. As her marriage crumbles, Katherine is drawn to these parties. Despite recent murders in the area, one night she decides to take a walk toward the condos, and meets a handsome, younger man who tells her she beautiful. Meeting this stranger helps Katherine to cope with her pending divorce, but how far is she willing to go to find happiness? A fun, romantic tale with a twist.
"How Stella Got Her Grave Back" by Toni L. P. Kelner -- A sweet and poignant story about vampire dam Stella and her newly turned companion Mark, when they make a visit to Stella's grave on her birthday only to discover that someone else is buried there now.
An added perk ... the book is dedicated to Joss Whedon, which I thought was pretty cool....more
Well, having come to this series from seeing HBO's TV series True Blood, this novel was really no surprise since it reads like Season 1 of the show. IWell, having come to this series from seeing HBO's TV series True Blood, this novel was really no surprise since it reads like Season 1 of the show. I like Harris' writing style, characters & plot, but it was very anti-climactic.
I can only hope that since I'm HBO-challenged, I will enjoy the other novels more since I won't know what to expect.
As I hoped, I'm liking the series more with each new book now that I don't "know" the plot from the True Blood TV series.
Book #3 has more action and cAs I hoped, I'm liking the series more with each new book now that I don't "know" the plot from the True Blood TV series.
Book #3 has more action and character development, which I thought was lacking in books #1 & 2. Overall, the novel is still more what's going on in Sookie's head than an action-packed thrill ride, but I appreciate tipping the scales more toward action.
I also liked the new character Alcide and his interaction with Sookie. Pam's character is also becoming a fun addition to the mix, and Bubba makes me smile whenever he shows up too.
Here's hoping I don't go crazy waiting for Dead to the World (Book #4) to become available at the library!...more
The momentum in the Southern Vampire World is definitely building, and I'm soundly hooked into the series.Witches, Werewolves and Vampires ... Oh! My!
The momentum in the Southern Vampire World is definitely building, and I'm soundly hooked into the series. While I'm more of a "Team Bill" fan -- at least on the vampire front -- I can see the Eric attraction given the events in this novel. Which really says, I like Eric when he's more like Bill, lol. However, faithful Sam still has my heart.
Each successive book has given the established characters more depth, and the pacing of the novels is geared more toward action. I'm also enjoying the addition of more characters whose interaction with Sookie ebbs and flows in the successive novels. I'm especially happy about Sookie having to deal with Supernaturals other than Vampires. This time, witches and werewolves take center stage after Sookie discovers a naked, amnesiac vamp-Eric wandering the Parish Road in Bon Temps.
I can hardly wait for the next novel Dead as a Doornail to become available to see what mischief Sookie finds herself in next....more
I enjoyed this second Sookie novel more than the first, but they still don't engage me as much as the novels by Jim Butcher, Kat Richardson, Lori HandI enjoyed this second Sookie novel more than the first, but they still don't engage me as much as the novels by Jim Butcher, Kat Richardson, Lori Handeland and Jaye Wells do.
There isn't anything bad about the novels at all, I'm just not connecting with them as much as I did with True Blood or those more action-oriented novels. I kind of thought this might happen given how quickly & hard I fell for True Blood.
I still intend to finish the series, in fact, the third novel is waiting for me at the library, so I'll be starting that tomorrow. Who knows, perhaps I'll start going crazy waiting for the subsequent novels to become available through the library and become passionate over the series?...more