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Dates From Hell (A Hollows Novella) Mass Market Paperback – March 28, 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Failing to capitalize on what should be a sure-fire concept, this quartet of paranormal romance novellas falls prey to the usual suspects: lack of cohesion, formulaic characters and flimsy plots. Harrison kicks off the book with a prelude to her Hollows series, an exposition-heavy tale of confusing office/vampire politics, in which a vampiric homicide detective looks for a way to get ahead at the office apart from letting the boss into her jugular. Harrison's over-the-top atmospherics make for a jarring transition to the light touch of the second novella, Sands's farcical story of young researcher-cum-shapeshifter Claire, who attends her high school reunion as two different people: herself, accompanying schoolyard dreamboat Kyle, and hunky Hollywood actor Brad Cruise, a favor to her dateless best friend Jill. Nestled in between Sands's slapstick and Handeland's passable closer—about a tough-as-nails demon hunter out to save a virginal literary agent—is the collection's one gem: Armstrong's tale of a bold and sassy half-demon peacekeeper who finds herself falling for a werewolf thief. Unlike her compatriots, Armstrong works well with the space constraint, giving her story an open-ended, promising conclusion. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison was born and raised in the upper Midwest. Her bestselling Hollows novels include Dead Witch Walking; The Good, the Bad, and the Undead; Every Which Way But Dead; A Fistful of Charms; For a Few Demons More; The Outlaw Demon Wails; White Witch, Black Curse; Black Magic Sanction; Pale Demon, A Perfect Blood, Ever After, and The Undead Pool, plus the short story collection Into the Woods, The Hollows Insider and graphic novels Blood Work and Blood Crime. She also writes the Madison Avery series for young adults.

Lynsay Sands is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there are occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. Please visit her on the web at lynsaysands.net.

When librarians finally granted Kelley Armstrong an adult card, she made straight for the epic fantasy and horror shelves. She spent the rest of her childhood and teen years happily roaming fantastical and terrible worlds, and vowed that someday she'd write a story combining swords, sorcery, and the ravenous undead. That story began with the New York Times bestselling Sea of Shadows and continues with Empire of Night.

Armstrong's first works for teens were the New York Times bestselling Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising trilogies. She lives in rural Ontario with her husband, three children, and far too many pets.

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Product Details

  • Series: A Hollows Novella
  • Mass Market Paperback: 404 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books; Reprint edition (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006085409X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060854096
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,157,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you're a fan of vampire, werewolf and other such paranormal fiction, you do not want to miss this anthology! All four are masters in their genres and none fail to entertain the reader. If you've never read any of the authors, prepare to suspend your belief system (that means let loose, fellow readers--it makes for much more fun reading) and hang on for a great thrill of a reading ride.

"Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil" by Kim Harrison--A very exciting story as it is a prequel to Harrison's Rachel Morgan series (Dead Witch Walking). This one is told from Ivy's point of view. She's trying to climb the corporate ladder in her office, but must do so on her boss's terms. Art is a "dead" vampire, as opposed to Ivy, who is a living one with the vampire virus. He wants Ivy to feed off of. When she discover's Art is covering up a serious crime, she takes measures to put a stop to his interference in her job.--Loved this one as we get a more intimate view of Ivy's character, one I didn't fully understand, or like, till reading this short. If you're a fan of Harrison's books, pick this one up and enjoy. You'll be sorry you missed it otherwise. Five stars.

"The Claire Switch Project" by Lynsay Sands--Claire Beckett and Kyle Lockhart are scientists experimenting with and perfecting a molecular destabilizer. A rogue employee, impatient to test the device on humans, tricks Claire and zaps her with the device's beam. Concerned, Kyle takes her home with him to watch for any harmful effects. What neither knows is that teach of them has cared for one another for quite some time. Claire sees an opportunity to get close to Kevin, and Kevin wants the same.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
What a great anthology! Every story held my interest. Kim Harrison's "Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil" is actually a prequel to her novel, DEAD WITCH WALKING, although the story is about Ivy Tamwood rather than Rachel Morgan. Ivy wants to advance in Inderland Security (I.S.) but her supervisor, Art, is holding her back. Ivy is a living vampire whereas Art is a dead vampire and Art wants sex and blood in exchange for a positive evaluation. Ivy finds her way out from under Art when she discovers he is using his position to cover up a crime; Art finds a banshee tear at a homicide scene but Ivy learns that the banshee has been dead for 3 years and thus the tear has no power and was actually in the evidence room. The story is intriguing and ends with Ivy getting an intern- the intern is not named but is presumably Rachel Morgan.

"The Claire Switch Project" by Lynsay Sands is humorous despite some fairly predictable scenes. Claire Beckett and Kyle Lockhart are working together on a molecular destabilizer when another scientist, John Heathcliffe, decides to speed up the human trials by zapping Claire with the ray. No side effects are noticed until Kyle leaves Claire at home with his sister, Jill (her best friend from high school), and Claire realizes she can look at a picture of anyone and morph into that person. Jill has just been dumped by her boyfriend who is now going to their high school reunion with the bane of Jill and Claire's high school years, Magda. Jill convinces Claire to go as her date in the guise of movie star, Brad Cruise, only Kyle also invites her as his date to the reunion. Claire attempts to shift between both dates and the results are what one would expect- and yet it worked as I found myself laughing out loud.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I got the book for Kim Harrison's story and I think I am going to get books from the other authors. As the book reviews comments make, these story are only tentatively related, but that can be a good thing. I, of course, loved the Hollows introductory story about Ivy before she meets Rachel Morgan. Part of the reason I like it is the much needed introduction to how Ivy got to be who she was.

I think Sands comedy about a shapeshifter was a much needed relief from the intensity of Ivy, and I will definetly be getting some of her books.

Armstrong's story is the introduction of a half-demon heroine who, I hope, is turned into a recurring character in later novels she writes. Although obviuosly inexpereinced as a bounty hunter, she doesn't lack for courage or intelligence. Definetly the best story in the book.

Handelands final story is the week link in the book, but it is still a good read. I hope it is a one shot story though.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
As others have mentioned, I like anthologies because it's a great way to discover new authors that may interest me, along with reading other offerings from authors I know I already enjoy. In the case of Dates From Hell, I purchased it because I'm already a big fan of both Kim Harrison and Kelley Armstrong.

They did not disappoint in Dates From Hell. I thoroughly enjoyed both stories by these authors. But the big winner for me was the Ivy story by Kim Harrison. I've been fascinated by Ivy in the Rachel Morgan series, but she's such an enigma. "Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil" did a lot to help fill in the blanks and explain more about who she is and what makes her tick. For me, that story was worth the price of the book alone and is a valuable addition (as prequel) to that series. It's also what helped rate this book a four stars.

Lynsay Sands is new to me and I was disappointed by her "Claire Switch Project." Though I do love the title's clever play on words. While the concept had potential and the story was quite humorous at times, it was also highly forgettable. I think part of why it didn't resonate with me was because of the weird mix of science fiction with what is normally a paranormal feature, that of shapeshifting. I'm a fan of both genres, but the SF context was really out of place in this collection. If she had kept it a pure paranormal story, it would have been better. The zapped with a ray thing came across as really stupid and the writing was rather bland.

Lori Handeland, on the other hand, was a nice little surprise. I very much enjoyed "Dead Man Dating." Part of what made it so appealing was the fact that the female lead wasn't some hottie in a short skirt and impossibly high heels, but instead was a rather dumpy and ordinary woman.
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