Saturday 24 March 2012

STRANGE CANDY by Laurell K. Hamilton

#1 New York Times bestselling author's Laurell K. Hamilton's first short story collection-including an all new Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter story.

Known for her darkly violent, stunningly erotic Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels, New York Times bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton reveals new dimensions of her talent in these fantastical fairy tales and lush parables as she welcomes readers to the far corners of her fertile imagination.

I haven't read any Anita Blake books since Book 12. It used to be one of my favourite series, but something happened along the way and I just couldn't handle the path Anita is headed in. So I stopped reading her stories. I borrowed this from the library with the intention of reading the short stories only, so I skipped Micah.

THOSE WHO SEEK FORGIVENESS: This is actually an Anita Blake story, and I loved it! It's got everything I originally loved about Anita and her world. It focuses on a case that seems pretty straightforward--a standard reanimation--but ends up in a pretty bad place. It was great!

A LUST OF CUPIDS: Um... not sure about this one. It was a little too light and fluffy, I think. Even the description of the cupids, lol. And the ending was a little... meh.

THE EDGE OF THE SEA: Oooh, I liked the atmospheric feeling of this story.

The night Adria wakes up nervous and with a feeling of doom, she finds her best friend and housemate dead on the beach. Shortly after a man was taking advantage of her, and then disappears into the sea. Distraught and grief-stricken, she starts to hear a strange song inside her head, while other women turn up abused and dead on the shore. Soon, she finds herself in the same danger... but she might be strong enough to save herself and put an end to this monster.

Although the subject matter of this one was very dark, I liked the style of the story. I really got dragged into the middle of Adria's confused and haunted state of mind. Besides, I've always thought the sea to be super creepy.

A SCARCITY OF LAKE MONSTERS: Oh, I think this is my favourite story so far!

It's set in a world where lake monsters are actually real, and a wife and husband team take care of one in particular in the Enchanted Forest National Park. His name is Irving, and he's got quite the sense of humour, plus really likes his human caretakers. However, the night some assholes take their boat out on the lake and pretty much butcher the poor lake monster, Mike and Susan are distraught, but also discover something fascinating about these sea monsters.

I loved this story.

SELLING HOUSES: This is a short story set in Anita Blake's world, but starring a realtor. Abbie is trying to sell the house of a recent family massacre, but this isn't your average murder house. There's a really dark and evil stain left on it. Dark enough that some pretty heavy supernatural cleansing needs to be done before it can be sold. Lucky for her, other creatures of the night happen to be interested.

A fun and tension-filled story that I really enjoyed.

A TOKEN FOR CELANDINE: An interesting fantasy story about an elf, a healer, a demon and the quest to cleanse the healer. I really enjoyed this one!

A CLEAN SWEEP: This is a silly story that I didn't like. At all. :/

THE CURSE-MAKER: I just couldn't get into this one... DNF.

GEESE: Another fantasy story, but one that I really couldn't get into. So, in the end I read the beginning, skimmed the body, and read the ending. That's it.

HOUSE OF WIZARDS: Another fantasy story. Didn't bother with it.

HERE BE DRAGONS: Now, this was a great, psychologically insane story. In a totally screwed-up way. Wow. It hooked me in from the very beginning and I just had to read it in one sitting. It's a very powerful story set in a world filled with very dangerous, psychic children. Yikes! It made my skin crawl, and I agree with the editor LKH mentioned at the beginning--I feel unclean now.

WINTERKILL: This is another fantasy story, so I decided to skip it...

STEALING SOULS: ...and this one too.

THE GIRL WHO WAS INFATUATED WITH DEATH: Y'know, it wasn't until Jean-Claude entered the scene that I realised I'd already read this story, lol. Still, it's an Anita Blake story and it managed to hook me in once again. So, I just kept reading until I got to the end.

This was an interesting story, another one that reminded me how much I used to love Anita and her world. :/

Well, there it is. This book was a strange mix of short stories. Some I REALLY enjoyed, some I had to skim, and a few I decided to skip. Still, I'm glad I read this collection.

My faves were: Those Who Seek Forgiveness and A Scarcity of Sea Monsters. :)        

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