Holidays are Hell

December 28, 2007

Guest Review by: booklover

Holidays are Hell

Holidays are Hell

by Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Vicki Pettersson, Marjorie M. Liu

Pros: The introduction to new authors for me, and the variety of the worlds in the different short stories
Cons: Not knowing the details of some of the fantasy worlds.

In the spirit of the season, albeit paranormal holidays, I thought I’d rush out and buy this book. I got sucked in and read it in two days. It is a compilation of four short paranormal stories.

I already follow the Rachel Morgan series that Kim Harrison writes. That series has a huge following, and rightly so, it is well written, and fun. Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel is a prequel to the series, and is set before Rachel starts her career. This younger Rachel story gives insight into characters previously only minimally introduced in the series, and lets you see a clearer image of Rachel’s background. Some of the aspects that shape her adult self, and motivations. That part of the story was very satisfying for me, since I am committed to the series. The overall story however was a little rushed. I hate to nit pick, since the Hollowsverse (as the world Ms Harrison writes is known), is so amazing. The thing is, after reading a Rachel book, I always come away wanting more. Having unanswered questions, and this story just wrapped up too neatly for my expectations. But, as a stand alone, it is great. I give it 4 out of 5, I’m committed to the series, stars!

Run, Run, Rudolph is by Lyndsay Sands. This is a continuation of another short story she wrote in a different anthology, Dates from Hell. As she does with some of her other writing she profiles characters that had supporting roles in the previous story. That makes it fun, but stand alone as well. Ms. Sands style is light, and more romantic than the other three stories, but fun nonetheless. It was an entertaining, quick read. Satisfying in a, funny episode of a sitcom way. 3 out of 5 light funny stars.

Marjorie M Liu, wow! I have never read anything by her, but have considered her on my “I should check her out” list. Her story Six, placed her in the “next new author I read” pile. This story, and I think generally her theme, is based in the east, China and the like. Her paranormal world looks and feels much different than the mainstream ones of this genre. Much more exotic, and foreign. I admit the short story was difficult to understand until it was underway, but it was interesting, and complex. It made me want to go out and buy all her stuff, so watch for more ML Liu, soon. 5 out of 5 very interested stars.

And, finally, The Harvest by Vicki Pettersson. This, I gathered after I read the story, is a part of a series, as well. That ironically, is my only real complaint. I haven’t read this series, and was lost for the first half of the story. The writing is good, and the world is clever (all in Las Vegas), with original concepts I hadn’t yet encountered. It is, as best I can figure, a prequel to the series. I will read her Zodiac series, but still wish I had read the first one at least, so that I had a better understanding of the world she has written. I found the main character difficult to relate to, but interesting. I think I will enjoy the series more, that main character is the daughter who is only mentioned in The Harvest. I give it 3 out of 5 tentative stars, but might have been more if I was familiar with the books.

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