Janice (Janicu)'s Reviews > Holidays Are Hell

Holidays Are Hell by Kim Harrison
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's review
Jun 23, 2008

liked it

For the most part I liked this anthology better than the first one, Dates from Hell. I think most were on the "good!" side.

"Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel" by Kim Harrison. In Dates from Hell we got a story about Ivy set before she meets Rachel, and in this story, we get a story about a young teen-aged Rachel before she ever joins Inderland Security. I thought this was well done because you don't have to have read the Rachel Morgan books to understand the world (much less confusing than the story in Dates from Hell), plus there are a lot of new things to learn for those who read those series. We learn about Rachel's family dynamics, and about Rachel's reasons for joining IS. I was also surprised to see how different Rachel is physically in this short story than what I was used to seeing in the series, but her stubbornness and trying to do things seemingly beyond her abilities seems very familiar.

"Run, Run, Rudolf" by Lynsay Sands. If you look at the link to the first anthology, and check out the "Claire Switch Project", this is a continuation of that short story. A couple of scientists gets zapped by a "destabilizer ray" that allows them to shapeshift if they concentrate really hard. I thought that story was goofy and I think this continuation is equally so. I have checked out reviews from this book and this was many people's favorite story so I don't know.. For me, this was my least favorite of the bunch and it did not fit in with the rest of them.

"Six" by Marjorie M. Liu. I think this one is a stand alone, unconnected to an outside series, and it manages to have great world-building, action, characters, and plot in a short space. Six is a elite Chinese agent trying to track down terrorists when she stumbles upon the paranormal - vampires - not the western myth I'm used to reading about, but the Chinese version - Jiang Shi. This was a refreshing twist. Possibly my favorite of the bunch because I liked the setting - urban China. Liu has several romance novels out but I really like her urban fantasy.

"The Harvest" by Vicki Pettersson - Another one based in the world where a series is set. This is the story of Zoe Archer - the mother of the protagonist in the Signs of the Zodiac series, Joanna Archer. I thought this was a great side story to go with the series which fills us in on the motivation of Zoe's mother as well as learning about her personality and how she was able to do what she did. But, if you haven't read this series, I'm not sure how lost you would be reading this story. It's possible the answer is - quite lost. Though there are several hints that explain the world, the Zodiac world is very complex so it's hard for me to say how confused someone would be. Definitely a must-read for a Zodiac series fan though.

more detailed review at my book blog here - http://janicu.livejournal.com/22528.html
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Karen Wapinski good review. I actually read this as my intro to the Zodiac books and had no idea it was part of a larger series when I did and I wasn't lost at all. Maybe because I didn't know what I was missing I didn't go looking for stuff you already knew was there?

Janice (Janicu) Karen wrote: "good review. I actually read this as my intro to the Zodiac books and had no idea it was part of a larger series when I did and I wasn't lost at all. Maybe because I didn't know what I was missing ..."

Could be! I knew the author was leaving out a lot of explanation because I read a couple of the other books, but if it worked for you, then she explained the right amount! :)

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