Tag Archives: Otherworld Nights

Otherworld Nights by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
otherworld-nights

Title: Otherworld Nights
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld Companion
In: Otherworld Nights (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasyParanormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Collection
Publisher: Orbit
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: But he wasn’t the one I was worried about.

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Synopsis

A suspenseful, sexy new collection of stories and novellas, both original and curated by the author from her short fiction.

Sunday Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong captivated readers with her Women of the Otherworld series of supernatural thrillers. In this new anthology, favourite characters return in stories of drama, danger and desire. Legendary werewolf partners Elena and Clay stalk the pages of this book, along with vampires, witches, half-demons and sorcerers. Filled with fan favourites and rarities, Otherworld nights concludes with a brand-new novella, ‘Vanishing Act’. This thrilling longer story is set after the events of series finale 13, and features much-loved characters Savannah and Adam as they being a new life – and a mysterious new case – together.

Thoughts

I loved, loved, loved this collection of Women of the Otherworld short stories. In between some of the stories, it was nice to revisit favourite characters. This collection also provided a greater backstory to Adam’s childhood and Aaron and Cassandra’s relationship. Both aspects of the characters which I hadn’t quite had a chance to enjoy or understand.

I love that although there are only thirteen primary works in this series, there are a number of short stories and novellas which help to flesh out the world. Otherworld Nights had a feeling of the things that go bump in the night, and the cold, dark, Russian winter. It was a great collection that left me smiling when I finally finished it.

<- Tales of the OtherworldOtherworld Secrets ->

Image source: Goodreads

Vanishing Act by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
otherworld-nights

Title: Vanishing Act
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #13.2
In: Otherworld Nights (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasyParanormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Orbit
Year: 201
5th sentence, 74th page: There was a reason I’d told him rather than Paige.

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Synopsis

Savannah and Adam are trying to negotiate the new boundaries of their relationship while hunting down a unique half-demon.

Thoughts

Seven months after the occurrences of 13, and Savannah and Adam are forced to negotiate and really look at what their new relationship means. The backdrop of a unique type of half-demon and their battle against the Cabals is a great way to raise the stakes in their activities. It also helps to highlight Savannah’s immensely complex relationship with the Cabals – primarily the tug of war between herself, the Cortez and Nast Cabals and how everything that happened in 13 just helped these already tenuous relationships completely implode.

I love the idea of Adam and Savannah, the age gap is kind of big, but Savannah’s maturity (Adam’s immaturity) and the way that they’ve grown together is kind of amazing. I literally cheered out loud when they finally got together towards the end of Spellbound and more officially in 13. Their own issues and independence mean that they both have a tendency to freak out about their relationship, and most of the personal storyline in this tale is about them finding a way to be themselves, and in a couple as well. The communication aspect might need a lot of work, but there is nothing like hunting down an unknown talent and facing up to other Cabals to put it through a pressure cooker.

<- From Russia with LoveBrazen ->

Image source: Goodreads

From Russia with Love by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
otherworld-nights

Title: From Russia with Love
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #13.1
In: Otherworld Nights (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasyParanormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Orbit
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: Then I told Clay my plan.

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Synopsis

Elena and Clay join the rest of the Pack in Russia, not long after the events of 13. And boy, are they in for a surprise.

Thoughts

The events of 13 drove the challenges and actions of all the members of the Women of the Otherworld forwards. Jeremy decides that now is the time for Elena’s ascension to Alpha, and looks forward to his retirement. The Pack is weathering the remainder of the storm in Russia and Elena and Clay struggle to deal with the revelation that Malcolm is still alive.

13 indicated the end of an era, not only for the Pack, but for Savannah, Paige and the rest of the group – the end of one adventure and the beginning of a new one. Elena becoming Pack Alpha is just another step in this journey. Kate and Logan’s responses to this are fantastic, as is the way in which Jeremy approaches the need of a ‘challenge’. Elena is forced to beat him at a mind game, rather than fighting in a physical battle. This is incredibly in tune with Jeremy’s approach to Pack leadership, and I am looking forward to investigating how Elena goes in her new leadership role.

<- 13Vanishing Act ->

Image source: Goodreads

Hidden by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
Hidden

Title: Hidden
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #10.2
In: Otherworld Nights (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasyParanormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Orbit
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: Who am I?

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Synopsis

Hiking through the snow, holiday baking and playing board games by the fire – what’s not to love about an old-fashioned family Christmas?

Werewolves Elena Michaels and Clayton Danvers want to give their four-year-old twins, Kate and Logan, something their parents never had: a nice, normal holiday. No Pack responsibilities, no homicidal half-demons or power-hungry sorcerers to deal with – just the four of them, alone, at a chalet outside Ontario’s Algonquin Park.

Then a strange werewolf shows up at their door…while the town is buzzing about a young man, back from college, found half-eaten in the woods. And there’s the missing little girl …

With all the signs pointing to a rogue mutt with a taste for human flesh, Elena and Clay have no choice but to investigate. But are they the hunters – or the hunted?

Thoughts

I love those nights that I stay up late to finish a story. Whether it is short, long, or somewhere in between (like this one), those impossible-to-put-down tales always linger in my mind long after I’ve turned the last page. And Hidden did this for me.

Hidden is not only a great new story about Elena, Clay and their twins, but also a beautiful Christmas story. Trying to get away and just be a normal family for the holiday season doesn’t work out as planned. Although, nothing ever seems to for Elena and Clay. But, this time instead of being faced down with the dangers of a man-killer, they are forced to face up to something much, much worse.

The twins are now four years old in this series. They are everything you’d expect from such unique parents and more. So one of the biggest challenges that is faced in this novella (other than the rogue mutt) is when to tell them how special they are. It’s hard enough to grow up different, but I can’t imagine growing up knowing that I was that different. It takes a lot of internal and external torment for Elena to finally decide when the right time will be.

<- The ListForbidden ->

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Lucifer’s Daughter by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
otherworld-nights

Title: Lucifer’s Daughter
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #9.5
In: Otherworld Nights (Kelley Armstrong) & Blood Lite II: Overbite (Kevin J. Anderson)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasyParanormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Orbit
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: Hot droplets spattered my face.

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Synopsis

Revisit Hope and Karl as Hope is forced to deal with her father’s minions in her positions as Lucifer’s Daughter.

Thoughts

Hope and Karl are such a unique couple (although the thing that I love about the Women of the Otherworld series is that all of the couples are incredibly unique). At the conclusion of Living with the Dead, Karl chooses to leave Hope to her own devices. To allow her to learn the control she needs over her own powers, and abilities. So, revisiting them after they have been united was a really enjoyable way to spend some time.

Hope’s existence as Lucifer’s daughter is also further investigated throughout this short story. The prestige of this position, and the impact it can have on other demons is such an interesting contrast to the ritzy, glamorous world into which Hope was born. I love the contrast between her two worlds and the way that she is able to (almost) effortlessly glide between. And the completely smooth way in which Karl is able to join her in both realities shows what a great match they are. And that for everyone, there are multiple facets of their personality that can be hidden under layer upon layer of personnas.

<- Learning CurveCheckmate ->

Image source: Goodreads

Chivalrous by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
otherworld-nights

Title: Chivalrous
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #8.1
In: Otherworld Nights (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasyParanormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Orbit
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: I hoped I could string my father along until I got a degree.

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Synopsis

Reese and his family are on the run from the Australian werewolf pack. Everything is going well until he falls in love with Daniella.

Thoughts

The Women of the Otherworld series has introduced me again and again to the werewolves of the North American Pack and those who roam free across the country. And as much as I thoroughly enjoy this world, and these characters, it was especially enjoyable to meet a werewolf in Australia. Placing the story within a world that I am way more familiar with, and having a character who loves him family deeply just made me love this novella even more.

Chivalrous takes the best of a child’s upbringing, and his chivalrous nature and turns it on its head. Reese’s willingness to protect and care for Daniella in spite of the danger it places upon his own family and self are outdone only by his readiness to drop everything and begin a new life. It is kind of naïve, especially once the end of this story is considered, but it is also incredibly sweet. I can’t wait to read more about Reese in the next Women of the Otherworld books!

<- Personal DemonThe Ungrateful Dead ->

Image source: Goodreads

Stalked by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
otherworld-nights

Title: Stalked
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #7.3
In: Otherworld Nights (Kelley Armstrong) & My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasyParanormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Orbit
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: I scanned the road, sampling the air.

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Synopsis

It’s not a good sign when Elena Michaels and Clayton Danvers resort to everyday activities on their long-awaited honeymoon in St. Louis. But their encroaching boredom is about to take a backseat to an unexpected threat that catches Clay’s attention. A non-pack werewolf is clearly stalking them—out to claim Elena for himself—and Clay has no intention of letting the upstart mutt spoil their romantic getaway, even if that means deceiving Elena as he pursues the rival werewolf on his own.

Thoughts

Nothing is simple with Clay and Elena – something that I’ve enjoyed about their relationship, and, luckily, their honeymoon is no different. Although this story takes place at a point in the series when they have had children, forgiven the past and finally decided to happily spend the rest of their lives together, there is still many moments of contention throughout the short story. Not just Clay and Elena’s natural tendency to be difficult and argumentative, but also through the presence of mutts.

Although both Clay and Elena tend to argue consistently throughout the Women of the Otherworld series, they will also do anything to protect one another. For Clay, the physical aspects of this are easy, but it is the way in which he fights to not kill the mutt in order to save their honeymoon that I find the sweetest. Funnily enough, Elena too tries to discourage the mutt without telling her husband, in an attempt to salvage what is becoming quite boring for both characters. Their lack of communication, and the way that, when they are on the same page they can work together impeccably is one of my favourite things about these characters. They are so dysfunctional that they actually work quite brilliantly.

<- TwilightPersonal Demon ->

Image source: Goodreads

Twilight by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
otherworld-nights

Title: Twilight
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #7.2
In: Otherworld Nights (Kelley Armstrong) & By Blood We Live (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves:
Dark fantasyParanormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Orbit
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: When an exit door wung open, I darted into another doorway to avoid detection and spotted my victim.

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Synopsis

A visit to Cassandra Du Charme as she faces her mortality.

Thoughts

Cassandra is an incredibly odd character in the Women of the Otherworld series – she isn’t really likeable, but she also isn’t horrible enough to truly dislike. It is her apathy and lack of regard for others that just seems so at odds with the rest of the characters, and makes her seem cold and withdrawn from the rest of the world. Which, in all honesty, she is. However, some of her gumption and reasoning behind this apathy for the rest of the world is explained in Twilight.

I really liked that in the introduction to Otherworld Nights, even Kelley Armstrong dislikes the titling of this short story. After all, it just has too many negative connotations with another well-known (and in my case, strongly disliked) series. Having said that, if it wasn’t for the fact that the title reflects the Stephanie Meyers series, it is actually quite suitably named. Not only is Cassandra spending her time hunting in the twilight hours, but it is completely obvious from her actions and the storyline that she is in the twilight of her life.

Again, Armstrong takes a different spin on the presence, and existence of vampires. Especially the ending of their lives, and the way that even these incredibly long-lived creatures eventually meet their end. Cassandra’s unwillingness to accept her demise, unless it is on her own terms makes this hard-to-like character actually quite likeable. As does the explanation of her relationship with Aaron. It is obvious that they have a past in the other Women of the Otherworld books, but finally, Cassandra’s side of the tale is revealed. As is his concern and care for this difficult woman.

<- FramedStalked ->

Image source: Goodreads

Demonology by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
demonology

Title: Demonology
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #0.6
In: Otherworld Nights (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasyParanormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Orbit
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: Leave for college and we’re through.

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Synopsis

About Talia and her son Adam. Adam’s mother discovers what he is.

Thoughts

I can’t imagine anything worse than having a child, and then realising that they aren’t quite the same as everyone else. I know that my own Mum went through this… luckily, I wasn’t a half-demon like Adam, but seeing Talia’s concern and worry over her son in Demonology is a great insight into not only the bond that they share, but also the fears that I’m sure many parents go through. Although she refuses to say that her son is “not normal”, she knows that there is something different, and this drives her throughout this fantastic short story.

Talia’s gumption at finding out the cause of Adam’s peculiar talents show what all good literary mothers are about. She protects him no matter what. But, more importantly, she loves him no matter what. It is this love and acceptance that makes her such a wonderfully enviable mother, and the love that she shows her son is a great start to the Otherworld Nights collection.

<- BewitchedBirthright ->

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