Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday Review Day!

Written by: Kelley Armstrong, L.A. Banks, Lucien Soulban and more
Edited by: Kevin J. Anderson
Short Stories
Publication date: September 28, 2010 by Gallery Books (first published 9/11/10)
Released in Paperback
439 pages
Given to my by my special someone :)

3 stars

Synopsis: From the Horror Writers Association comes a brand-new collection of darkly humorous tales!
The Big Questions of Life (and Death) 

Can a killer’s basement blood-feast be a tax write-off (under Entertainment)? Not if Vlad the IRS agent nails him first in Heather Graham’s "Death and Taxes." 

What does a pack of hungry she-wolves do to solve their man troubles? Ladies Night Out takes a wicked turn in "Dog Tired (of the Drama!)" by L. A. Banks. 

How far will an elite call girl go to beat a murder rap? Stuck with a dead client in a luxury L.A. hotel room, she might strike a costly bargain with a woman of unearthly powers in Allison Brennan’s "Her Lucky Day." 

Who actually writes those tabloid stories about Bigfoot? Meet a journalist of the unexplained (she’s 50 percent demon) and her boyfriend (he’s 100 percent thief), as they heat up a museum exhibition that’s also a soul-snatching battleground in "Lucifer’s Daughter" by Kelley Armstrong. 

Plus tales from:
KEVIN J. ANDERSON & JANIS IAN • SAM W. ANDERSON • MIKE BARON
EDWARD BRYANT • AMY STERLING CASIL • DEREK CLENDENING • DON D’AMMASSA • BRIAN J. HATCHER • NINA KIRIKI HOFFMAN • NANCY KILPATRICK • J. A. KONRATH • JOHN R. LITTLE • SHARYN MCCRUMB
SCOTT NICHOLSON • MARK ONSPAUGH • AARON POLSON • DANIEL PYLE
MIKE RESNICK & LEZLI ROBYN • JEFF RYAN • D. L. SNELL • LUCIEN SOULBAN
ERIC JAMES STONE • JEFF STRAND • JORDAN SUMMERS
JOEL A. SUTHERLAND • STEVE RASNIC TEM • CHRISTOPHER WELCH

My Review: Some of these were true horror stories told in such an imaginative way that it isn't scary at all, they're more realistic, as if you could really have a neighbor that keeps spare body parts in his basement. Others are so creative, have such disturbing creatures that I couldn't even fabricate them in my head! Almost all of the stories leave your mouth on the floor at the end with suspenseful cliffhangers, you just can't believe they left you hanging like that!

There were characters that you could like instantly...the way they think or their sense of humor. My favorite was a call girl named Vi. She caught the bad end of a deal, poor girl. And she had her life all figured out, too. But it was her attitude that I liked - not that I have much in common with a call girl! Another likable character was Filimeala O'Grady (American Banshee), a kick-ass bean sidhe that can use her scream to get what she wants. *wicked smile* I like her.

There was a story titled "Eight Legged Vengeance" that I absolutely could not read for the fear that it was about spiders. *shivers*

I enjoy short story books like this because it's fun switching characters every 15 pages or so. One right after another, a different place, a different time, a different narrator, tone and feel. It keeps me on edge and I never get bored. And if I do, I just skip that story and move on to the next. It's as easy as that! That's the true beauty of short stories, you feel like you've just completed a reading marathon but you get to skip the parts you don't like! It might be cheating, a little - still 26 out of 30 stories is pretty good.

Overall: This book and it's prequel Blood Lite (The Dresden Files #10.1) [my review here] are very entertaining and extremely creative. I don't think there was one story between the both of them that gave me the feeling that I've read something like this before. Thumbs up for originality!

3 comments:

jeffstrand said...

My story "Eight Legged Vengeance" is indeed about a spider...A TARANTULA!!! You were wise to skip it.

Cozy in Texas said...

I stopped by your blog today.
Ann

Natalie Valdes said...

Absolutely loving that cover and your review made me just want to go buy both of them!

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