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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

113) Otherworld Nights by Kelley Armstrong

The Blurb :

This short story collection will include many brand-new tales and others only previously available on Kelley Armstrong's website. Most of the stories will feature the werewolves of the Otherworld, Elena and Clay, Jeremy, Karl and other members of the American Pack. These are some of Kelley Armstrong's best-loved and most enduring characters, from bestselling books such as Bitten, Stolen and Frostbitten.

My Thoughts :

I usually hate anthologies and usually moan and groan about them afterward.  However an anthology with only Kelley Armstrong stories based in the Otherworld Series is nothing to gripe about.  It is something to celebrate and anticipate.

Due to my distaste for anthologies I have actually never (to my recollection) read any of the short stories in the Otherworld Nights collection.  So I was very eager to read this book and catch up with some of the characters again and see how they are doing.  To make the review easier to write I will address each story individually.

1) Demonology - Adam's mother discovers what he is.

Short but sweet.  This one left me wanting more but it was a nice to find out more about Adam and meet his Mother.

2) Stalked - Clay/Elena honeymoon story from "My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon"

This is the only story from the collection that I believe I have read before.  It felt familiar and if I go back and check my previous reads maybe I will find "My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon" on the list.

It was a good story and it was typical Elena and Clay.  They manage to be so close but fail to communicate well enough to enjoy their honeymoon.  It is amusing and cute at the same time.  A nice story about two of my favourite characters in the series.

3) Hidden - SubPress 2012 Elena/Clay novella

The was the longest and best story in the book.  Clay, Elena and the twins are getting ready for Christmas.  All alone in a cabin they come across a local mutt.  The story has some nice twists and turns and also brings up the 'when do we tell the children' question.

I really liked this story and it was like having another new episode in the Otherworld series.  A look at how things could have been.   Other members of the Pack show up as an added treat but the icing on the cake was getting to know the twins better.

Any fan of the series, who hasn't read this short story, should get this anthology just because of Hidden.  It makes the whole anthology worth reading and made me very happy.

4) Twilight - a Cass story from "Many Bloody Returns"

A story about Cassandra.  I guess the title is a little funny when you think this one is a vampire novella.  I didn't really care for this one and have never really liked the character.  It was interesting to find out more about her life but she made me want to stake her.

5) Chivalrous - Reese's backstory from SubPress's long sold-out "Tales of Dark Fantasy 2" (the Dec'14 SubPress graphic novella picks up this storyline)

I think this was my second favourite.  I can't remember much about Reese but I really enjoyed getting to know him and finding out more about his past.  This was a tragic story but it was a good look into the reasons Reese is the way he is.  He is mentioned/takes part in some of the other stories in this anthology and this background piece about him explains a lot.

6) Lucifer's Daughter - Hope/Karl story from "Blood Lite II: Overbite"

I really like Hope and Karl so I was happy to find them among the novellas in this collection.  Another short but sweet story this was over pretty quick but there was a lot of action and information.  Another enjoyable read and well worth checking out if you like these characters.

7) From Russia with Love - Elena bonus story included with hardcover of "Thirteen"

Another nice Elena story but it was over pretty quick.  I didn't understand why the whole being followed bit was so important but maybe I wasn't paying enough attention.

This story came across as the last look into the life of the Pack.  It could also be seen as the beginning of what is to come.  I don't know if Kelley intends on coming back to the Otherworld at some point but if she does this is the story she would have to continue from.  A nice ending but a hopeful future.

8) Vanishing Act - brand-new Savannah/Adam novella set after "Thirteen"

I like Savannah but this story didn't agree with me.  I am not sure why but I felt like I should have enjoyed it more.  Maybe I didn't put it in the right place in the series and it should have meant more to me.  Did it tie up some loose ends that I had forgotten about?

I plan on reading/listening (if I can get them all on audio!) the whole series again from start to finish and I definitely have to try and fit in the novellas too.

All in all this was a good collection of stories that are well worth reading if you are a fan of the series.  Check the stories first to see if you have read them before because you could end up being disappointed and re-reading novellas you already know.

Kelley Armstrong is a great writer and I thank her for putting this novellas together and look forward to another collection.  The Otherworld is one of my favourite series ever and I miss it like mad.  This anthology was a great present and a thoughtful idea.  I doubt I would have ever managed to read all of the stories in their original anthologies.

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1 comment:

Aurian said...

I actually have read my Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon, but can't remember anything about it. Still struggling with Bitten, I read about a chapter a week or so ...