Tag Archives: Otherworld Secrets

Otherworld Secrets by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
otherworld-secrets

Title: Otherworld Secrets
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld Companion
In: Otherworld Secrets (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasyParanormal fantasyShort story collectionsStrong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Collection
Publisher: Orbit
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: “Yeah, yeah,” he muttered.

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Synopsis

A collection of novellas and stories, both original and specially chosen by the author, featuring much-loved Otherworld characters in heart-stopping, pulse-racing action.

Kelley Armstrong captivated readers with her Sunday Times bestselling Women of the Otherworld series of supernatural thrillers. Now her characters return in this gripping anthology.

The collection begins with a brand-new novella featuring werewolf Karl Marsden and half-demon Hope, in what might be Karl’s last heist. Meanwhile Elena and Clay are trapped in a wintry small town with a killer on the loose, in the fast-paced and atmospheric novella ‘Forbidden’.

In ‘Angelic’, former black witch and part-tiome angel Eve is sent on a dangerous mission by the Fates, while necromancer Jaime tackles a ghost with a seriously bad attitude in ‘The Ungrateful Dead’. Zoe Takano is forced to defend her territory in the hugely entertaining ‘Zen and the Art of Vampirism’. And in the final novella, ‘Counterfeit Magic’, Paige Winterbourne and Lucas Cortez take on a troubling case that will change the couple for ever.

Thoughts

This was yet another brilliant collection of Women of the Otherworld stories. Although I have finished the main body of novels, it has been really enjoyable to revisit much loved characters again and again and again. It’s a great way to get another fix without rereading the entire series (which I will definitely be doing at some point in the future).

Heists, journeys and secrets take the centre point in Otherworld Secrets and it is not in the least disappointing. Going on a journey with the werewolves, Hope, Jaimie… it’s an adventure that I’m sad is over, and one that I look forward to taking again and again and again.

<- Otherworld NightsOtherworld Chills ->

Image source: Goodreads

Life After Theft by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
otherworld-secrets

Title: Life After Theft
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #13.6
In: Otherworld Secrets (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: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: I need you to talk to your husband.

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Synopsis

Karl has sworn to retire from the world of thieving and start life as a family man… werewolf. But, he doesn’t take into account the manipulations of the supernatural community. It turns out that Karl has one last heist to perform if it means saving his reputation and protecting his family.

Thoughts

Karl and Hope are an incredibly chaotic and entertaining couple. The fact that their daughter, who is now three-years-old, is just as incredibly chaotic and energetic as her parents, is kind of a fun bonus. It is this very chaotic toddler who was the cause of Karl’s retirement. But as with the world of Women of the Otherworld, nothing ever goes as planned. Now, Karl is faced with people ruining his reputation, double crossing and questioning his future plans.

Hope and Karl might be planning on the arrival of their next baby, and the amount of children they want in their little family, but they are also forced into an international trip. The sticky predicament that they find themselves in. luckily, Hope’s abilities and their teamwork work as they always do – to get the pair out of trouble.

<- ForsakenThe Puppy Plan ->

Image source: Goodreads

Counterfeit Magic by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
Counterfeit Magic

Title: Counterfeit Magic
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #10.4
In: Otherworld Secrets (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: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: Not Lucas.

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Synopsis

The first rule of a supernatural fight club? Don’t kill your opponent.

When the fighters come with lethal spells, werewolf strength and half-demon powers, that can be a lot tougher than it sounds. It’s hard to attract talent if they know they might not leave the ring alive. So when fighters at a California club start dying — it’s bad for business.

Witch detectives Paige Winterbourne and Savannah Levine take the case. Going undercover in the power-heavy arena of the fight club is a welcome change of pace for Paige, relegated to the role of The Wife as her husband struggles to find his place in his family’s Cabal–the corporate Mafia of the supernatural world.

As Paige is drawn deeper into new and dangerous corners of her world, she quickly discovers the greatest threat isn’t the killer in her sights. It’s something much, much closer to home. And this is one fight she can’t afford to lose.

Thoughts

Paige and Lucas have been a solid and sweet couple since they first got together in Dime Store Magic. Of all of the couples throughout the series, they’re the one that I most want to be – supportive of each other, yet independent of one another and able to pursue their own interests. Yet, things become a little bit more rocky now that they’re both taking a more active role in the Cabal. The very independence that makes them such a wonderful couple makes it hard for Paige when she isn’t treated with the respect and individuality that she is used to.

Although Paige and Lucas continue to try and keep ‘business as usual’, they find that slowly a wedge is being driven between them. The fact that there are external influences and a case to help this along doesn’t occur to them until the very end of this novella. These treacherous undertones lead to big trouble, and actually made me cry towards the end. After all, they’re the most similar couple to myself and my partner, and the fact that there are cracks in their relationship made me concerned about my own.

Counterfeit Magic may be mostly about Paige and Lucas’ relationship, but it also puts Savannah back into the spotlight. She is now 21, and although her school girl crush has been outgrown, her friendship with Adam has blossomed. To the point that this is a great precursor for their eventual get together. Or so I predict anyway.

<- ForbiddenOff-Duty Angel ->

Image source: Subterranean Press

Forbidden by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
Forbidden

Title: Forbidden
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #10.3
In: Otherworld Secrets (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: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: It still wasn’t easy.

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Synopsis

The team-spirit sign by the side of the highway seems a good omen to loner Morgan Walsh, as he drives to what could be the most important visit of his life — a chance to join the North American Pack. Then he wakes naked in the woods, surrounded by wolf tracks and a ring of suspicious cops. The situation only gets worse when he’s bailed out by Alpha-elect Elena Michaels and Clayton Danvers, her terrifying enforcer and mate.

Disappointed that such a promising young werewolf risked exposing them, Elena isn’t expecting anything from the pesky retrieval job except some much-needed alone time with Clay. Instead, she finds a different kind of evil stalking the streets and forests of Westwood, New York. Trapped in town by a snowstorm and sabotage, Elena, Clay and Morgan must find the mysterious threat before it sets its sights on them.

Thoughts

Morgan’s introduction to the Pack was certainly an interesting one – after all, he’s the first known werewolf to choose to spend all of his time as a wolf. But, now he’s decided to join the human world again and in doing so, is considering joining the Pack. But, as with everything in Kelley Armstrong’s world, nothing happens easily and nothing is as it seems.

Elena and Clay’s attempt to escape cabin fever and their over enthusiastic toddlers leads to their intersection with Morgan and a serial killer. Life in a small town just got a lot more dangerous. Although, eventually, it can be seen that the small town mentality is probably what caused the spate of ritualistic, weird, weird, weird killings.

Ultimately, this is a great test for Morgan’s ability to join the Pack. He is forced to accept Clay and Elena’s dominance and work in a team. Both things which he just isn’t used to doing. The fact that Clay is grouchy and unable to gentle him into the role just makes it all the more entertaining to watch their relationships evolve and unfold.

<- HiddenCounterfeit Magic ->

Image source: Goodreads

Angelic by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
Angelic

Title: Angelic
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #9.3
In: Otherworld Secrets (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: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: Another example of the language for my research?

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Synopsis

As a half-demon master of the dark arts, Eve Levine isn’t what anyone would call angelic. That’s exactly why the Fates chose her for the job. She’s their secret weapon against the forces of evil. However after five years, Eve is tired of being the designated rebel of the angel corps, expected to break the rules, then penalized for it. When the leaderless djinn stage an uprising, Eve sees the perfect chance to get herself fired. As she plunges deeper into the demon world, though, she realizes she’s in danger of losing a lot more than her job.

Thoughts

Every time I read a new Eve story, I fall a little more in love with her character. Although at the beginning she seems like nothing more than a Black Witch, the more her journey is revealed, the more the cracks in this façade appear. She is nothing like what she originally appeared to be in Stolen, and Angelic just brings her further from the image that is quickly built up by others’ descriptions.

As with all double standards, Eve is constantly both rewarded and penalised for her choices in life. Even in death. Although this chafes, it also helps to liberate her from certain expectations (and punish her at the same time). These juxtapositions between her acceptance and dismissal by the Fates, and even the other angels are an interesting reminder of the double standards that often occur in our own lives. We can be both stroked and slapped for doing exactly the same thing, sometimes even by the same people. It is impossible to please everyone, but it is even more difficult when someone’s preconceptions about who and what you are colour everything you do. If someone thinks that you are a bad sort, then no matter what you do, they will still view your good acts through a negative light.

Although Eve primarily deals with these double standards throughout Angelic, she also is forced to concede to her feelings about her role in the afterlife. Being an angel comes with a variety of responsibilities and perks – but, in Angelic, Eve must decide what she really wants in life. Or in this case, the afterlife.

<- Zen and the Art of VampirismLearning Curve ->

Image source: Abe Books

Zen and the Art of Vampirism by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
otherworld-secrets

Title: Zen and the Art of Vampirism
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #9.2
In: Otherworld Secrets (Kelley Armstrong) & Vampires: The Recent Undead (Paula Guran)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves:
Dark fantasyParanormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Orbit
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: I just thought –

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Synopsis

Zoe is forced to protect her turf in Toronto, and in doing so, some of her past comes to light.

Thoughts

I really liked meeting Zoe Tanako in Broken – she is the exact opposite to every other vampire that I have met, not only in this series, but also throughout the many other paranormal fantasy books that I’ve read. Zen and the Art of Vampirism gives a better insight into not only her character, but also her past. It also explained one of the two ways of being turned into a vampire better – the non-genetic way. Although it took a little while to understand why this short story was named thus, it did make a lot more sense in the light of her complex and incredibly surprising past.

Tee’s reappearance, and Zoe’s ability to manipulate her surrounds to suit her were thoroughly enjoyable in this story. As was the true reason behind just why she refuses to become violent with the encroachers on her territory. It is a great reminder that just because someone isn’t willing to fight, that doesn’t mean that they are unable to.

<- KitsunegariAngelic ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Ungrateful Dead by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
otherworld-secrets

Title: The Ungrateful Dead
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #8.2
In: Otherworld Secrets (Kelley Armstrong) & Blood Lite (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: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: But I have been trying to listen more often, help with little things like passing on messages.

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Synopsis

Jaimie is faced with two ghosts who can’t quite get the hint and stop being insufferable. But, she finds a way to deal with these ungrateful dead.

Thoughts

Jaimie was a bit of a confusing character when you first met her in Industrial Magic, but throughout the series, I have very quickly fallen in love with her. And, honestly, this short story just made me feel even more connected to the character. And, had me laughing and giggling at her sass and gumption.

There is something to be said about taking revenge on those who have been rude, irritating and are not able to take no for an answer. Luckily, in the real world, it is often possible to just walk away from them, and stop answering their phone calls. But, when you’re a necromancer, and the annoying know-it-all is a ghost that you can’t get rid of…? Well, needless to say, I loved Jaimie’s solution to the ungrateful dead in this short story!

<- ChivalrousLiving with the Dead ->

Image source: Goodreads