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.
I enjoy anything set in the Jane Yellowrock world – it is always sassy, strong and constantly reminds you that no matter how odd you may be, there is somewhere in the world that you can fit in. If anything, I found this short story easier to relate to than the others so far – the twin Everhart witches are not only trying to cope with their sad past, but they are forced to confront a school bully. For those of us who have been bullied, we all imagine that day that we are reunited and can show that person how wonderful we are now that we’re not in school. When you’ve found a place in society that you can actually fit into, you want to show others that all of the hurt in the past doesn’t matter anymore (even when it does). The Devil’s Left Boot allows the twin witches to do this. And it works brilliantly.
Even after reading the blurb, this story was NOTHING like what I expected. Which was wonderful. Rizzoli’s soon-to-be-born child and the way in which she copes with this is a heart rending storyline that travels along beautifully with the overarching tale of conspiracy, mystery and hostage taking. Again, Gerritsen’s use of altering points of views brings this story to life in a way that makes it completely impossible to put down.
I love to read about mythologies reimagined for the modern day, and this was an excellent way in which it was done. Where Riordan takes Greek mythology and spins it so that teenagers have a place in the world, Diver gives the tales of Olympus a much more adult and sensual twist. A tale of Apollo, Arachne and gladiators, there really isn’t much more that you could ask for in a short story inspired by the Gods of Olympus.
Hunting Ground is a great look into how Anna’s new role in life and her new marriage have a much greater effect on her life. Where Cry Wolf focused on Anna and Charles’ relationship and her own insecurities, this story brings her out into the wider world of the werewolves. It also helps to highlight the difficulties of ‘coming out’. Although in this context, it is the werewolves coming out to the world, many of the difficulties in coming out with one’s sexuality and the feelings that are explored are also relevant – there is an underlying fear of persecution balanced by the need to remove the threat of blackmail from their lives.
Recruit touches on a couple of issues for the werewolf pack. Firstly, they need to find new recruits without telegraphing their vulnerability to those who wish them ill. Secondly, when they do find someone who wishes to join them, the need to assess their suitability becomes increasingly difficult. Roy’s attempted blackmail and slightly skewed way in which he attempts to ingratiate himself with the pack is a great way to remind us of this.
Elena and Clay are the dream team of hunting and justice. Clay is ruthless and protective in a way that excludes all other emotions. Elena on the other hand can be a little too protective of her family, yet is quick to ask for evidence before execution. Combined, they make a great team, and this short story was a way in which to show this without the influence of the rest of the pack.