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One of the best urban fantasy anthologies!
on August 28, 2009
"Unbound" is a collection of five stories by various different paranormal authors. I bought this book the day it came out for Kim Harrison and Jeannene Frost's stories. I am not a huge fan of anthologies in general but I had to get this one.
"Ley Line Drifter" by Kim Harrison - * * *
This is the story of Jenks the pixy and Bis the gargoyle attempting to solve a paranormal private investigation case. Jenks usually works with Rachel, but he is eager to help save another pixy's young children. I adore Jenks, always have and always will. Unfortunately a closer glimpse of Jenks and his family is the only thing recommending this story. The mystery of two statues inhabited by a demon and a nymph is too vaguely constructed to be compelling and the ending is far too abrupt. I get the feeling we will hear from these characters again in the future but in this story I didn't' find them too interesting. As a whole the story was unsatisfying Still the pages of family time visiting Jenks, his wife and their children was definitely enjoyable and worth reading.
"Reckoning" by Jeanene Frost * * * * *
This novella is about Bones, before he met Cat, and how he came to be hired in New Orleans to kill a pair of ghoul serial killers. In sixty pages, Frost manages to tell a complete and engaging paranormal tale. It beings with Bones getting a call to New Orleans and follows him as he hunts and finds the killers. There are several other characters who appear through the tale whom we have never read about in Frost's series. Still Frost makes us feel like we know these fleshed out characters. This story isn't going to change how you read the "Night Huntress" series and you won't miss anything vital if you don't read this novella. Still every page is entertainment in its purest form. Unlike Harrison's tale before it, "Reckoning" has a complete ending which I was completely happy with.
"Dark Matter" by Vicki Petterson * * * *
This is a short story set in the same superhero world as Joanna Archer's, where Light agents battle Shadow agents in a war of good versus evil. Joanna, the main character from the Signs of the Zodiac series, is missing here (mostly) as the story takes place before Joanna learns that she is to be the Kairos, a powerful woman made up on fboth light and dark who would tip the scales in favor of which ever side she chose to fight with. Instead this is a story about another Light agent J.J.. JJ falls in love with a shadow agent, and must deal with the fallout from that. This story is gripping and easy to read. My complaint with the Zodiac series is that it is bogged down and events unfold so quickly that it is hard to keep track of everything. Not the case here. Dark Matter is a powerful story that should be a must read for follower's of Petterson's series. It was sad and somewhat shocking at the end, but that only made me want to rush to read the newest book, "City of Souls". Maybe if I had already read that fourth installment, I wouldn't have been as shocked by the ending. Still this story was gem.
"The Dead, the Damned and the Forgotten" by Jocelyn Drake * * * * *
I have the first two books by Jocelyn Drake but I haven't read them yet. The good news is that the story makes me want to hurry up and get to them! Mira, a vampire, runs a domain of the undead in Savannah. She is called to the morgue to find a dead vampire. As she and her assistant Knox race to find the killer it becomes quickly apparent they are in deeper than they bargained for. An ancient vampire shows up from the head Coven in Venus and threatens to send Mira back to live under their rule if she can't get ahold on her own territory. The stakes are raised as they learn werewolves, hit men, and humans are all involved. Drake writes an intriguing story here. The world really appealed to me but I can tell there is probably more blood and violence than in most of the other urban fantasy stories. These people don't mess around! Although the story has to do with an existing world and some established characters I never felt lost. There was nothing about the story I didn't like. Easily a five star story.
"Two Lines" by Melissa Marr * * *
I have never read Melissa Marr before, and I liked her writing. This story was good but not great. It's the story of a girl named Eavan "Eve", who belongs to a family of glaistigs. Glaistigs are woman with goat bodies on their lower halves but are beautiful and human on the top half. They occasionally have to kill to live eternally. In order for Eve to be a real glaistig and leave her humanity behind, she must kill and have sex. Scared of changing over, she avoids both like the plague. This story has her fighting the urges to change, and stalking a human killer as he gives woman a zombie potion and then mutilates them. Enter Cillian, a paranormal police officer and you have her love interest.
The story wasn't bad, and I had no trouble reading through it. If this became a series, I would give it a chance. This was still overall my least favorite of the five stories.
Overall this was a rocking anthology. I usually have a couple stories I really can't get into, but this was a treat. I recommend this one to all the urban fantasy lover's out there who don't mind a good anthology.