Tag Archives: Jim Butcher

Last Call by Jim Butcher

Overview

strange-brewTitle: Last Call
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: The Dresden Files #10.6
In: Side Jobs (Jim Butcher) & Strange Brew (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: CrimeParanormal fantasy, Urban fantasy, Wizards
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: “You look like hell.”

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Synopsis

Last Call is a short story in The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. It is set between Small Favor and Turn Coat. It was originally published in Strange Brew, and later included in the anthology Side Jobs.

Thoughts

I loved the humour and wit in this short story – the shenanigans and difficulties of Dresden’s journey all result from his desire for a drink. Something which he constantly laments as he pursues the cause of violence. The dry humour in the narrator’s (Dresden’s) voice made this short story flash by as he runs after felons in pursuit of justice, and a nice, cold drink. It is this sass and obvious enjoyment throughout the tale that makes it impossible to put down and ignore.

Butcher combines fantasy, humour and crime into his stories which create a textured and intimate reality. The layering upon our everyday concerns – we all have a favourite place to eat and drink, a partner that is constantly challenging and perplexing us – which helps to progress the story in such a vivid and engaging way. The very humanity that is placed within an inhumane society and fantasy world is what helps to bring this tale to the forefront.

<- Seeing Eye Review Vegas Odds Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Strange Brew edited by P.N. Elrod

Overview

strange-brew

Title: Strange Brew
Authors: Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Karen Chance, P.N. Elrod, Charlaine Harris, Faith Hunter, Caitlin Kittredge & Jenna Maclaine
In: Strange Brew (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasyParanormal fantasy, Paranormal romanceShort story collections
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Murphy jumped on me then, pinning my left arm down as Meditrina started raking at my face with her nails, both of them screaming like banshees.

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Synopsis

Today’s hottest urban fantasy authors come together in this delicious brew that crackles and boils over with tales of powerful witches and dark magic!

In Charlaine Harris’ “Bacon,” a beautiful vampire joins forces with a witch from an ancient line to find out who killed her beloved husband. In “Seeing Eye” by Patricia Briggs, a blind witch helps sexy werewolf Tom Franklin find his missing brother—and helps him in more ways than either of them ever suspected. And in Jim Butcher’s “Last Call,” wizard Harry Dresden takes on the darkest of dark powers—the ones who dare to mess with this favorite beer.

For anyone who’s ever wondered what lies beyond the limits of reality, who’s imagined the secret spaces where witches wield fearsome magic, come and drink deep. Let yourself fall under the spell of this bewitching collection of short stories!

Thoughts

This was a thoroughly enjoyable collection of short stories – they all erred on the side of dark fantasy and had twists to traditional ideas that I didn’t expect. The balance of female and male chief protagonists was well thought out, with a range of characters for even the most discerning reader to fall in love with. I loved that each tale was strange and unique, but they all fit together in a fabric that made the stories flow easily into each other.

The nine authors collected together in Strange Brew contributed short stories from their larger series, but they were easily accessible if you have not read the greater series (as I hadn’t for the majority). They are a window into another world that encourages you to jump in, feet first, something that I, for one, intend to do!

<- Dark Sins Review Seeing Eye Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Hex Appeal edited by P.N. Elrod

Overview

hex-appeal

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
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: Books and clothing and bedclothes and typical dorm room décor had been scattered everywhere.

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Synopsis

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.

Thoughts

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.

<- The Arcane Art of Misdirection Review Retribution Clause Review ->
Image source: Succubus