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Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives Paperback – March 1, 2011


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Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives + Hard Spell (Occult Crimes Unit Investigation) + Known Devil: An Occult Crimes Unit Investigation
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy; 1st edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1894063481
  • ISBN-13: 978-1894063487
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,211,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A former Army officer, speechwriter and professional bodyguard, Justin Gustainis is a college professor living in upstate New York. He is the author of The Hades Project (a semi-finalist for the 2003 Stoker award for Best First Novel), Black Magic Woman, Evil Ways and two forthcoming novels: Hard Spell and Sympathy for the Devil. He has also published a number of short stories, two of which won the Graverson Award for Horror in consecutive years. He is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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I completely love this book.
Janet
I'm giving this a 4 as I didn't like all of the chapters but there was enough here to keep me reading and enough to get me researching more.
Larissa
Overall, I absolutely loved this book, there wasn't a single story I didn't enjoy, which is a rarity when it comes to anthologies.
Amanda Jade

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Supernatural Snark on July 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Those Who Fight Monsters is an entertaining collection of short stories featuring a strong combination of both male and female protagonists with a proclivity for fighting supernatural crime. As with any anthology, some stories are more intriguing than others with certain authors managing to create a complex and layered tale in just a few pages while others struggle a bit with the short length, leaving us wishing for an extra twenty pages to give us that added depth we're seeking. All of the fourteen individual tales feature characters from already-established paranormal series, and most do a beautiful job of quickly introducing us to the world should we be unfamiliar with it, giving us just enough information to be able to connect easily as we jump right into the action with little prelude.

This collection would be perfect for those on the hunt for some new urban fantasy series to try, each tale giving us a brief taste of the author's style and their characters. Some delight us with humor and wit, some shock us with paranormal twists to standard detective work, and some hint at a darkness and pain we know will affect us more profoundly should we pick up the full length novels. The only complaint would be the length of each story, on average about 15 pages-a challenge that forces us to absorb a lot of details and individuals in rapid succession and never allows us time to fully settle in. Reading this book is akin to ordering a sampler platter-a great variety of tasty morsels are presented but ultimately we find our favorites and try to savor them before moving on to nibble on the next.

MY PERSONAL FAVORITES:
Little Better Than a Beast by T.A.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Jade on April 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic anthology for fans of eerie urban fantasy! The collection features 14 sleuths together for the first time in all-original tales of unusual cases involving vampires, demons, succubae and other seedy beasties. There is something for every horror fan out there - you've got the twisted and sinister tales, the classic detective stories with a paranormal spin, chilling mysteries, and much more.

There are stories like Chris Marie Green's "Soul Stains" which is a unique spin on vampires, a new mythos that I haven't come across before. And fans of Tanya Huff's Blood books and the Smoke and Mirrors series will be happy to find a deliciously dark story starring Tony Foster. Hurray Tony!

A few favorites in the collection were Simon R. Green's "The Spirit of the Thing," which is one of the best ghost stories I have read in ages. It was haunting and cryptic, just as a ghost story should be. "Dusted" by Laura Anne Gilman was another great one, any story that has gnomes, fauns and pixies in it is an automatic win for me.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book, there wasn't a single story I didn't enjoy, which is a rarity when it comes to anthologies. Every story was well-written, different, yet fit in with the book perfectly. I highly recommend picking up this chilling and unique collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jayne of Mystery on July 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
An anthology can be a tricky assemblage. A strong theme can result in stories of a similarity that wears on the reader, while a weak theme leaves disconnects from one story to the next, gaps that allow the reader's attention to leave the book entirely. Editor Justin Gustainis found a good balance with 'Those Who Fight Monsters.' All stories have a monster (or more than one) and a detective, yet each stands alone in respect to characters and plot.

The detectives cover the gamut from hard-boiled PI's giving - and getting - low blows on the mean streets to intellectuals expounding on crime in refined quiet rooms. Sleuths include the demon-fighting soccer mom trying to shepherd her daughter safely past demon-snares as well as the normal risks of adolescence, the disgruntled Security sorcerer who battles bureaucracy as well as beasts, and other detectives both amateur and professional.

The paranormal elements are equally varied. In addition to the usual vampires and werewolves, there are demons of compelling variety and more than one style of shape-shifter. Snakes, ugh. Fairy-tale creatures such as gnomes and fairies also appear. The detective isn't necessarily chasing a monster, nor is the monster always the villain. The settings are mostly urban, mostly modern, with an overlay (or underbelly) of fantasy elements.

One reservation about this collection was that some authors presumed a familiarity with their series work and left me faintly lost at first, while others seemed to be trying to fit several novels' worth of back story into the opening paragraphs and slowed the pace accordingly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carole on June 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I admit I only bought this anthology because I'm a huge Tanya Huff fan, and had to have the newest Tony Foster story, which in my completely biased opinion is the best story in the anthology. However, there are a few other great stories here. Since the public library has a slight lag time, I found this anthology to be a great method of discovering new authors. I especially enjoyed T.A. Pratt's Marla Mason story, and Caitlin Kittredge's Black London story.

There are a few distressing typographical issues in this anthology that probably reflect poorly on the editing process rather than on the authors, but that's true of almost every anthology I've read recently, so I don't think this is specific to the editor at hand, but probably reflects the current flaws in the process of publishing anthologies.
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