Audrey's Reviews > Many Bloody Returns - Tales of Birthdays with Bite

Many Bloody Returns - Tales of Birthdays with Bite by Charlaine Harris
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's review
Feb 06, 08

Read in February, 2008

a very lopsided collection. I thought with Harris as editor that the selections would be quality, but several of them were just downright awful. A summary:
The Good:
Christopher Golden's "The Mournful Cry of Owls" is the best in the collection -- reads like a great Nina Kiriki Hoffman story. Excellent stuff -- possibly because it didn't feature any of your standard vampire cliches.
Kelley Armstrong's "Twilight" -- one of the stronger stories in the collection. Interesting premise and conflict.
"Grave-Robbed" -- interesting setting -- cliche potential but stays clear
"How Stella Got Her Grave Back" -- some of the best characterization in the collection

The Bad:
Harris's short story is weak -- and Eric comes across as a total idiot -- totally out of character for her stories.
"I was a Teenage Vampire" had its okay moments, but overall wasn't a standout.
"The Witch and the Wicked" could be cute - but I'm too bugged by the characters.
"Fire and Ice" -- again, pretty common ground, nothing stellar by any means

The Cliche:
"It's My Birthday Too"
"Blood Wrapped"
Those two are basically interchangable -- wizards teaming up with vampires to solve original.

The Bad:
The First Day of the Rest of Your Life -- ugh. Dumping me into the middle of a series or whatever and expecting me to know what's what is not the way to go with a short story.

The Horrible:
"Vampire Hours" by Elaine Viets -- good thing it was almost the last story. Had this pile of cliched crap been in the front of the collection, I would've thrown it out the window. Awful.

I guess I never realized just how huge the whole "vampire/paranormal mystery" genre has grown. I could easily pick up any of 10 or 12 series, according to this collection...

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