Jonathan Maberry

Books: Fantasy


An Apple for the Creature (2012), Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations (2013), Magic City: Recent Spells (2014), A Fantastic Holiday Season (2014)

An Apple for the Creature (2012) edited by Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner

First, I hate this title. It grates on my nerves like nails down a chalkboard.

Luckily, the title is not reflective of most of the stories inside.

The story "Spellcaster 2.0" by Jonathan Maberry was an unusual story that I quite enjoyed. Several times I thought I knew what was happening and where things were going, and although I saw the Big Event (kinda obvious, given the series) I kept being surprised by the turns of events. A project entering every magical spell that can be found into a database appears to be having glitches.

All in all, it was a decent selection of short stories that made up for terrible title.

Published by Ace

Rating: 7/10

Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations (2013) edited by Paula Guran

weird-detectives-recent-investigationsThis is a collection of short stories previously published elsewhere, so I'd already read several of these stories. But there were several I had not, and several of the ones I'd read before were well worth reading again.

This book has been sitting around for awhile, waiting to be read, primarily because I got it in trade paperback, and it's huge and heavy–just the kind of book I hate reading. Too heavy and too bulky for comfortable reading. But the stories drew me in and didn't let me go. (Though the book itself was why I lacked patience for stories I'd recently read or didn't catch my interest immediately.)

Initially, I was just going to flip through and read stories by authors I love, but then I ended up just reading straight through. Having no patience, if I story didn't immediately grab hold, I didn't finish it, and if I hadn't thoroughly enjoyed it the first time (or had read the story very recently), I didn't give it a second read.

"Like a Part of the Family" by Jonathan Maberry was… I'm still not sure how I feel about this. It's a werewolf story set in modern times. I think that perhaps the bit about the main character being a werewolf perhaps was supposed to come as a surprise, but since this was a collection of supernatural mysteries, it wasn't a surprise.

As I said, this contained a lot of stories I'd read previously, but they are for the most part good stories, so if you don't have the original anthologies, this would be well worth getting.

Rating: 8/10 

Magic City: Recent Spells (2014) edited by Paula Guran


"Spellcaster 2.0" by Jonathan Maberry is another re-read, and I think I enjoyed it just as much the second time around as I did the first. What happens if you input every known magical spell into a computer database?

All in all this is a marvelous collection, that I highly recommend.

Published by Prime Books

Rating: 8.5/10

A Fantastic Holiday Season: The Gift of Stories (2014) edited by Kevin J. Anderson & Kieth J. Olexa

Fantastic Holiday SeasonI picked this collection up solely for the Patricia Briggs story, but once I saw some of the other authors, read through the stories that interested me (but skipped the ones that didn't grab me after a page or two).

"A Christmas Feast" by Jonathan Maberry I ended up finishing, but I did NOT like it at all. Zombies for one, and terribly sad for another.

This is a decent collection with something for everything, even if all the stories don't appeal to everyone.

Published by WordFire Press

Rating: 8/10