Tag: Strange Brew

Dark Sins by Jenna Maclaine

The employment of the Morrigan in a story about vampires was not something that I expected. Neither was the merging of a vampire and a witch into one incredibly powerful being. However, it worked brilliantly! Cin Craven is everything that I love in a heroine – and the fact that she is a vampire was a different twist. Unlike a lot of vampire stories that have become popular in our modern culture, her condition as this type of paranormal creature is not fully romanticised, nor is it portrayed as something that all simpering teens desire. It was a lot darker and, due to this, felt a lot truer.

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Ginger by Caitlin Kittredge

Sunny was a very sweet heroine in Ginger, and a great counterpart to her far more volatile cousin. The balance between these two characters was enjoyable, and Sunny’s ability to hold her own (even when she doubts that she can) reminds us that strength comes in all shapes and sizes. Even in those who are naturally meek and uninterested in conflict of any shape or form.

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Bacon by Charlaine Harris

I’m not normally a huge fan of stories that are all about revenge – it seems like most of the time it is a twisted pursuit that leaves the perpetuators shells of their former selves. However, I liked the gradual and manipulative way in which Dahlia pursues her vengeance in this short story. Not only is it a pursuit in the name of love, but the sass and flash with which she carries out her retribution completely makes up for my usual distaste in such a story.

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Hecate’s Golden Eye by P.N. Elrod

I didn’t really know what to think about this story – I liked the idea of a moral private investigator with a vampire sidekick, but some of the suave present in past stories by P.N. Elrod is missing from this short tale. However, the voice of the narrative helped to bring me back to the story when I wasn’t entirely sure it was what I was in the mood for. The tone of the tale had just the right balance of cheerful self-deprecation and intrigue to keep me interested in the chief protagonist and his quick journey into re-stealing a gem for its rightful owner.

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Vegas Odds by Karen Chance

From the very first sentence of this short story, you are thrown into the middle of the conflict. Lia’s self-berating and gradual realisation of the culprits in her attack help to add to this immediate sense of drama and action. The twists and turns of the plot are impossible to predict as her inner strength and moxie are revealed. To me, this is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the story – once the cause of one point of conflict is revealed, a number of other problems quickly arise.

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Last Call by Jim Butcher

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.

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Strange Brew edited by P.N. Elrod

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.

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Seeing Eye by Patricia Briggs

A great and fascinating short story – and a wonderful pre-introduction into the Alpha & Omega series. Moira and Tom’s meeting is a great way to not only introduce new characters into the Mercy-verse setting, but also provide more information to the world of witchcraft. The idea of White and Black Witches is a complex issue that is introduced in Cry Wolf, and, although the terror of a Black Witch is beautifully displayed, the ability of a very powerful White Witch such as Moira was a great new angle with which to explore Briggs’ intense and intricate world.

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Signatures of the Dead by Faith Hunter

Molly is a fantastic contrast to Jane, and telling the tale of Jane’s most successful vampire hunt through her eyes was refreshing and a very unique way to tell a new tale. Likewise, such a horrifyingly difficult hunt and journey was softened through Molly’s voice. Her ability to sense the dead and feel what they felt made the tale more tender and the deaths of the victims more tragic.

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