Friday, September 19, 2008

Review - Wolfsbane and Mistletoe - edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe
Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner
October 7, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-441-01633-4

Book Blurb from the Publisher’s site:
The editors of Many Bloody Returns deliver the perfect howl-iday gift, with new tales from Patricia Briggs, Carrie Vaughn, and many more.

New York Times bestselling authors Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Keri Arthur, and Carrie Vaughn—along with eleven other masters of the genre—offer all-new stories on werewolves and the holidays, a fresh variation on the concept that worked so well with birthdays and vampires in Many Bloody Returns.

The holidays can bring out the beast in anyone. They are particularly hard for lycanthropes. Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner have harvested the scariest, funniest and saddest werewolf tales by an outstanding pack of authors, best read by the light of a full moon with a silver bullet close at hand.

Whether wolfing down a holiday feast (use your imagination) or craving some hair of the dog on New Year’s morning, the werewolves in these frighteningly original stories will surprise, delight, amuse, and scare the pants off readers who love a little wolfsbane with their mistletoe.

My thoughts:
Gift Wrap by Charlaine Harris
– It’s the Christmas holiday and feeling restless home by herself, Sookie heads outside. She doesn’t get far before a noise catches her attention and leads her to Preston Pardloe, an injured werewolf with quite a story. That’s just the beginning of one Sookie’s most memorable Christmas’s ever.

The Haire of the Beast by Donna Andrews – When her brother Tom brings her a spell to become a werewolf, she can hardly believe what she’s hearing. Still, curiosity gets the best of her and she decides to try the spell out with an added twist. It’s not Tom she has her experimenting sights on, but it’s about to become a very rewarding Christmas.

Lucy, at Christmastime by Simon R. Green – Each year on Christmas Eve in Nightside, Leo Morn visits Strangefellows, a crowded old bar. It’s not friends and drink that bring him there, it’s remembering his first who never forgets him on this special night.

The Night Things Changed by Dana Cameron – Claudia and Gerry are Fangborn, and tracking a killer. They fear it could be one of their own, but they’ve never seen one born evil. It’s Christmastime and Gerry may finally gain the courage to ask for something that would make his the perfect Christmas.

The Werewolf Before Christmas by Kat Richardson – When Matthias makes a poor choice in meals, he’ll find himself forced to endure Santa’s Christmas cheer. While he may not bond with his new companions, it will certainly be a Christmas to remember.

Fresh Meat by Alan Gordon – Sam Lehrmann raises and trains guard dogs. Only the best will do for his furred friends who protect him and help him keep a secret. When someone targets him, help arrives in several surprising forms.

Il Est NĂ© by Carrie Vaughn – David is a werewolf that’s never had the advantage of pack life. When Kitty runs into him at a roadside diner she’s determined to show him how he can lead a relatively normal life and keep the wolf under control.

The Perfect Gift by Dana Stabenow – Ben Lobison and Neri Rominov are partners for the Alaska state troopers in Anchorage. After an attempted arrest turns explosively bad, Ben’s life is changed forever in a very surprising way.

Christmas Past by Keri Arthur – A year ago Brodie walked out of Hannah’s life without explanation. Partnered in a case, they track a killer and as Brodie gets more difficult for Hannah to resist, his protective instinct grows. He’s ready to destroy anyone who foolish enough to touch her.

SA by J. A. Konrath – When Robert Weston Smith begins finding strange objects in the toilet that his stomach has voided, he pays the doctor a visit. Facing the fact that he’s sleepwalking is one thing, but what Robert is about to learn will shock him and alter his life forever.

The Star of David by Patricia Briggs – Stella was away when Devonte was placed in a new foster home, and she had no control over the situation. Now Devonte is being accused of something Stella finds difficult to believe. She’s about to call the one person she never thought to ask for help.

You’d Better Not Pyout by Nancy Pickard – When Pasha gets it into his head that he knows how Santa Claus has been around so long, he talks Serge into accompanying him to the North Pole. Their paths will soon cross with Ingrid and Damian who are on a hunt of a different kind.

Rogue Elements by Karen Chance – It’s Christmas Eve and Lia is being sent by her boss at the Corps, Gil, to locate kidnapped weres. As a war mage she has magic ability on her side, but it’s help from an old flame that may very well save her life.

Milk and Cookies by Rob Thurman – Avoiding Jed the bully in school takes a bit of doing for Nicky, but he knows not to draw attention. When Jed doesn’t back off, Nicky will show him what Christmas spirit in his household is all about.

Keeping Watch Over His Flock by Toni L. P. Kelner – Jake has been taken in by the pack leader and his wife, and has a good home because of it. What he really wants more than anything is to be able to run on his own, something he’s forbidden to do. When he disobeys orders and manages a good deed in the process his life will change in a way he doesn’t expect.

Fifteen exceptional authors are brought together to make Wolfsbane and Mistletoe a captivating collection. From stories of urban fantasy to those edged in horror, this anthology offers a fun and sometimes gory variety. Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner, Wolfsbane and Mistletoe offers up the Christmas spirit in a wonderfully wicked way. Each story is written as a stand-alone, but among them readers will find entertaining additions to some of the most followed series.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews


SciFiGuy said...

What a stellar cast of urban fantasy and paranormal authors, Many Bloody Returns was my favourite anthology last year and I am really looking forward to reading this. Nice review. BTW thanks for the add to your blogroll.

Kimberly Swan said...

It is a great group of authors, and I love the short stories to tide me over until their next novel. :) If you liked Many Bloody Returns, then you should enjoy this one as well. I'll look forward to hearing what you think of it. Thank you. The add was my pleasure, thanks for adding me as well. :)

Enchanted by Books said...

I like the way you summarized each story! So many great authors! Sounds really good. I've never been big on anthologies but recently after having read one, I really liked it. Sometimes it's nice to just read something short and get a taste for a bunch of authors at once. :)

Kimberly Swan said...

Thanks Rachael...I'm glad it gave you a little idea of each of the stories. I've found quite a few new authors to read through anthologies over the years too. Hope you'll get a chance to read it. :)

Unknown said...

I think this is the only anthology series I enjoy. It is a shame that they are releasing it in October though...I thought it would be nearer Christmas to get people into the spirit of things ;)

Kimberly Swan said...

Gives people the opportunity to find a copy and buy it for someone for Christmas. :)

Christine said...

This looks so good--I've been loving werewolves lately. I hope Santa brings it for me. =)

Kimberly Swan said...

Better stay off of his naughty list then. :)