Bookmom's Reviews > Hex Appeal

Hex Appeal by P.N. Elrod
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Apr 16, 12


The anthology carries novellas from—I believe--ongoing series of nine established authors of Urban Fantasy. This book, while received free for review, was already on my ‘To Buy’ list because I regularly read four of the authors and used to read a fifth one. The stories run anywhere from 30 – 50 pages and do a good job of filling you in on the different worlds and characters and tell the story without a too-rushed type of feeling.

Ilona Andrews – Retrubution Clause. This story is set in Kate Daniels’ world, although it takes place in Philadelphia with Saiman’s frost giant cousin, Adam. He doesn’t have the same level of magic as Saiman does, and he works as an insurance adjuster. He and his partner Siroun are sent out on an impossible task; a client had a retribution clause in her life insurance policy, to kill any person that kills her. They have to determine if the person they’re after is guilty, but even more difficult is getting to the guy. If you need a fix from the Kate Daniels’ world, this one works nicely and I wouldn’t mind seeing future stories about these two. You shouldn’t have a problem getting into this world if you haven’t read the series.

Jim Butcher – Bigfoot on Campus. From the Harry Dresden series, this is the story I enjoyed the most. Bigfoot has used Harry before and hires him to go to his son—whom he’s never met—as he has a premonition that his life is in danger. The story is laid out for us after the fact as Harry explains to a college campus police officer why he was found in the middle of an orgy, how a car ended up on the fourth floor of a dormitory, and why there were reports of seeing Bigfoot. This is an out-of-town story, so the white vampires encountered here are new to us. Again, I believe it would be easy to get into the story if you don’t read this series.

Rachel Caine – Holly’s Balm. I don’t know if this story is part of a series, but the author mentions that Andy and Holly were introduced in the 2010 anthology, Strange Brew. I’m going to have to go back and read that story as I enjoyed this one. Holly is a resurrection witch and Andy had died back in the Old West but had been resurrected by Holly three months ago to help find a killer. They’d fallen in love and against the normal laws of nature, he still shouldn’t be alive. He’s got his own magical skill set which is needed when a serial killer starts having his victims raised so he can get the thrill of killing them all over again. I really like this duo.

Carole Nelson Douglas – Snow Job. From the Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator series. I had a difficult time getting through this story. The world is very different from anything else I’ve read and I had a hard time understanding some of what was going on, or why, even though an explanation is given. Those who follow the series will no doubt get a kick out of Delilah having to go to the Inferno Hotel/Casino to help out Snow, a person normally considered an enemy, when everything there goes wonky. She’s got to figure out what’s going on and to rescue Snow who has gone missing.

P N Elrod – Outside the Box. I’m not sure if this is part of an ongoing series; possibly the Vampire Files. Marsha (Mars) is a witch working for “The Company” which registers newly risen vampires and magically binds them to rules that keep vampires a secret from human society. She’s partnered with Ellinghaus, a vampire that’s supposed to keep her safe while Mars calms down the new vampire and gets it to The Company headquarters so it can learn how to adjust. The vampire they’re helping out is a little more than they bargained for. Interesting story and I wouldn’t mind reading more of this world where there are different types of vampires with different abilities.

Simon R Green – How Do You Feel. Story is from the Nightside series about Dead Boy, who’d been killed thirty years ago at the age of seventeen during a mugging. He exists; he doesn’t feel or even taste anything (except with the help of a pill). When Walker approaches him and says his killing hadn’t been an accident, Dead Boy knows that taking out the one responsible is one of the few things that would actually feel good. Someone not already familiar with this very strange world might have some problems with it, although it’s not quite as ‘out there’ as most of the stories in this series.

Lori Handeland – There Will Be Demons. From the Phoenix Chronicles series, told from Summer’s point a view. We experience Jimmy’s (dhampir) first meeting of Summer (fairy) and Sawyer (skinwalker), all of them demon killers working for a secret organization that takes out the various types of Nephilim that are doing their best to bring around the Apocolypse. It’s been two years since the last book in the series and no release date yet on the next one. This story should help placate those needing something from this series, although there's not a whole lot to it. Non-readers should have an easy time getting into this world.

Erica Hayes – Cherry Kisses. I believe this is from the Shadowfae Chronicles. A female con-artist in a world populated with psychotic fae and vampires with a protection racket, is offered a job by a demon. Fetch an amulet from Hell; it contains something of his. In return he’ll fulfill one wish. This story had potential and plenty of action, but I just couldn’t relate to the female lead.

Carrie Vaughn - The Aracane Art of Misdirection. From the Kitty series. Set in Las Vegas, this one follows the magician, Odysseus Grant and a blackjack dealer, as they try to find someone using magic to win at the tables. This will be easy for a non-reader of the series to pick up.

Read as an ARC for Library Thing.
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