Bookin' It

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Hex Appeal Edited By P. N. Elrod

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MY RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

I love anthologies. They make the perfect break between “bigger” books. After I finish a good book, and before I start another one, I like to read a few short stories…a mental cleansing of the palate, more or less. Anthologies also let me visit with favorite authors between new releases from them. And even better, they often introduce me to writers I’ve never checked out before. For these reasons, I have a full bookshelf lined with nothing but anthologies of various types, but heavy into Urban Fantasy and old fashioned Ghost Stories.

“Hex Appeal” didn’t disappoint. It was so much fun, I read the whole book, instead of spreading the stories out between others. Some of my favorite writers (Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Simon R. Green, and Ilona Andrews) showed up to help me remember why I love short stories so much. I especially liked Butcher’s tale, “Bigfoot On Campus,” and Ilona Andrews’ “Retribution Clause.”  I’m always happy to visit with Harry Dresden, and “Retribution Clause” gave me a quick trip through Kate Daniels’ world, though it was set in a different city. Both of the stories introduced new characters that I wouldn’t mind hearing from again in future books.

As might be expected, some of the stories in this collection were better than others, but overall, I enjoyed all but two of them quite a bit. I’m afraid I wasn’t feeling Carole Nelson Douglas’ “Snow Job.” I’ve read at least one other short story set in Sin City, and liked it fairly well, but this one seemed a bit incoherent to me, and I finally gave up in the middle and moved on. And “Cherry Kisses” by Erica Hayes just annoyed me. I really need to like the characters I’m reading about, flawed or not, and I frankly couldn’t stand Lena Falco. Shallow and dishonest to the core, she irritated me so much, I don’t know why I even finished the story.

My big revelation was how much I enjoyed the story by P. N. Elrod, and I’ve already put a couple of her full length novels on my To Be Read List. So, old favorites visited with, and a new writer to check out in more detail. What more could I want?

Overall, thumbs up for “Hex Appeal,” and I’m happy to add it to my Anthology shelf.

How did YOU like this collection?  Best stories?  Worst?

Hex Appeal

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