Normally I love collections like this because you can read one novella, finish it, put it down and walk away. I did manage to do this… but it was quite a bit more difficult than I had anticipated. I had already read something by every one of these authors, and so I knew that what was just around the corner was going to be fantastic. And it was this knowledge that made it nigh on impossible to stop thinking about this storyline.
You know a story’s going to be good when it starts out stating that she was on a date with a dead man. Literally. Completely, totally and utterly, stone cold. Dead. The fact that a mysterious, Latino man dives in to save the day and the woman is stubborn enough not to let him escape. Well, it was going to be a fantastic story from the very beginning.
Any Given Doomsday has been sitting on my shelves for about a year now. I bought it when I read the short story Here There Be Demons and then promptly completely forgot about it. Until I read Dead Man Dating in another collection of tales. And then I remembered that I seriously enjoyed Handeland’s writing. I figured I may as well pick this up and see what it was like. And boy am I glad that I did. Now I just have to wait to order and receive the next few books in this series…
This is one of those short stories that kind of stands alone. But doesn’t really. It’s almost like a prologue that gives a little more history and insight into Liz’s choices and history as a cop than you would otherwise get. Which is, of course what I loved the most about it. I love every extra little bit of information and history you can glean from a character’s life when you are about to sink into the depths of a new series.
I really don’t have many words to describe this short story. Basically, I loved it, but at the same time, I was a little mad at the end of the story. It felt like a good beginning of a series, but also another tale about a strong, independent woman losing her identity for the sake of a man – not something that I am a huge fan of in the least. However, the writing and slow filtering of information that Handeland uses is a perfect counterbalance to create an enjoyable storyline that would probably otherwise have really, really, really annoyed me.
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.