Anthologies: Never After (2009)
Sisters of the Moon
That something ended up being indifference.
Which is really to bad, because this book had some definite strengths. The world in which the characters lived is an interesting one. The Fae have come out of the closet on Earth in the modern world, and the D’Artigo sisters, Mellony, Deliliah, and Camille, are half-human agents for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency (OIS). They each have their own powers, some genetic, some other, and they are still learning to combine their powers to work as a unified force.
Yet as I was reading the book, I mostly just wanted to find out what happened and finish the book so I could go on and read something else. What problems did I have? First and foremost, I disliked the sex scenes and Camille’s obsession with sex. I also didn’t care for Camille’s obsession with clothing and how she looked. And as Camille was the main character, that meant I had to read quite a bit about her clothing and how hot she found all the men around her, and how all the men around her found her so hot.
And the sad thing is that if she hadn’t gone on so much about sex and clothing and how hot the men in her life were, I really would have enjoyed the story, because although it was often easy to guess where the story was going, at other times it took an unexpected turn that was really very good.
So, I don’t think I’ll be looking for the rest of the books in this series.
When I read Witchling, the first book of the Sisters of the Moon series, I wasn’t impressed. I really liked the story, but the main character was obsessed with fashion and sex, and those are not my favorite themes.
But the second book in the series was written from the point of view of the second sister, Delilah, who is not obsessed with fashion and clothing, so I decided to give the series another try. Especially after reading a novella published in the same world.
Delilah is half human, half faerie like her sisters, but she is a changeling. Unlike some of the more famous shifters (who make appearances, including a kitsune), she’s a big fluffy tabby. However, she has other powers, some of which she hasn’t told even her sisters about. She is also a private investigator (her OIA cover) and it is in that capacity that trouble comes to the D’Artigo sisters.
Did I like Changeling better than Witching? Yes. There was still a lot of sex (because the sisters are half fae and were raised in the Otherworld, their morals and values are very different from those of humans), but I was expecting it this time.
As with the first book, I really enjoyed the story and the world building. I much preferred Delilah’s POV to Camille’s: Deliliah prefers jeans to high fashion (thank goodness) and as a private investigator (and changeling) her attitude is far more relaxed.
What I also found interesting is that although there is an impending war in the Otherworld, that remains in the background of the story. Because they are on the periphery of events, we see how the upheaval affects them, but it is not the true heart of the story. It’s an unusual twist that I really like.
Although the primary story arc is completed, the major story arcs remain open, and it doesn’t look like the major arc will be completed any time soon. Just keep that in mind.
if you haven’t read the first book, there may be some bits you are missing if you start here. However, you should be able to pick up on things quickly enough.
This portion of the story is told from the point of view of Mennoly, the youngest of the three sisters, and a vampire. This is also the darkest of the three books, since Mennoly revisits her past, and the torture she went through when she was turned.
Interestingly, Mennoly’s turning was awful, but it wasn’t horrific and drawn out, which made it less dark than it could have been. We learn much of the story in pieces, and the retelling is brusque, which gives us the details without reveling in the torture.
In other words, I was expecting to be a lot harder to read than it was.
In addition to the darkness of the story, there seemed to be less focus on sex than there was in the previous two books, and instead of seeming gratuitous (which much of the sex in the previous books seemed to be), it was part of Mennoly’s healing process, so it was an integral part of Mennoly’s story.
I also liked Mennoly’s acerbic wit and inability to suffer fools. It also seemed as if this attitude came after she was turned–the pre-vampire Mennoly seems far less pissy, even if we don’t see much of her.
As with the previous books, although the issues with the war and the seals remain, Mennoly’s story arc for this book is completed, which I always like.
Unfortunately, the next book in the series seems to go back to Camille, the witch, who is obsessed with sex and fashion, so I’m not particularly looking forward to it, but hopefully the other sisters will play a larger role.
This is probably my favorite book in the series so far. Yes, it’s light reading, but sometimes that’s just what you need.
Dragon Wytch (2008)
I don’t like fashion.
And I really don’t like characters who think, talk and obsess about sex constantly.
Which is pretty much all Camille does. When she’s not having sex, she’s talking about having sex or thinking about having sex. Plus, she’s so fabulous she has three different men in love with her who are willing to share her.
The only reason I have this book a second glance after seeing Laurell K. Hamilton’s name was because I’ve read books by Yasmine Galenorn, Marjorie M. Liu, and Sharon Shinn and loved what I read. So I grabbed the book, despite my misgivings.
I freely admit that I didn’t bother to read Laurell K. Hamilton’s story. I’ve read other stories by her in other anthologies, and wasn’t impressed, and since I was looking for something enjoyable, I skipped straight to Yasmine Galenorn’s story “The Shadow of Mist.”
Siobhan is a selkie who has moved to American to escape a forced marriage. When her former betrothed hunts her down after a century, she turns to her friends for help, but also has to learn to depend upon herself.
I enjoyed the fact that she chose to write about a selkie character. Strangely enough, I just read another story about a selkie, but I’m still glad to see supernatural fantasy stories branching out from vampires and werewolves and elves.
Although the story was about love and forced marriage, it was in greater part about Siobhan learning to trust herself and take care of herself, which I quite liked.
So although I can’t tell you about the first story, I can highly recommend the remaining three stories. Check out this anthology, I don’t think you’ll regret it.