Holidays Are Hell

Holidays Are Hell

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Overview

This holiday, spend quality time with family and loved ones—living and dead . . .

There's no place like home for the horrordays—unless you'd prefer a romantic midnight walk through a ghost-infested graveyard . . . or a haunted house candlelight dinner with the sexy vampire of your dreams. The (black) magical season is here—and whether it's a solstice séance gone demonically wrong with the incomparable Kim Harrison, a grossly misshapen Christmas with the remarkable Lynsay Sands, a blood-chilling-and-spilling New Year's with the wonderful Marjorie M. Liu, or a super-powered Thanksgiving with the phenomenal Vicki Pettersson, one thing is for certain: in the able hands of these exceptional dark side explorers, the holidays are going to be deliciously hellish!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061983320
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/06/2009
Series: A Hollows Novella
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 104,366
File size: 572 KB

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison was born and raised in the upper Midwest. Her bestselling Hollows novels include Dead Witch Walking; The Good, the Bad, and the Undead; Every Which Way But Dead; A Fistful of Charms; For a Few Demons More; The Outlaw Demon Wails; White Witch, Black Curse; Black Magic Sanction; Pale Demon, A Perfect Blood, Ever After, and The Undead Pool, plus the short story collection Into the Woods, The Hollows Insider and graphic novels Blood Work and Blood Crime. She also writes the Madison Avery series for young adults.


Lynsay Sands is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there are occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. Please visit her on the web at www.lynsaysands.net.


Vicki Pettersson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sign of the Zodiac novels, a six-book urban fantasy series set in her hometown of Las Vegas. Though she'll always consider that glittering dust bowl home, she now divides her time between Vegas and Dallas, where she's learning to like good Tex-Mex (easy) and the Dallas Cowboys (easier than you'd think).


Marjorie M. Liu is an attorney and New York Times bestselling author of paranormal romances and urban fantasy. In the world of comic books, she is also the writer of NYX: No Way Home, Black Widow, X-23, and Dark Wolverine. She lives in the American Midwest and Beijing, China.

Read an Excerpt

Holidays Are Hell

Chapter One

I stuck the end of the pencil between my teeth, brushing the eraser specks off the paper as I considered how best to answer the employment application. What skills can you bring to Inderland security that are clearly unique to you?

Sparkling wit? I thought, twining my foot around the kitchen chair and feeling stupid. A smile? The desire to smear the pavement with bad guys?

Sighing, I tucked my hair behind my ear and slumped into the kitchen chair. My eyes shifted to the clock above the sink as it ticked minutes into hours. I wasn't going to waste my life. Eighteen was too young to be accepted into the I.S. intern program without a parent's signature, but if I put my application in now, it would sit at the top of the stack until I was old enough, according to the guidance counselor. Like the recruiter had said, there was nothing wrong with going into the I.S. right out of college if you knew that's what you wanted to do. The fast track.

The faint sound of the front door opening brought my heart to my throat. I glanced at the sunset-gloomed window. Jamming the application under the stacked napkins, I shouted, "Hi, Mom! I thought you weren't going to be back until eight!"

Damn it, how was I supposed to finish this thing if she kept coming back?

But my alarm shifted to elation when a high falsetto voice responded, "It's eight in Buenos Aires, dear. Be a dove and find my rubbers for me? It's snowing."

"Robbie?" I stood so fast the chair nearly fell over. Heart pounding, I darted out of the kitchen and into the green hallway. There at the end, in awindbreaker and shaking snow from himself, was my brother Robbie. His narrow height came close to brushing the top of the door, and his shock of red hair caught the glow from the porch light. Slush-wet Dockers showed from under his jeans, totally inappropriate for the weather. On the porch behind him, a cabbie set down two suitcases.

"Hey!" I exclaimed, bringing his head up to show his green eyes glinting mischievously. "You were supposed to be on the vamp flight. Why didn't you call? I would've come to get you."

Robbie shoved a wad of money at the driver. Door still gaping behind him, he opened his arms, and I landed against him, my face hitting his upper chest instead of his middle like it had when we had said goodbye. His arms went around me, and I breathed in the scent of old Brimstone from the dives he worked in. The tears pricked, and I held my breath so I wouldn't cry. It had been over four and a half years. Inconsiderate snot had been at the West Coast all this time, leaving me to cope with Mom. But he'd come home this year for the solstice, and I sniffed back everything and smiled up at him.

"Hey, Firefly," he said, using our dad's pet name for me and grinning as he measured where my hair had grown to. "You got tall. And wow, hair down to your waist? What are you doing, going for the world's record?"

He looked content and happy, and I dropped back a step, suddenly uncomfortable. "Yeah, well, it's been almost five years," I accused. Behind him, the cab drove away, headlamps dim from the snow and moving slowly.

Robbie sighed. "Don't start," he begged. "I get enough of that from Mom. You going to let me in?" He glanced behind him at the snow. "It is cold out here."

"Wimp," I said, then grabbed one of the suitcases. "Ever hear about that magical thing called a coat?"

He snorted his opinion, hefting the last of the luggage and following me in. The door shut, and I headed down the second, longer hallway to his room, eager to get him inside and part of our small family again. "I'm glad you came," I said, feeling my pulse race from the suitcase's weight. I hadn't been in the hospital in years, but fatigue still came fast. "Mom's going to skin you when she gets back."

"Yeah, well I wanted to talk to you alone first."

Flipping the light switch with an elbow, I lugged his suitcase into his old room, relieved I'd vacuumed already. Blowing out my exhaustion, I turned with my arms crossed over my chest to hide my heavy breathing. "About what?"

Robbie wasn't listening. He had taken off his jacket to show a sharp-looking pinstripe shirt with a tie. Smiling, he spun in a slow circle. "It looks exactly the same."

I shrugged. "You know Mom."

His eyes landed on mine. "How is she?"

I looked at the floor. "Same. You want some coffee?"

With an easy motion, he swung the suitcase I had dragged in up onto the bed. "Don't tell me you drink coffee."

Half my mouth curved up into a smile. "Sweat of the gods," I quipped, coming close when he unzipped a front pocket and pulled out a clearly expensive bag of coffee. If the bland, environmentally conscious packaging hadn't told me what was in it, the heavenly scent of ground beans would have. "How did you get that through customs intact?" I said, and he smiled.

"I checked it."

His arm landed across my shoulders, and together we navigated the narrow hallway to the kitchen. Robbie was eight years older than me, a sullen babysitter who had become an overly protective brother, who had then vanished four-plus years ago when I needed him the most, fleeing the pain of our dad's death. I had hated him for a long time, envious that he could run when I was left to deal with Mom. But then I found out he'd been paying for Mom's psychiatrist. Plus some of my hospital bills. We all helped the way we could. And it wasn't like he could make that kind of money here in Cincinnati.

Holidays Are Hell. Copyright © by Kim Harrison. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Holidays Are Hell 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 101 reviews.
Raven_Wrath More than 1 year ago
If you've read Kim's Harrison's Hollows series, this book is a great addition, and one you'll be glad you read later, as events that take place in this anthology are referred to in future novels. Lynsay Sands's story was laughable, but not her best. Marjorie Liu isn't someone I'd read before, and this short didn't leave me wanting for more. I absolutely loved the Vicki Pettersson short and couldn't wait to dive further into her Zodiac series. Her short was more of a spin-off, taking a turn from the original narration from the main character in her series and this gave readers a different insight. Brilliant. If you read her Zodiac series and were unfortunate enough to have missed this short, you wouldn't be lost without it. But you'd be missing out on some incredible back story.
harstan More than 1 year ago
'Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel' by Kim Harrison. Teenager Rachel recuperates from I.S. disease that killed her father and nearly killed her, but left her new powers as a witch in training however, she misuses her new skills with a resurrection that may prove lethal.--------------- 'Run, Run Rudolph¿ by Lynsay Sands. Nick and Jill are to play Mr. and Mrs. S. Claus, but instead shapeshift in a flight for their lives when John tries to shoot her with a destabilizing ray.------------- 'Six' by Marjorie M. Liu. Necromancer Joseph warns Six, a member of the Chinese Squad Twelve, of a deadly vampire plot.----------- 'The Harvest¿ by Vickie Pettersson. Retired Zodiac warrior Zoe Archer must return to the mortal realm to rescue her newborn granddaughter. ------------- These are well written thrilling fantasy novellas with the added bonus that Ms. Harrison¿s tale stars a younger Rachel Morgan.----------------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gotta love these ladies, every single story is fun and well written.
TheLibraryhag on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This averaged to about 3 1/2 stars. I am rating each story separately.Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel, 4 Stars, I read the Hollows series and it was nice to see Rachel in her early days. Also this was a very nice story about family and friendship.Run, Run Ruldolf -- 3 1/2 stars. Sweet, silly romance about a shape shifter and the most understanding boyfriend, EVER.Six -- 4 stars, very good story about vampires and vampire hunters, set in China.Harvest -- 2 1/2 stars. I just did not get this world. People who read the Zodiac series will probably love it.
wakela on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first story was by Kim Harrison and it was called ¿Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel¿. If you have ever read any of her books about the I.S. runner, Rachel Morgan, then you will love this story. It takes you back to the days before she entered the I.S. She was only 18 and hadn¿t fully come into herself yet. Her brother was trying to talk her into going to the University instead of following in her dad¿s footsteps and joining the I.S. He convinces her to cast a spell at the huge Winter Solstice event in hopes of bringing their fathers ghost back. It may be a short story, but it is every much as action packed as her full fledged novels. A must read for all Rachel Morgan fans!The second story is Run, Run Rudolph by Lynsay Sands. It¿s Christmas time and Jill should be focusing her attention on being Mrs. Claus on the parade float next to Mr. Sexy Shoes, Nick, as he plays Santa. However, everything starts to crumble around her when a mad man tricks her under the molecular destabilizer. Now she is on the run from him and has no where to turn. However, she feels duty bound to remain in the parade. The third story takes us away from the winter holidays. It is now the time of the Chinese New Year. Six is undercover in the hopes of ending a terrorist plot to undermine the very fabric of the Chinese government. She soon discovers that things aren¿t as they seem. With all her years of training, she wasn¿t quite prepared to take on vampires. Thankfully, she now has Joseph by her side.The last story in the book is The Harvest by Vicki Pettersson. Like I said earlier, I just could not get past the few pages of this story. For me, if an author can¿t hook me in early, that is a bad sign of things to come. Especially when you are dealing with a short story. There are already fewer pages to write a great story in and you can¿t waste time telling it. So unfortunately, this last story will be going unread by me. And as this was the first one I had ever attempted to read by her, it leaves me weary to try out any of her full novels.
knielsen83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well.. I only read the short story by Kim Harrison and it was really cool because it was Rachel when she was 18 and a bit more of a weaker character than we know her as. Just a touch of romance and lots of action in this short story. :)
dragonasbreath on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
4 quick stories from suspense writers - Ghosts for Sister Rachel lets us meet a younger, more Naive Rachel MorganRun, Run RUdolph - A shapeshifter is on the run - now all its pursuer has to do is figure out what fur it's wearing now.Six - combine a government agent, a necromancer, terrorists and vampires. What do you have? Take a look at this little jewel to see!The Harvest - A Zodiac Warrior must return from the land of the dead to protect her descendants!
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 by Kim HarrisonThis 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 SandsThis 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 contemplative 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. LiuThis 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 assassin, 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 PetterssonThis was a prequel to the Signs of the Zodiac by Vicki Pettersson. The story is told from Zoe Archer's (Joanna's mom) point of view. It tells us more about what happened to Joanna's daughter and gives 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.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An early story of Rachel Morgan from Kim Harrison. Lynsay Sands story of a shape-shifter. Marjorie M Liu's story of a government agent and a hunky necromancer and Vicki Pettersson's story of a Zodiac Warrior all combine to create an interesting selection of Christmas and Thanksgiving stories. Light and fun for distraction over the Holiday Season and interesting for some side stories within several worlds. Nothing terribly standout but interesting.
saltypepper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first story, by Kim Harrison, was the best of the anthology, IMO. I haven't read the rest of the series it's a prequel to, so I can't say if it works in that context or not.The Lyndsay Sands story was a sequel to another story in the Dates from Hell anthology, I think, and I didn't like either one. The Marjorie Liu story was fine and had an interesting premise and setting, but seemed rushed. I think this would have been better had it been longer. The heroine was a stiff, two-dimensional, emotionless assassin, which was sort of boring and cliched. We've seen this character before, only usually it's a man. Given the amount of time Liu spent telling the readers about her harsh background, I had a hard time believing she fell in love with the (interesting, not two dimensional!) hero so quickly. The last story was one I really felt had a lot of potential, but I suspect I missed a lot of the point since I hadn't read anything else by the author. It was a lot of catching the reader up with the parts they should have read in other books.The first story is worth reading the book for.
Oogod on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Did not care for this one all that much...only liked the Kim Harrison story.
pacey1927 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Holidays Are Hell", an anthology of four different short stories by various authors, suffers the same problem as most other anthologies. The stories have varying degrees of sucess. The theme here is obviously the holidays and unfortunately most of the stories could have been written before the theme was decided and the authors could rewrite a few lines mentioning its the holidays and voila...their short stories fit the theme. Only the short story by Lyndsay Sands, and maybe the first story by Kim Harrison, truly feel like the holidays are a part of the main theme. The first story is Kim Harrison's anchor story featuring her Hollows character Rachel Morgan. In "Two Ghosts For Rachel Mogan", we get to visit with a younger Rachel Morgan, fresh out of school. Rachel's brother Robbie is in town for the Holidays and makes her a deal that she can't do a high level spell to raise the ghost of their deceased father. Rachel definately does raise something, and the action has its consequences. This was a fun story that fit the short story format fairly well. I found all the background and up close look at her family beneficial and I think it will add to my experience continuing the Hollows series. I don't know how many new readers would be as fond of the story as I was. I give it 4 stars. Lynsay Sand's "Run Run Rudolph" was the suprise hit of this volume. I enjoy her "Argeneau" vampire series to some extent, and I expected this to be very similar. Not so much. In this story, Jill finds herself being stalked by someone who wants to study and experiment on her because she has recently become a shapeshifter. Desperate to not be caught, Jill finds herself on a race through a Christmas parade, through stores, and more, changing her shape often (and sometimes in a quite funny manner). For whatever reason, this story truly worked for me. While I would love to read more about Jill, this feels like a completed story to me. I give this one 5 stars. I barely made it through Marjorie M Liu's story "Six". Six is a government agent trained her whole life to be tough. Suddenly she is thrown for a loop when she runs into a man who seems to be on the same side as she is, but doing it a different way. When she is infected by a vampire, she has to put all her trust in Joseph to save her. Unfortunately this story was dull. I never got a good hand on what exactly Six was and how she got in that position. The idea seemed pretty good, so I guess just the execution was not so hot. I haven't read this author before, but planned to. Now I am not sure. 2 stars. The final story is "The Harvest" by Vicki Pettersson. It is a prequel of sorts to her Signs of the Zodiac series. Since I have read the first two novels in this series, I found the story to be very interesting. It answered some questions and left some more, that I hope will be expanded on in further volumes. This is definitely a don't miss for Zodiac fans...but if you haven't been introduced to this world, I am afraid readers may be somewhat lost. While Pettersson does make an attempt to 'set up' her world here, it seems to be a mix match of ideas and not a full blown explanation of the "Light" and "Dark" signs and their history. I felt the first story in the series made a better attempt to explain the complex world, and it took me to the second book to fully understand the entire set up. Maybe, new readers will be confused enough to also be intrigued enough to start the series. For my own enjoyment of the story I give "The Harvest" four stars. I would probably give it a 3 for someone who has never read the Zodiac series yet. This still is an anthology well worth picking up if you are a paranormal or urban fantasy fan. It has four well known authors and even if you pick and choose the stories you want to read, it seems worth the money to purchase. This would be a 3 1/2 star book overall, if I could rate it that way.
Lman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am somewhat ambivalent about this little anthology, even with my reasoning behind acquiring it ¿ Kim Harrison¿s contribution ¿ nicely satisfied. With a tenuous link between all four of a national holiday as backdrop, familiarity with the authors ¿ three of which I am not ¿ may increase the reader¿s grasp but, on the whole, the condensed format tended to leave me a tad disgruntled at the conclusion to the stories. The first, Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel by Kim Harrison, is a prequel to The Hollows series, and reveals the circumstances of Rachel Morgan¿s life in her late teens, the reasoning behind her desire to gain a contract as a runner with the I.S., and her quite extraordinary, if personally-oblivious, witching abilities. When her brother Robbie, home for the solstice holiday, attempts to dissuade Rachel from this career path, by daring her to produce a complicated spell to summon their father¿s ghost in order to gain his opinion, the result is not what either sibling expected. A ghost is summoned, forcing a search for a missing girl, and her mother¿s ingenuity is finally unveiled ¿ now we know where Rachel gets it from! This story, which although I felt was rushed in the dénouement, I couldn¿t fault as an avenue to more knowledge about a favourite character of mine. The second story Run, Run, Rudolph written by Lynsay Sands, contains an interesting interlude in the day of newly-made shape-shifter Jill, after being zapped by her brother¿s mad ex-co-worker and inventor in order to experiment on her changed form. Amongst her frenzied escapes from this deranged hunter Jill still manages to fulfil her duties at the Christmas parade by utilising her burgeoning powers, with the help of her scrumptious, shop-owner neighbour, Nick. While I enjoyed the inventiveness of Jill¿s new-found potential and the cleverness of the underlying premise, the conclusion felt too easy and I was left, at the end, feeling flat. Six by Marjorie M. Lui, third in the book, occurs during the Spring Festival in China where Six, a highly-trained and lethal member of the elite Squad Twelve, joins - if at first reluctantly - with necromancer Joseph Besud, to fight the paranormal forces of vampires threatening her country. And, for the first time in her harsh reality, while battling to save her very existence, finds respite in the most unlikely of places. I was rather enthralled at the beginning of this story but became disappointed with the conclusion ¿ this narrative would have been better served, in my opinion, as a novella, the length working against the plot; the speed of events at the end inconsistent with the start. The last in this anthology, The Harvest, is another prequel, to the Signs of the Zodiac series ¿ one I haven¿t read - but this little tale piqued my interest with the fundamental supposition to its story-line. Once more the brevity excluded a full insight but, from what I gathered here, there is a world balanced between forces of the `shadows¿ and the `light¿, these superhumans associated with the signs of the Zodiac. Zoe Archer ¿ with a long, complex history behind her ¿ has relinquished her immortality to save her offspring and fulfil the Seer¿s prophesy, linked to the fate of the world. But when her grand-daughter is stolen, on Thanksgiving, Zoe must return, now powerless, to her past and face many consequences she had hoped, in her mortality, she had left behind. In doing so the reader glimpses a fragment of this interesting world and, in my case at least, is left with a desire to read further. Overall, I am pleased to have learnt more of the background to Rachel Morgan, and to have discovered new authors from this anthology. However all the stories left me feeling underwhelmed due, most likely, to my personal preference for intricacy and more depth in my reading material? To me, the `how¿ is as crucial as the `why¿ ¿ at times even more so; especially in my paranormal reading worlds, a
FutureBestSeller on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this collection...All the stories are supernatural and I now have new authors to try out....not that I need any more. The stories were glimpses into new worlds/realities. If you're not into commitments then this book is for you. You can test drive new authors with the options to buy!
RuthiesBookReviews on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well, there are four stories in this book. So I'll do a break down of each one and my thoughts of each of them.Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel - This is the one where we meet Rachel before she becomes a part of the IS - or the Inderland Security if you're not familiar with her story. I loved this story, because her brother comes back and is trying to talk her out of becoming part of the IS. And of course, she wants to follow in her father's footsteps. So what does her brother do, he tells her if she can complete this spell and bring back a ghost then he'll make sure that the application gets signed. Well, of course, she does complete, but it turns out that it's not who she's looking for. In the end, everything goes great and as most of us know, Rachel goes to the IS. This was a wonderful story to read about a young Rachel.Run, Run Rudolph - This was not exactly my fave story out of this bunch. I feel that there was more to the story than this one. Perhaps there is, but I have yet to find it. But it was a romantic story about a poor girl who shapeshifts into a reindeer. But although this wasn't one of my fave stories, it was still pretty funny!Six - I've never read anything by Marjorie Liu, but all in all, this story was just a simple romance, not that I'm a big romantic reader, but this one was really good. Six is a Chinese agent and soon discovers that vampires exist. Of course, once the vampires were introduced, this story had me hooked. Interesting visit into this world. The characters were great and I'll be looking for some more books by this author!The Harvest - I have a few of Vicki Petterson's books on my bookshelf, but I have yet to read them. So this was also a new one for me. We meet Zoe Archer and the we go into the zodiac World, which I am not at all familiar with. I was kind of confused but I think if I read the other books in the series I'll be able to figure out everything just fine. All in all, I thought it was an interesting story and I'm looking forward to reading more by her!This book was pretty good. I really don't like to read books like these that have so many different stories, but I had to give this one a shot and I'm really glad I did! So if you're interested, go ahead a buy and give it a try. Plus, the holidays are coming soon so get a move on it!
hjjugovic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great collection of short stories about the supernatural and the holiday season. Kim Harrison's tale of a younger Rachel Morgan trying to raise the ghost of her father is especially adept at capturing the conflicting emotions of the season.
lewispike on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another set of short stories from some of the best writers of Dark Fantasy - paranormal takes on our current world with a romantic twist.Kim Harrison weighs in with another good story of Rachel Morgan's life before joining IS, ghosts, vampires, witchcraft and memories of Rachel's childhood all well handled.Lyndsay Sands comes in with a follow-up to another short story in another of these anthologies. The start was close enough that I wondered if I'd read it before, but it quickly found its feet and became its own story.Marjorie Liu throws a wonderfully odd little story, although one that perhaps we should know more about. It is set in China during the Spring Festival - something I had at least heard of, and a story based around necromancers (who are good guys and bad guys), and Chinese vampires (who are not quite like the better known Western varieties). This is my favourite story of the collection, just because of the new culture.Vicki Pettersson is an author I've not heard of before. I will be chasing up her stuff - she wrote a nice story in a nice setting.I only gave this 4 stars because I'm not really a fan of the short story collection. Although all four of these are well self-contained, I feel let down and wanting more depth from each of them - good in some respects, but still enough to pull the star rating down.
imayb1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Admittedly, I bought the book for Kim Harrison's story, "Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel", but I enjoyed three of the four stories and would recommend the book to readers who like Harrison, Liu, or Pettersson's work. Harrison's piece is backstory for Rachel Morgan, the lead character for the series beginning with "Dead Witch Walking." I liked the story because it showed Rachel's family and why she wanted to be I.S.Lynsay Sands, "Run, Run Rudolph" was terrible, implausible romantic tripe and I regret the time I spent reading it. A shop-girl loves a shoe salesman, but a mad scientist zaps her with a super-secret experiment of her brother's design and now she can shape shift. Marjorie M. Lui's, "Six" features an orphaned Chinese woman who is part of a tough, elite governmental anti-terrorist unit and she's trying to stop vampire terrorists. It was a surprisingly good read and the most memorable in the book.Vicki Pettersson's "The Harvest" was an action-packed backstory regarding Jo Archer's mother. (Jo Archer is the main character in Pettersson's novel, Scent of Shadows.) I felt the story would be tough to get into without knowing the novel, and it's very much a tale of a tragic hero.
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The stories were a lot of fun.
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Cybotic More than 1 year ago
While the other short stories in here are okay, the teenage Rachel Morgan story sets so much in motion and gives such a telling glimpse into why Rachel is who she is, the book is a treasure for fans of the series.