Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Hex Appeal

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hex Appeal (2012) edited by P.N. Elrod; Stories by P.N. Elrod, Carrie Vaughn, Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Simon R Green, Rachel Caine (and others)

As I was expecting, this collection was a mixed bag. Luckily, the good stories were very good, and worth the price of the anthology.

I bought the anthology first and foremost because it had an Ilona Andrews story, “Retribution Clause”.

I love Ilona Andrews.

This story is set in the same damaged world as her Kate Daniels series, however, it’s set in Philadelphia, so there were no appearances by familiar characters (although Saiman was name checked).

Adam Talford and his partner Siroun work for POM Insurance. Neither is human, but we’re never told what Siroun is. They’re given an emergency case, and told that the company can’t afford there to be too many casualties. And that’s about it.

This was a very interesting story. If it weren’t for the fact that I track very closely what they have coming out, I’d think this was going to be the start of a new series, but, it isn’t, so enjoy it for what it is. A fun story.

The second author I bought the book for was Carrie Vaughn. Her story, “The Arcane Art of Misdirection,” is set in her Kitty the werewolf world, and Odysseus Grant makes an appearance. Like the Ilona Andrews story, there was no sex.

The last author I bought the series for was Simon R Green. I love Nightside, and “How Do You Feel” is a Nightside story.

Dead Boy is wandering around, getting into trouble and trying to feel something (anything really) when Walker tells him him information about the man behind his death, who caused him to become Dead Boy. I really liked learning Dead Boy’s story. But then, I love Nightside.

No sex, but we learn about Dead Boy’s girl friend finally.

P.N. Elrod’s story “Outside the Box” was another boink free story, and although it’s set in the same world as her Vampire Files series, it’s in the current time, and the magical and undead world have caught up with the times.

I quite enjoyed this story.

Jim Butcher’s story, “Bigfoot on Campus” had lots of boinking, but it wasn’t, well, it didn’t involved Harry Dresden, and it wasn’t particularly romantic. It reminded me quite a bit of the Buffy episode “Where the Wild Things Are,” which I admit wasn’t one of my favorites, but I found this story interesting.

“Holly’s Balm” by Rachel Caine was okay, but I am unfamiliar with that world, and felt kinda lost through some parts of the story. Lots of sex. Lots of thinking about sex.

Not really my thing.

The Carole Nelson Douglas story reminded me why I quit reading her Delilah series.

I read a few pages into “Cherry Kisses” and moved along to the next story, and “There Will be Demons” I speed read through.

But all in all, it was well worth the price of admission for the stories I did like.
Rating: 8/10

Published by St. Martin’s Griffin


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