Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Holidays are Hell edited by Kim Harrison (5/5 stars)

This was a compilation of four novellas edited by Kim Harrison. Overall I thought it was a great set of stories. I zipped through this book so fast. My favorite story was the Kim Harrison one; my least favorite Six by Liu.

Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel is by Kim Harrison
This was a great prequel to the Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison. It was a lovely stand alone story, but had more impact if you have read that series. It was fun to read about a younger Rachel who is still struggling to recover from Rosewood syndrome and trying to decide if she should join the IS or not. It was nice to read about a time in her life that helped get her to where she is at the start of the series. Great quality of writing, excellent, just like all of Kim Harrison's stories.

Run, Run Rudolph by Lynsay Sands
This story was a surprise for me. It was funny, light-hearted, and I really liked it. I have never read anything by Lynsay Sands before. I liked her light writing style. There is nothing heavy or cotemplative here, but it was a fun read all the same. I might check out more of her writing based on this story. Basically it tells about a woman who gets zapped by a molecular experimental machine and can change shape. She ends up being hunted from someone from her brother's past and what ensues is pretty funny.

Six by Marjorie M. Liu
This was my least favorite story. I have never read anything by Liu before. This story was about a Chinese agent, your basic trained from birth assasin, and how she ends up getting involved in the paranormal community. Liu did a good job of switching writing style when she switched character perspective. Still, I didn't care for the writing style and I though the heroine was a bit boring.

The Harvest by Vicki Pettersson
This was a prequel to the Signs of the Zodiac by Vicki Pettersson. The story is told from Zoe Archer's (Joann's mom) point of view. It tells us more about what happened to Joann's daughter and give interesting insight into both Zoe's relationship with the Tulpa and her relationship with Warren (the leader of the Light Zodiac). I am not sure how good of a stand-alone story this is; but if you have read some of Pettersson's books you will absolutely love this story. It explains so much about why Zoe did what she did and sheds a lot of Light on why Warren and Joann interact the way they do.

All in all a great combination of stories. I plan on ordering some of the other Hell compilations that have been edited by Harrison. Hopefully those will be as high of quality as this book was.

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