Title: Unexpected Choices
Author: Diana Pharaoh Francis
Series: Horngate Witches #4.5
In: Urban Enemies (Joseph Nassise)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy, Witches
Dates read: 13th December 2019
Format: Short story
Publisher: Gallery Books
5th sentence, 74th page: She lifted her chin, meeting his gaze.
She’s banished him to purgatory for the past three and a half years. But now she brings him back to protect her from a greater evil. Will they survive or will he turn on this powerful witch?
So far in the collection of Urban Enemies, this is the most coherent story. All the other stories, you definitely have to read the rest of the series, or at least some of it, to understand the characters. To the point that I’ve almost given up… almost. And then you get a story like this… which makes sense completely on its own. I still feel like I need to read the series attached to this. But because it was such a great story, not because I finished it and sat there wondering “huh”?
You can tell that this short story takes place at a critical turning point in the series timeline. It is the turning of the world – from our current reality, to one in which magic is commonplace and there are greater battles going on. See how much I can get out of a well written short story? Actually, the entire turning of reality seriously intrigued me and now I want to know how that happened, why and what’s going to happen next… pity there’s such a thing as a budget, hey?
I like that this seems to be an enemies to friends kind of story. I don’t really read many of them, but the consensus I got was that the Big Bad Wolf (or angel, whatever) is starting to question his reality and motives. And, in doing so, understanding that of the “good witch”. It’ll be interesting to see how this change in perspectives changes the rest of the series narrative.