Liv's Reviews > Hex Appeal

Hex Appeal by P.N. Elrod
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Jul 23, 12

Read from July 19 to 22, 2012

I only read a few of the short stories in this anthology. So my reviews and rating were only based on those that I actually read and not necessarily reflective on those others that I didn't read.

Retribution Clause - by Ilona Andrews, 3.5 stars

As a big fan of Ilona Andrews, I was dying for something, anything, from the Kate-universe. This story featured Adam, who was Saiman's cousin and also of frost giant descent. He worked for an insurance adjuster and was investigating a case with his partner, Siroun. Due to its length, it was just enough to convey a simple plot, but the actions and resolution were rather simplistic. It contained relatively good magical elements and I enjoyed it, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if it was written from the POV of one of the key characters from the Kate series. In any case, I liked it enough that it was okay to sate my craving for Kate & Curran, for the time-being.

Bigfoot on Campus - by Jim Butcher, 4 stars

This story was told retrospectively from Harry Dresden's POV after something happened on campus and he was being interrogate by the police. The story was basically about Bigfoot hiring Harry to look after his son. Upon Harry's investigation, he found that he was dating a White Court vampire fledgeling, who actually didn't know that she was what she was. As usual, whenever Harry was involved, there'd be lots of (vampire) troubles and magical explosions/blasts etc. The plot was simple but interesting, and the dialogue was witty, and sarcastic, as expected. A crisp, light, and enjoyable read.

Holly's Balm - by Rachel Caine, 4 stars

This short item contained a murder mystery being investigated by Holly and her undead partner Andy. They were both witches and Holly was asked by the police to investigate the gruesome murders of resurrected victims since witches were involved in the process. This story was very well-written, in the sense that it had a decent plot, a central conflict, character progression, and resolution at the end. Although the identity of the serial killer became apparent midway through, so it wasn't a mystery anymore (to me anyway), I still thought it was very good. I vaguely remember reading about Holly and Andy in another compilation sometime before. I think I might go back and re-read it.

The Arcane Art of Misdirection - by Carrie Vaughn, 3 stars

The tale involved Odysseus Grant, the Vegas stage magician from the Kitty Norville series. He found someone playing magical tricks (i.e. cheating) at the Blackjack table at the casino where he worked, he was intent on fixing it with the perpetrator. Julie, a card dealer at the Blackjack table, decided to tag along since she was both curious and had a small magical talent of her own. The story was a bit confusing but overall I thought it was good. I have always liked Odysseus and I thought it was about time that he took centre stage, for once. I just wished that Vaughn would write more about his magical abilities, because I knew he was very capable, but it still wasn't clear to me how capable he could be.
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