Author: Kelley Armstrong

Urban Enemies

Posted August 3, 2017 by Anne in Book Review | | 2 Comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Urban EnemiesUrban Enemies by Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong, Kevin Hearne, Faith Hunter, Carrie Vaughn
Published by Gallery Books on August 1, 2017
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 448
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
four-stars

Villains have all the fun—everyone knows that—and this anthology takes you on a wild ride through the dark side! The top villains from sixteen urban fantasy series get their own stories—including the baddies of New York Times bestselling authors Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Kelley Armstrong, Seanan McGuire, and Jonathan Maberry.

For every hero trying to save the world, there’s a villain trying to tear it all down.

In this can’t-miss anthology edited by Joseph Nassise (The Templar Chronicles), you get to plot world domination with the best of the evildoers we love to hate! This outstanding collection brings you stories told from the villains’ point of view, imparting a fresh and unique take on the evil masterminds, wicked witches, and infernal personalities that skulk in the pages of today’s most popular series.

         

 

The anthology includes seventeen short stories from many authors which I have mentioned in the order within Urban Enemies.  I have read only five of these authors but they are some of my favorites so I was excited. After all, reading an anthology like this, which was edited by a mystery author, was what took me out of over ten years of reading only mysteries. It turned out to be more science fiction, paranormal romance and urban fantasy stories. I enjoyed many of the stories even though I had read none of the authors before and three series I started on immediately from it were Keri Arthur’s Riley Jensen series, Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries and Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville books. My life would never be the same.

I debated over how to write this review. Ideally, I would like to list all the stories and write a few sentences about each one. There are two difficulties I am having with doing so. First, I feel I would be unfair to all the stories where I don’t read the series or I’m not current. I found it difficult to read some of them with lacking information on the world or depth on the characters. Second, when the stories are an average of twenty pages, it is hard to say much without spoiling their impact.

So I will list all the stories (because I always want a list when it’s an anthology), with ratings for the ones where I am up-to-date on the series. The comments will be very brief. Overall, as I tried to summarize each story and make notes after I read them I thought – dark, cool, very dark, wicked, quite dark, clever, so dark, evil, and daaaark. I wanted very much to read this for the ones from the series I read and I wasn’t wrong. It’s an awesome insight for those series and an extra depth on the character(s).

 

Even Hand by Jim Butcher (the Dresden Files)   5 stars

This was great fun, a chance to learn more about John Marcone and his team.

 

Hounded by Kelley Armstrong (the Cainsville and Otherworld series)

It would be easier to read this one with the connection to the world and characters from the series.

 

Nigsu Ga Tesgu by Jeffrey Somers (The Ustari Cycle)

This was a cool, nasty view of how witches create and power their spells.

 

Sixty-Six Seconds by Craig Schaefer (Daniel Faust)

I really enjoyed this. It was clever; he felt almost like a good guy and twisty.

 

Kiss by Lilith Saintcrow (Jill Kismet)

I’m thinking this is providing some history and back story for the series. Now I want to see the perspective of Jill, a main character in the series.

 

The Naughtiest Cherub by Kevin Hearne (The Iron Druid Chronicles)

Loki visiting Lucifer and making their plans for world domination.

 

The Resurrectionist by Caitlin Kittredge (the Hellhound Chronicles and the Black London series)

I didn’t understand as much from the world but I still thought this one was pretty good.

 

Down Where the Darkness Dwells by Joseph Nassise (Templar Chronicles)

This was another insightful backstory where I really enjoyed how clever it was.

 

Bellum Romanum by Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Norville)  3 stars

This gave the details of how Roman developed and planned his long game. Roman just isn’t very nice or fun.

 

Altar Boy by Jonathan Maberry (Joe Ledger)

I liked this tale of partial redemption.

 

Make It Snappy by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock)   5 stars

Wow. It’s no secret I want to like Leo. This might be the ultimate backstory, with the current status. If only Leo didn’t keep so much information from Jane. Deviously twisty, it meshes right into things.

 

Chase the Fire by Jon F. Merz (Lawson Vampire)

This seems like a series I would like to read, with some competent evil.

 

Unexpected Choices by Diana Pharaoh Francis (Horngate Witches)

I liked the witches but the guy – he’s an ass.

 

Reel Life by Steven Savile (Glasstown)

I just didn’t get the point of this story, other than the guy wants everything his way and all the power.

 

The Difference Between Deceit and Delusion by Domino Finn

Wicked.

 

Balance by Seanan McGuire (October Daye)

This is a series I intend to read someday. This villain was not cool, in fact, mean.

 

Everywhere by Sam Witt (Pitchfork County)

The bad was clever. It seems like I’d like to read this series.

 

About Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn is best known for her New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty who hosts a talk radio show for the supernaturally disadvantaged. The fourteenth installment, Kitty Saves the World, was released in 2015. Her forthcoming novels include a near-Earth space opera, Martians Abroad, from Tor Books, and a post-apocalyptic murder mystery, Bannerless, from John Joseph Adams Books. She’s written several other contemporary fantasy and young adult novels, as well as upwards of 80 short stories. She’s a contributor to the Wild Cards series of shared world superhero books edited by George R. R. Martin and a graduate of the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop.

An Air Force brat, she survived her nomadic childhood and managed to put down roots in Boulder, Colorado.

About Faith Hunter

Faith Hunter, fantasy writer, was born in Louisiana and raised all over the south. She writes three Urban Fantasy series: the Skinwalker series, featuring Jane Yellowrock, a Cherokee skinwalker who hunts rogue vampires. The Soulwood series, featuring earth magic user Nell Ingram. And the Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban, post-apocalyptic, fantasy series featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage. (There is a role playing game based on the series, ROGUE MAGE.)

Under the pen name Gwen Hunter, she writes action-adventure, mysteries, and thrillers. As Faith and Gwen, she has 30+ books in print in 29 countries.

Hunter writes full-time, tries to keep house, and is a workaholic with a passion for travel, jewelry making, white-water kayaking, and writing. She and her husband love to RV, traveling with their rescued Pomeranians to whitewater rivers all over the Southeast.

About Jim Butcher

Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resides mostly inside his own head, but his head can generally be found in his home town of Independence, Missouri.

Jim goes by the moniker Longshot in a number of online locales. He came by this name in the early 1990′s when he decided he would become a published author. Usually only 3 in 1000 who make such an attempt actually manage to become published; of those, only 1 in 10 make enough money to call it a living. The sale of a second series was the breakthrough that let him beat the long odds against attaining a career as a novelist.

All the same, he refuses to change his nickname.

About Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could
write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a
story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls
and evil dolls, much to her teachers’ dismay. Today, she continues to
spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked
away in her basement writing dungeon. She lives in southwestern
Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

About Kevin Hearne

Kevin Hearne lives with his wife, daughter, and doggies in Colorado. He hugs trees and has been told he has unusually attractive handwriting but you should probably judge that for yourself. He also thinks tacos are a pretty nifty idea.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:


Audio Review: Omens by Kelley Armstrong

Audio Review: Omens by Kelley Armstrong

Posted September 14, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | 6 Comments

       This story started off really interesting when Olivia Taylor Jones learns at the age of 24 that she was adopted. Her biological parents are notorious serial killers who’ve been in prison the last twenty years. Olivia’s world falls apart as she struggles with her new identity and new ” gifts” begin to emerge.   After a strong start, the story just settled into a rather dull, convoluted journey as Olivia tries to determine whether her parents were actually guilty of the last murders that got them convicted. She’s working with her mother’s former attorney, Gabriel Walsh, who is quite an enigma. Still not sure what to make of him.   I’m also not sure what this book wanted to be. At times […]


Audio Review: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

Audio Review: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

Posted January 13, 2014 by Jennifer in Book Review | 15 Comments

First Impression: This is a werewolf book with bite. Favorite Line/Quote: “You forget, darling. I am the local psychopath.” “Perfect night, wasn’t it?” “It could have been.” I smiled up at him. “But you were there.” Why I listened: I’ve had Bitten on my TBR since 2010. But after seeing it was being turned into a TV show I decided I should really read it. I kept putting it off and ran out of time to read it before the show airs (TONIGHT on Syfy) so I decided to listen to the audio since I could listen while at work and get it finished faster. The Narration: Aasne Vigesaa does a great job with the narration for the most part. Her voice is prefect for Elena. She sounds the perfect age of […]