Title: Hex Appeal
Authors: Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Carole Nelson Douglas, P.N. Elrod, Simon R. Green, Lori Handeland, Erica Hayes & Carrie Vaughn
In: Hex Appeal (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Short story collections, Urban fantasy
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
5th sentence, 74th page: Books and clothing and bedclothes and typical dorm room décor had been scattered everywhere.
Fall under the intoxicating spell of their hex appeal…
In the magical world that lies hidden beneath our own, witches and conjurers play deadly games. They know just the right spell to kill a man with one kiss—or raise him back again. And they’re not afraid to exact sweet revenge on those who dare to cross them. But what if you’re the unlucky soul who falls victim to a conjurer’s curse? And if you had the power to cast a magic spell of your own, would you use it?
In this bewitching collection, nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors tell all-new, otherworldly tales. Spellbinding stories featuring bigfoot, albino vampires, professional wizards, resurrected boyfriends and even a sex droid from the twenty-third century named Silicon Lily. But as our conjurers are about to discover, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hexed. And sometimes, even the best spun spells can lead to complete and utter mayhem.
This was a slightly dark and definitely morally questioning collection of short stories. In each tale there was no good or bad guy, but rather someone who was working at surviving with the cards that they have been dealt. The name hints beautifully at this though, Hex Appeal, both appealing and potentially damaging – like all of the leads in these nine very diverse stories.
Finishing this collection left me wanting more, more of these not-quite-good characters that thrived in worlds that ran beautifully parallel to our own. Each tale consisted of a multi-dimensional setting in which fighting to survive allowed for acts that would not necessarily be accepted in today’s society and reality. Drugging someone to rob just seems wrong, but make it a horny vampire and it is much more realistic. Think you’re husband may kill you in a dystopian reality? Take out a retribution clause to ensure that he follows you into death… these ideas are such exaggerated versions of our reality that they truly make you think about the world that we all live in today.