Saturday, November 30, 2013

Hex Appeal Part 2

Title: Hex Appeal
Author: Edited by P.N. Elrod
Genre: Anthology, Horror, Urban Fantasy
Format & Pages: Paperback, 356
Publication: St. Martin's Griffin, 2012
Source: Borrowed
Welcome to the second part of reviews for the anthology Hex Appeal! I hope you enjoyed the reviews in the first part. If you didn't check them out, you can here. Now on to the second set of reviews.

Outside the Box-P.N. Elrod, 38 Pages
Outside the Box is told from the point of view of Marsha, a witch working for the Company, ensuring that all vampires are registered and obey the rules. This keeps them safe as well as the humans. Her partner, Ellinghaus, is a quirky vampire hired to protect her as they help newly created vamps. Both these characters are quite likeable, but Ellinghaus was the one I really liked. He had a unique personality that just radiated off the page.

The story was seamless and exciting, with almost non-stop action. The world in which they were situated is so much like today’s world, I could almost envision the Company existing and doing its nightly vampire business right now. There were a lot of good twists thrown throughout, which kept me hooked. The ending was well done and left me wanting to read more about the characters.

How Do You Feel?-Simon R. Green, 30 Pages,

Dead Boy is the star of this story, a zombie with a soul. The only thing that Dead Boy lacks, however, is the ability to feel. His emotions are only sparked when he is popping pills from Mother Macabre. Things get interesting when Dead Boy is informed that, while he did kill those that killed him, he did not kill the one that had hired them.

The story is an interesting on, but I had a bit of a hard time getting invested in the world. It is a rough place and with an emotionless main character, I had a hard time reading it. While I do empathize with Dead Boy about being deprived of a normal, living future, it just wasn’t enough for me to really connect. It was a good who-dun-it though, with a nice surprise in the ending.

There will be Demons-Lori Handeland, 35 Pages,

Handeland’s There will be Demons is an interesting story centering on Summer, a demon killer with a secret. Her world is turned upside down when Jimmy, the man she has been dreaming about for ages, shows up at her door. Reveling part of her secret, her life becomes a bit more complicated and years of dreamed memories start to occur.

There are many twists throughout the story which kept me reading. There was, however, many sexual inklings throughout the story along with an explicit sex scene. It was a bit over the top for me and while the story was good, it seemed the sex was more the focus than the demon killing. Then the story just stops as the demon killing gets going, right after a big twist to boot. It definitely makes me want to read more about this world and the characters, but the romance aspect was a bit off putting for me.

Cherry Kisses-Erica Hayes, 37 Pages,

Hayes portrays a very interesting world in Cherry Kisses. Being able to take a ride to hell without dying is definitely creative. The story itself is pretty good, a daring heroine and a handsome companion with unknown motives. I found myself liking Ethan more than Lena, though. While she is an interesting character, definitely unique, she was not quite so endearing to me. I guess I am a goody-goody though. There was a nice twist at the end of the story which really made for an enjoyable ending.

The Arcane Art of Misdirection-Carrie Vaughn, 30 Pages,

So we start out in Vegas with Julie, a blackjack dealer who has two players on two separate days that seem to be cheating in the exact same manner. No one can figure out how they are doing it however. Until Odysseus Grant shows up and Julie catches something…mysterious going on. While the story is told mostly from Julie’s point of view, the star of the show is Odysseus. He is a fun, quirky character that brings magic to a whole new level.

The story is very interesting. It keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout and I couldn’t read it fast enough. There are various hints throughout as to what is going on, but there are some nice twists that really keep things fresh and moving along. The ending really hooks you and I wanted to read more about Odysseus.

So there you have it, the last reviews for the stories in Hex Appeal. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did and come across some new authors. I know that I have a lot of new things added to my to be read pile!

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