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Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
PRAISE FOR AN APPLE FOR THE CREATURE: "A buffet of frightening fun."--Reader to Reader Review "School is back in session with this delightful collection of tales featuring many different types of education." --citybookreview.com "Fresh, inventive and downright entertaining." --monstersandcritics.com
PRAISE FOR THE EDITORS' PREVIOUS COLLECTIONS: "Entertaining and worth reading. This excellent collection will appeal to the growing legion of paranormal fans." --Library Journal "Fresh, interesting tales...[that] star some of the more famous series characters like Sookie Stackhouse." --Alternative Worlds
About the Author
Charlaine Harris is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling paranormal fantasy series featuring Sookie Stackhouse (the basis for the HBO series True Blood), the New York Times bestselling mystery series featuring lightning-struck corpse locator Harper Connelly, and other acclaimed novels.
Toni L. P. Kelner is the author of the “Where Are They Now?” mysteries and the Laura Fleming mystery series. She has won an Agatha Award and a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, and has been nominated for the Anthony and Macavity awards.
======================================== Review of `Magic Tests' by Ilona Andrews ========================================
Julie Lennart-Olsen is princess of the Pack and ward to pack-master Curran and his mate, Kate Daniels. She knows her important place in the pack hierarchy, and what is expected of her as ward to two of the most powerful people in Atlanta. But what Julie cannot abide, what is far too awful for words, pomp and circumstance is . . . school. Julie once went so far as to mail herself back to Kate rather than remain at her hated boarding school. That's why Julie can't quite believe that Kate is insisting Julie start attending a new school, and the horrible cycle is going to begin all over again. Or is it?
Kate has ulterior motives for sending Julie to a particular Atlanta school, where a young girl called Ashlyn has gone missing - and nobody seems to be lifting a finger to find her. Luckily Julie is up for the task, but she may not be prepared for what she uncovers in her search for a missing schoolgirl . . .
`Magic Tests' is the new short story set in the `Kate Daniels' universe, by Ilona Andrews and appearing in the paranormal anthology `An Apple for the Creature'.
I said it after reading `Gunmetal Magic', and now I really, truly believe it. Kate Daniels's young ward, Julie, is utterly deserving of her very own spin-off. If not a stand-alone book, then Julie could most assuredly carry her own young adult spin-off series. And to anyone who doesn't think she's up to the task, I would direct you to `Magic Tests', which highlights Julie's mettle and sprouts a cast of interesting secondary characters around her.Read more ›
Series: Playing Possum (Sookie Stackhouse, 11.2) Callie Meet Happy (Calliope Reaper-Jones, 4.5) Golden Delicious (Jane Yellowrock, 4.5) Magic Tests (Kate Daniels, 5.5) Bad Hour (Remy Chandler, 2.5) Pirate Dave and the Captain's Ghost (Pirate Dave, 2)
An anthology of--appropriately--thirteen educational, creepy tales in the supernatural.
The Stories Charlaine Harris' Playing Possum finds Sookie being the good auntie and bringing cupcakes to Hunter's kindergarten class for his birthday. Only she and Hunter are trapped between the car and the school by a raving psychotic who wants to kill.
This is a good one combining events that have happened in real life and making you wish there were more telepaths in the world.
Jonathan Maberry's Spellcaster 2.0 is full of sarcasm and arrogance which melts into belief. Nothing like a good look at what's behind the curtain to make you humble as Trey LaSalle finds out when it comes to the debut of Spellcaster 2.0 for the anthropology department.
This one is good! I'm putting Maberry's name down in my TBR pile!
Donald Harstad's Academy Field Trip is sneaky and creepy! Harstad did a marvelous job of leading you in and on until the twist at the end. It's your standard law enforcement seminar. Well, standard if you consider this is about catching vampires. Seems there's a slow-mo serial killer on the loose and the law has realized it's a vampire. They have been trying for some time to get someone in undercover to spy on him and gather information, and it looks like they've finally managed it. With a twist.
Marjorie M. Liu's Sympathy for the Bones is just not the Liu I expected.Read more ›
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I had kept an eye on my local library's online catalog when An Apple for the Creature would come in and luckily the library actually got a new book on the week that it came out. I rushed over to the library and checked it out. I only wanted to read the new Sookie Stackhouse story, but I ended up reading the entire book.
Playing Possum by Charlaine Harris finds Sookie Stackhouse arriving at her nephew's (Hunter Savoy, who is actually her cousin) classroom with cupcakes to celebrate his birthday. She meets his new teacher Ms. Yarnell, who happens to be a witch! Hunter assists Sookie by going out to her car and getting the rest of the party stuff. The school's secretary's psycho ex-boyfriend has arrived at the school with a gun. Sookie tells Hunter to return to his classroom and tells his teacher to get the students under their desks. Sookie hopes to stop the madman before anyone gets killed.
The story isn't as boring as other reviewers have stated. Unlike most of the paranormal plots that Sookie gets involved withh, this plot feels real and it could happen to anyone. Plus, we get Sookie and Hunter using their telepathic powers together.
Spellcaster 2.0 by Jonathan Mayberry is a complete bore from start to finish.
Academy Field Trip by Donald Harstad is interesting blend of a police procedural and vampires, but it held down by its slow pacing. It does have a neat little twist at the end.
Sympathy for the Bones by Marforie M. Lu is a creepy tale about a young girl who is kidnapped by a witch and forced to kill people with a voodoo doll. The story is one of the better ones from this anthology.
Low School by Rhys Bowen is about a girl going to a new, weird school. There is nothing "new" about this story.Read more ›