Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Cherry-Picking Anthologies 1 (Running with the Pack, Evolve, Hex Appeal, & An Apple for the Creature)

I am not a big fan of anthologies. I much prefer longer works of fiction. However, occasionally, I am still tempted to purchase an anthology because it has a story by an author I do read. Most of the time, these anthologies sit on TBR mountain unread. Since my goal is to lower the number of books on the mountain, I am going to be checking out some of these anthologies, reading the story by the author I bought it for, and donating these books to someone who will like them better.
Running with the Pack edited by Ekaterina Sedia had a few stories that I needed to read. This anthology has been on my stack since May 12, 2010.
  • Wild Ride by Carrie Vaughn tells the story of T. J. who was gay and newly diagnosed with HIV when he met Alex at the track where T. J. was a motorcycle mechanic. After Alex's miraculous recovery from a crash, T. J. asked him his secret and confessed his own. Alex turns T. J. into a werewolf which cures him but then Alex leaves rather than staying part of his pack.
  • Blended by C. E. Murphy tells the story of a young woman who was the only survivor when her pack was attacked by hunters. Now in human form, she gets a chance to get revenge on the man who led the hunt and meets a man who can be her mate.
  • Locked Doors by Stephanie Burgis tells a very brief story about an eighth grade boy alone dealing with a father who is a werewolf and out of control for days at a time. He is also trying to understand the mother who left them both.
  • Werelove by Laura Anne Gilman tells the story of a were relationship gone wrong that sends a young woman to an old alpha woman for advice - advice that is good for wolves but contrary to what a human would do.
  • Mongrel by Maria V. Snyder is the story of an 18-year-old abused foster child who is living homeless surrounded by the dogs she has adopted. One night she rescues a wounded wolfhound and gets in the middle of a werewolf power struggle and, ultimately, finds a home.
Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead edited by Nancy Kilpatrick had a story by Kelley Armstrong—Learning Curve. This tells of a bit of time in vampire Zoe Takono's life when she attracts a stalker. She teases the stalker for a couple of weeks and then confronts her. Zoe tries to convince the half-demon stalker that she should either train harder or make another career choice. It was a nice story showing that all vampires aren't evil. This anthology has been on my stack since Sept. 8, 2010.
Hex Appeal edited by P. N. Elrod also had a few stories I needed to read. This anthology has been on my stack since Sept. 18, 2012.
  • Retribution Clause by Ilona Andrews takes place in a Philadelphia that has also been transformed by magic waves. It stars Adam Talford who is a frost giant and cousin of Saiman and his partner Siroun also a magical being of some sort. The work for insurance investigators and need to carry out a retribution clause in a life insurance policy. I loved the relationship between them and the action as they try to get to the man they are supposed to kill.
  • Bigfoot on Campus by Jim Butcher has Harry doing a favor for Bigfoot and trying to keep his son out of trouble. Bigfoot's son is dating the daughter of a White Court vampire. Unknown to her, she is supposed to come into her powers by killing her first lover. But Bigfoot's kid is a match for her and young romance triumphs.
  • Holly's Balm by Rachel Caine was a story in a world new to me. Holly is a witch who is a revivalist. On a previous case she revived Andy Toland who died back in Old West days. They are in love but he feels out of his time and she worries that he will die again. She is working on a case when a serial killer is reviving his previous victims and killing them again.
  • The Arcane Art of Misdirection by Carrie Vaughn features Odysseus Grant, a blackjack dealer, and a kid using magic to cheat.
An Apple for the Creature edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner had two stories that I needed to read. I added it to my stack on Dec. 14, 2012.
  • Playing Possum by Charlaine Harris was a Sookie Stackhouse story. Sookie is bringing cupcakes to her nephew Hunter's kindergarten classroom when the school is invaded by a shooter with a grudge against the school secretary. Both Sookie and Hunter's teacher who happens to be a witch secretly use their powers to save the day.
  • Magic Tests by Ilona Andrews is a story told by Julie. Kate wants her to attend school and the school she wants her to attend is currently immersed in a mystery. A student has disappeared and it is up to Julie to find her using both her deductive skills and her own unique brand of magic.
How do you feel about anthologies?

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