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Death's Excellent Vacation Hardcover – August 3, 2010
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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From Publishers Weekly
Harris and Kelner's third short-story anthology sends paranormals on vacation. Some of the 13 journeys are romps: Harris dispatches Sookie Stackhouse on a weekend getaway with an errand to a strip club that involves more than Sookie bargained for, in "Two Blondes." Katie MacAlister gives Guardian Aisling Grey's demon servant a trip to remember in "The Perils of Effrijim." And A. Lee Martinez's "The Innsmouth Nook" B&B caters to an unusual crowd, to say the least. Other tales are chilling: Jeff Abbott's tabloid journalist pursues the "Safe and Sound" return of a missing tourist; Christopher Golden observes the a hotel's "Thin Walls" for connections between a mourning man and a succubus; and Chris Grabenstein's "The Demon in the Dunes" stresses the perils of smoking. Sarah Smith, Daniel Stashower, L.A. Banks, Lilith Saintcrow, and Sharan Newman also contribute quality work, and readers will find this collection a great sampler for discovering authors they'll want to follow. (Aug.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Praise for the editors’ previous collections
“Exceptional authors…A captivating collection.”—Darque Reviews
“Entertaining and worth reading. This excellent collection will appeal to
the growing legion of paranormal fans.”—Library Journal
“Experienced genre hands ensure the high quality.”—Booklist
“Fresh, interesting tales… [that] star some of the more famous series
characters like Sookie Stackhouse.”—Alternative Worlds
Top customer reviews
Charlaine Harris - 3 stars. I'm not really a Sookie fan, but this one isn't too bad. The worst thing you can say about it is it's kind of boring. Too much of what Sookie had for breakfast & descriptions of a casino.
Sarah Smith - 4 stars. Good story about a lonely, immortal superhero.
Jeannine Frost - 2 stars. What the hell happened to this story? Very boring Cat & Bones.
Daniel Stashhower - 4 stars. This is a peculiar little tale. I really liked it. Can't say too much else without giving it away.
A. Lee Martinez - 3 stars. Sea creatures inhabit a small East coast village.
Jeff Abbott - 5 stars. Very cool missing person story. Best in the book IMO.
L.A. Banks - 3 stars. Could have been 4 stars, but the action is over before it begins & everything is wrapped up too neatly. Psychic girl tries to take on a werewolf pack on a killing spree & juggle a new relationship.
Katie Macalister - 3 stars. Obviously part of a series. I was a little lost with character identity. Also tries too hard to be funny.
Christopher Golden - 4 stars. One night stand gone very wrong.
Lilith Saintcrow - 4 stars. Kind of a strange story about gargoyles. I liked it though.
Chris Grabenstein - 3 stars. The choices you make in your youth affect your future.
Sharan Newman - 3 stars. - Family reunion in Ireland.
Toni P. Kelner - 3 stars. This is actually the second Pirate Dave story I've read. This one tells you how it all began between Joyce & Pirate Dave.
I’ll admit, I do not like the Sookie Stackhouse novels, but I really liked this short set in the Sookie world. Sookie and Pam head to the state border for some river-boat gambling, but end up in the middle of a vampire plot. In order to get free, Sookie must do something she never thought possible. I don’t want to spoil it, but this story was just fun, fun, fun.
The Boys Go Fishing by Sarah Smith
I have mixed feelings about this one. While I really liked the idea behind it, and themes of the story, I felt that the Ranma 1/2 (a popular Japanese anime by Rumiko Takahashi) fan-service detracted from the message. In fact, I would venture to guess this story started out as Ranma 1/2 fan-fiction and was repurposed for this collection. I would have enjoyed the story more without the anime references.
One for the Money by Jeaniene Frost
This story is from Jeaniene Frost’s ongoing book series, although you don’t have to know the characters to enjoy this story it does help to have a passing familiarity with them. While it drags a bit in the middle, but the ending is fun and satisfying.
Meanwhile, Far Across the Caspian Sea by Daniel Stashower
Honestly, I didn’t like this story. Not much happened, and the twist ending, when it did finally come, didn’t really grab me much at all.
The Innsmouth Nook by A. Lee Martinez
Even people who have never heard of HP Lovecraft will enjoy this humorous little tale. I laughed out loud several times during the course of this story, and the twist ending had me doubled over laughing.
Safe and Sound by Jeff Abbott
A bit long, I had a hard time enjoying the story because of the unlike ability of the main character. However, I did enjoy the twist ending.
Seeing is Believing by L.A. Banks
A strong female psychic heads off the big city to stop a werewolf menace – whats not to like? The ending felt a bit rushed, but other than that I highly recommend.
The Perils of Eferjim by Katie MacAlister
I’ve never read any of the Aisling Grey series, and I didn’t really understand the conversation that happens at the beginning, but luckily the thread of the story is easy to pick up. This story ended up being a bit too silly for me, which is really saying something.
Thin Walls by Christopher Golden
I hope you are over 16, because this story is very R-rated. Loved the twist.
The Heart is Always Right by Lilith Saintcrow
This is one of the most original stories I’ve read in a while. It is very heart-wrenching, tense, and moving.
The Demon in the Dunes by Chris Grabenstein
This one captured the spirit of youth. I have to admit I did not see the twist ending coming.
Home from America by Sharan Newman
I was really enjoying this tale about Patrick’s first journey to his ancestral home of Ireland, until I got to the end and realized several of my most pressing questions remained unanswered. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this little treat.
Pirate Dave’s Haunted Amusement Park by Toni L.P. Kelner
Ok, I have to admit this story is the whole reason I bought this collection. I enjoyed Kelner’s sequel story, found in An Apple for the Creature so much that I wanted to read more about these characters. I was not disappointed. I love’d the scene in the workroom with the cage. I loved the whole story. I think these two deserve a whole novel.
Every story in this collection either hit it out of the park or whiffed very badly. There didn’t seem to be any in-between. Looking back at my reviews, the liked vs didn’t like is about half and half, so overall I give this collection three stars.
The high points for me:
The Innsmouth Nook - A. Lee Martinez. I have several friends who are more into Lovecraft than I am, and they enjoyed this one, too. A B&B located in Innsmouth! Whatever could go wrong??? I like Martinez's writing a lot, and the set-up, dialog, and resolution of this story were all pretty perfect.
The Perils of Eferjim - Katie MacAlister. This is one of the few stories that I think would hard to get into for someone with no familiarity with the novels. However, with some- it was a hoot. Poor Jim...
Thin Walls - Christopher Golden. This one is very creepy indeed.
The Demon in the Dunes - Chris Grabenstein. Another creepy one, with a solid ending.
Pirate Dave's Haunted Amusement Park - Toni L P Kelner. An excellent ending to the set of stories. This one's light again, with a romance started, an interesting take on werewolves, and a good and amusing ending to the crisis.
I think anyone who enjoys urban fantasy or paranormals would like this book a lot- and there are some good stories for horror fans, too.
Most recent customer reviews
A talk show host discovers-the hard way-some mysteries are better left unsolved. This was a neat mystery with a nice twist at the end.Read more