Top critical review
Some Great, Some Poor...
Reviewed in the United States on November 27, 2006
With 9 stories packed into just 310 pages you can only hope to get a yummy hint at the works of these well known authors. I think that's why some of them outshone themselves and others just basically sucked. If you've only got a few pages to drag in new readers than give it your all!
L.A. Banks- I have to admit that for me this was the worst of the stories and I didn't actually finish reading this one. While the author, as I've seen before, does a lovely job of using a culture and time periods dialect to bring you closer to the characters, in this I found the writing so distracting and bothersome that I just couldn't make myself finish it. I was glad I skipped ahead though...
Jim Butcher- So I've heard of this guy but never read any of his work and I have to admit he and Charlaine Harris were the main reasons I bought this book. His story was fantastic and definitely one of the two best tales in this anthology! Harry Dresden, a character Mr. Butcher apparently has a whole series based on, leaps from the pages to tell us of the goings on around the wedding of two of his best freinds. Having never read the back stroy I was pulled into this sorcerer's telling of fae, werewolf, merefolk, monsters, and other crazy creatures. I'm going to have to start reading the Dresden files now! It's all told from Harry's perspective but he's so engaging you'll be hooked!
Rachel Caine- The other five star short story in this book had me crying! I've seen a lot of mixed reviews on things she's written before but this was fantastic! Coerced into marrying cover model, Ian, who she's been dating for two months Cecilia is not exactly thrilled to find Ian has them booked for a wedding and honeymoon at sea-not on a cruise ship but a real life pirate ship. Though things turn out to be a little bit more real and a little less"life" than either she or Ian had planned when Ian's attempt to off his new spouse is foiled by the crews captain. It seems a curse was placed on the entire ship some 300 years ago and Cecillia will have to think fast if she wants to resusitate her love life! If you're a fan of Pirates of the Caribean and wish Capt. Jack got his own true love than this is the story for you!
P.N. Elrod- Not the best. A tale of a caterer at a wedding who has an unusual ability to see peoples futures and bumps into an Elvis impersonator with a near identical gift who also sports a little of the ghost of the king. It was an ok read to put you to sleep. But you kept waiting in vain for something big to happen. In retrospect it's kind of lame.
Esther M.Friesner- Told from the perspective of a middle aged and snobby male socialite this story is about the goings on at his beloved club, especially those centering around a wedding. It seems the club has attracted some supernatural attention, especially that of the greek pantheons. Nothing really happens til the last few pages. It's mildly amusing but this story doesn't really make me want to crack my wallet open for other works by this author.
Lori Handlenad- I've loved her work, and I've hated some of her work. This short story centers around Will Cadot whose finally been able to drag his heroine, Jessie McQuade from Blue Moon and her other Moon works, to the alter. But why has Jessie fianlly caved to marriage now? Is their love real or only a supernatural smokescreen? This story was somewhat nuetral. I couldn't jump up and down about it but neither can I trash it.
Charlainne Harris- Who doesn't love Sookie and the Southern Vampire series? No one that's who! In this continuation into the lives we snoop on in that series Dahlia, a vampire, is the bridesmaid at an unconventional and somewhat illegal marriage between her vampire buddy, Taffy, and the groom, Don, who is sadly a werewolf. Needless to say she is unfamilliar with either human wedding customs which Taffy is enthralled with or werewolfs in general. But the bestman is a hairy hunk even if he does need his rabies shots.
Sherrilyn Kenyon- I love Dark-Hunters and I make no secret of it. I also don't hide when I think their stories are a little annoyingly done. I did not find this a great DH tale. Rafeal, former pirate of the caribbean, has to protect his squire, Jeff, from another squire,Celina, whom Rafeal has always wanted to bed. It seems Jeff's not the brightest bulb and has written a comic on the adventures of a character who is extremely reminiscent of Rafeal. Celina is set on hunting the moron down. Rafael makes a bargain with her that if she can go with out breaking a rule he'll let her have Jeff. If not the pirate gets her. Thinly veiled and not Ms. Kenyon's best work by far. Also if you are not familliar with the series you'll likely be lost.
Susan Krinard- Another author I've been mixed on trying but her "Olivia and Kit Mystery" was a nice change of pace and has made me curious about the other books about these characters. Olivia, a proper English regency woman in an alternate land where near everyone has a little bit of unusual talent, is aided in solving the strange occurances surrounding a wedding and the brides subsequent disappearance. Her aid comes in the form of her bestfriend and fellow intriguing character Kit, who can change into a beastly hell-hound. The reader gets a good suggestion that these two freinds should end up being more eventually.