Tag Archives: Nina Kiriki Hoffman

The Coyote Road edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for coyote road book cover

Title: The Coyote Road
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Pat Murphy, Carolyn Dunn, Steve Berman, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Christopher Barzak, Delia Sherman, Richard Bowes, Ellen Klages, Patricia A. McKillip, Theodora Goss, Charles de Lint, Katherine Vaz, Caroline Stevermer, Midori Snyder, Michael Cadnum, Ellen Kushner, Elizabeth E. Wein, Kim Antieau, Will Shetterly, Kelly Link, Holly Black, Carol Emshwiller, Jedediah Berry, Jeffrey Ford, Jane Yolen & Kij Johnson
In: The Coyote Road (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Mythology, Short story collections, Tricksters
Dates read: 11th March – 24th October 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: She handed me a message, one that read I was to be married to a stranger.

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Synopsis

Coyote. Anansi. Brer Rabbit. Trickster characters have long been a staple of folk literature – and are a natural choice for the subject of the acclaimed Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling’s third “mythic” anthology. Twenty-six authors, including Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles), Charles de Lint (Little (Grrl) Lost), Ellen Klages (The Green Glass Sea), Kelly Link (Pretty Monsters), Patricia A. McKillip (Ombria in Shadow) and Jane Yolen, have crafted stories and poems drawing from cultures and traditions all over the world – each surprising, engrossing, and thought provoking. Terri Windling provides a comprehensive introduction to the trickster myths of the world, and the entire book is highlighted by the remarkable decorations of Charles Vess.

The Coyote Road, like its companions The Green Man (winner of the World Fantasy Award) and The Faery Reel (a World Fantasy Award Finalist), is essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary fantastic fiction.

Thoughts

This collection took a long time to read. Yet, I absolutely adored it. Mostly it took a while to read because there were so many short stories filling the pages, and whenever I finished one, I often went searching for more stories by the authors I was discovering. My wishlist has grown by leaps and bounds since starting this collection.

Like many of the Ellen Datlow collections lining my shelves, the theme and collected authors in this are brilliant. Each and every story is perfectly curated to match into the theme of Tricksters. Often in surprising and confusing ways. After all, the prefect trickster never does what is expected, and many of the stories in this managed to take me by surprise.

I would suggest this collection to anybody who loves short stories, fantasy, mythology, tricksters… really I would just suggest it to almost anyone. There are sad stories and happy ones. Insanely complex tales and ones that are so beautifully simplistic. Definitely one of those collections that I’m going to read again and again.

 <- The Cinderella Game Anthology ReviewOne Odd Shoe Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Troll’s-Eye View edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for troll's-eye view book cover

Title: Troll’s-Eye View
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Delia Sherman, Garth Nix, Wendy Froud, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Peter S. Beagle, Ellen Kushner, Joseph Stanton, Holly Black, Jane Yolen, Nancy Farmer, Michael Cadnum, Catherynne M. Valente, Midori Snyder, Neil Gaiman & Kelly Link
In: Troll’s-Eye View (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Retellings, Short story collections, Villains
Dates read: 12th December 2018 – 1st March 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: I could have wept.

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Synopsis

Everyone thinks they know the real story behind the villains in fairy tales – evil, no two ways about it. But the villains themselves beg to differ. In this book you’ll hear from:
the Giant’s wife from “Jack and the Beanstalk”
the oldest of the Twelve Dancing Princesses
Rumpelstiltskin
the witch from “Hansel and Gretel”
someone called Evil Cinderella

Just watch these old stories do new tricks!

Thoughts

This is an incredibly easy, fun and engaging short story collection. It takes some brilliant authors who take you on journeys through well known fairy tales. The fact that these retellings all focus on the villains of the stories just made me love it even more. I always love the highlighting of grey areas and alternate tellings.

Troll’s-Eye View is a collection that is written for a very young age group. It’s simple and quaint. Easily accessible and fun. But, that doesn’t mean that as an adult you can’t enjoy it. There was nothing I enjoyed more than sitting down at the end of a long day and reading one of these short stories or poems. It was a great, fun and quick escape from the real world at a time when I’ve been really quite overwhelmed and stressed.

Most of my anthologies and collections contain only novellas and short stories. Troll’s-Eye View also has poems. They were enough to break up the flow throughout the story and leave you with a smile on your face.

 <- Why Light? ReviewWizard’s Apprentice Review ->
Image source: Amazon

The Listeners by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Overview
Image result for coyote road book cover

Title: The Listeners
Author: Nina Kiriki Hoffman
In: The Coyote Road (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Greek mythology,Tricksters
Dates read: 15th March 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: Nysa went down to the gate with her shoulders bowed, her gaze on the ground.

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Synopsis

Nysa is a slave unwilling to face the future that is laid out before her. A prayer to Hermes might help to set her feet on a whole new path, but will it be one that she truly wants to follow?

Thoughts

I’ve always been fascinated by Greek Mythology. Ever since I was a tiny child. But I wasn’t expecting to find such a story in a collection of tales about Tricksters. I don’t know why, since Hermes is the god of thieves (and in a way tricksters). And Zeus… well, the amount of insane shenanigans that man gets up to… well, there is seriously no reason that the Greek Mythos shouldn’t find it’s way into this collection. And Hoffman did this brilliantly.

Although I have read quite a few stories on Greek Mythology, I haven’t read many that are based in Ancient Greece. The fact that this story is not only set within this time, but also around a young slave, worked brilliantly. It was both completely different to what I’ve read before, and so similar. Nysa is incredibly relatable in some ways, she’s a young woman who is trying to find a path that works for her. That has hope for the future. Okay, she’s a slave being put in situations that she really isn’t happy with. But the general gist of wanting to find a path that works for you is something that I think we can all relate to.

 <- Wagers of Gold Mountain ReviewRealer Than You Review ->
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A Fantastic Holiday Season edited by Kevin J. Anderson and Keith J. Olexa

Overview
A Fantastic Holiday Season

Title: A Fantastic Holiday Season
Author: Kevin J. Anderson, Keith J. Olexa, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Brad R. Torgersen, Mercedes Lackey, Quincy J. Allen, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Jonathan Maberry, Ken Scholes, Heather Graham, Sam Knight, Mike Resnick, David Boop, Eric James Stone & Patricia Briggs
In: A Fantastic Holiday Season (Kevin J. Anderson & Keith J. Olexa)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: ChristmasShort story collections, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 16th November 2018 – 29th January 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: World Fire Press
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: Of course it wasn’t possible that Jimmy had actually ridden in a hyperspace sleigh back to Ceres, when the journey from Ceres to Mars, and vice versa, ordinarily took weeks.

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Synopsis

‘Tis the Season-for 14 more magical, macabre and merry tales to make your Holidays … Fantastic! Gingerbread houses, caroling carolers, brightly trimmed trees, big family dinners, pristine snowfalls … the familiar pleasures of the season. But what better pleasure is there than a good holiday story? So open this winter solstice sampler and indulge in funny festive fantasies, nightmares before Christmas, and stunning space-age celebrations … these stories will warms hearts and minds like a blazing Yule log. Fantastic Holiday Stories by Kevin J. Anderson, Mercedes Lackey, Mike Resnick, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Jonathan Maberry, Eric James Stone, Nina Kiriki Hoffman., Quincy J Allen, Ken Scholes, Sam Knight, David Boop, Heather Graham, Brad R. Torgersen, Patricia Briggs

Thoughts

I bought this collection because the very last story is a short story in the Mercedes Thompson series that I don’t yet have. And I started reading this last year to try and get me into the Christmas spirit. And it worked. Beautifully. Fantastically. I’m actually sad that it’s over, even if I finished it after the Holiday Season…

The stories in this collection run the gambit from cutsie little fantasy tales to convoluted and entertaining science fiction tales. They fit into series and stand by themselves. And it’s this range that I truly love. After all, the reason why I tend to read so many short story collections at once is that they get a bit same-same with their tales. The fact that these are far more varied made this collection a little more difficult to put down, and a lot more fun to read than usual.

 <- Unappreciated Gifts ReviewNaughty & Nice Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Rags and Riches by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Overview
Image result for troll's-eye view book cover

Title: Rags and Riches
Author: Nina Kiriki Hoffman
In: Troll’s-Eye View (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Villains
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: The water looks so call and fresh.

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Synopsis

Nina Kiriki Hoffman retells the old fable of the Goosegirl… from the villains point of view.

Thoughts

I remember the story of the goose girl from my recent reading of Grimm fairy tales. But, it took me a little while to connect that storyline with Hoffman’s Rags and Riches. I just thought that this was a story that halfway explains the cruelty of a maid. It wasn’t until the end that I recognised her punishment and the actual storyline.

This was one of those villain stories that makes you understand why the bad guy starts down the path that she does. But, it reaches a certain point where she crosses a line and you loose all sympathy. I also loved the way in which Hoffman is able to explain how she pronounces her own punishment. I too have never understood how the villains in many of the early, early fairy tales don’t realise that it is their own crime being repeated back. Finally, Rags and Riches manages to help explain this. In a way that wasn’t tedious, frivolous or irritating. But a way that actually made sense.

 <- Faery Tales ReviewUp the Down Beanstalk Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Close Knit by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Overview
A Fantastic Holiday Season

Title: Close Knit
Author: Nina Kiriki Hoffman
In: A Fantastic Holiday Season (Kevin J. Anderson & Keith J. Olexa)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: ChristmasFamily
Pace: Slow
Format:  Short story
Publisher: World Fire Press
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: They walked the mall after dinner.

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Synopsis

Leo has powerful family magic, but the magic of Christmas is about to show him that maybe there is another kind of magic that he needs to consider.

Thoughts

Christmas time has always meant family to me. But, sometimes that closeness and beautifulness of family can become a little too overwhelming. Sometimes becoming an adult means that the tightness of familial ties needs to be stretched and loosened. Hoffmanexplores this perfectly in this intriguingly different short story.

Instead of featuring a close knit family that is happy,healthy and merry – Close Knit features one that is inherently broken. All three generations that are featured. The fact that there is a magical that acts like a web between members just furthers the idea that not all relationships are healthy, and sometimes we need to work on things. Being close isn’t necessarily a good thing.

It took me a while to get used to a slightly open-ended ending in most short stories. They leave so much left unsaid, but, in the cases of tales like this, I love it. There is a sense of a great future ahead of Leo’s family, but also a sense of a lot of work left undone and a lot on the horizon.

 <- Naughty & Nice ReviewAstronaut Nick Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Distressed Travelers by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Overview

Blood Lite IIITitle: Distressed Travelers
Author: Nina Kiriki Hoffman
In: Blood Lite III: Aftertaste (Kevin J. Anderson)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Horror
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Gallery Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: All this extra security was a pain in the butt.

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Synopsis

Somebody’s feeding on the frustrations of those at a airport with delayed flights. But the real question is, who wants to feed on him?

Thoughts

This short story made me feel sick. To be fair, it could have been me getting car sick. Because I was reading this in the car. On windy roads. Late at night. But, I’m pretty sure that I felt sick because this story kind of freaked me out.

It started off innocently enough. Weird alien feeding off of people’s emotions. The veritable smorgasbord of an airport. The added deliciousness of cancelled flights and the stress that this brings. But, then things take a far more incidious turn… he finds someone with no emotions.

You can  kind of see where this goes… packed airport, guy with no emotions, seedy motel… yeah, there’s a reason that I felt a little crook after reading this short story in the dark, on a windy road, in the middle of nowhere…

 <- Short Term Review Bayou Brawl Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Blood Lite III: Aftertaste edited by Kevin J. Anderson

Overview

Blood Lite IIITitle: Blood Lite III: Aftertaste
Author: Kevin J. Anderson, Jim Butcher, Joel Sutherland, Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Golden, E.S. Magill, Eric James Stone, Jeff Strand, Mark Onspaugh, Mike Baron, JG Faherty, Stephen Dorato, Jeff Ryan, Mike Resnick, Lezli Robyn, Will Ludwigsen, Heather Graham, Daniel Pyle, Nina Kiriki  Hoffman, L.A. Banks, John Alfred Taylor, David Sakmyster, Norman Prentiss, Don D’Amassa, Adrien Ludens, Chris Abbey, D.L. Snell, Ken Lillie-Paetz, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lisa Morton, Brad C. Hodson, Lucien Soulban
In: Blood Lite III (Kevin J. Anderson)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fantasy, HorrorShort story collections
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Gallery Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: As he sped thankfully along the country highway, Randall was so consumed with the desire to get to Golden Links Golf and Country Club as quickly as possible that he didn’t take note of the birds and the bees, he didn’t smell the intoxicating aroma of roses floating on the summer breeze and he didn’t see the bloodied man at the scene of the accident with a six-foot length of steel pipe protruding from his chest and a vacant look in his eyes, chewing on the neck of a panicked paramedic.

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Synopsis

The third book in the hilarious and horrifying national bestselling anthology series from the Horror Writers Association–a frightfest of sidesplitting stories from such “New York Times” bestselling authors as Jim Butcher, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Heather Graham, L.A. Banks, Kelley Armstrong, and many more! Horror fiction explores the dark side of human nature, often pushing the limits of violence, graphic gore, and extreme emotions. But with the popularity of shows and movies, such as “The Walking Dead,” “True Blood,” “Twilight,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” audiences have demonstrated their love for the genre–especially accompanied with a dose of humor to tone down the terror.

“Blood Lite III: Aftertaste” continues to put the fun back into dark fiction, featuring a wide range of humorous and highly entertaining horror-filled tales. Edited by Horror Writers Association founding member and award-winning author Kevin J. Anderson, the stories vary in tone from wry to downright laugh-out-loud funny. Featuring such well-known horror writers as Jim Butcher, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christopher Golden, and many others, this collection of tales is perfect for anyone who enjoys being entertained as much as they love a good scare.

Thoughts

I bought this book because it had two short stories from series that I’m reading. And then I figured that since it was an ebook, it was a good one to read before bed, instead of keeping my partner awake with the bedside lamp on. I’m still not sure of how I feel about this collection. It was certainly an easy read, but maybe not one that I will pick up again in a heart beat.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is the variety of tones and feelings that you can find throughout. Some stories are downright funny. And some completely terrifying. There are ads, tales and scripts. Every different style and story takes you on a completely different and unexpected journey. And it has certainly given me a lot of new authors to find out more about… if I had enough time to chase down every single one that is.

Although I won’t be rereading Blood Lite III anytime soon, I will certainly be getting the other two Blood Lite collections to expand my knowledge and enjoyment of the authors who like to write about things that go bump in the night.

 <- The Four Horsemen Reunion Tour Review Lucifer’s Daughter Review ->
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