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Friday, February 13, 2015

Magic Graves by Jeaniene Frost and Ilona Andrews


New York Times bestselling authors Jeaniene Frost and Ilona Andrews bring you two short stories of paranormal.

Jeaniene Frost's story, One for the Money, features vampires Cat and Bones trying to protect a spoiled heiress with a price on her head and an undead hitman on her trail. Previously published in Death's Excellent Vacation. Also includes the first three chapters from Jeaniene's story in The Bite Before Christmas anthology, as well as a sneak peek at ONCE BURNED, the first novel in the new Night Prince series.

Ilona Andrews' story, A Questionable Client, is a prequel to her award-winning Kate Daniels series. In a world beset by magic waves, Kate Daniels works as a mercenary. She is tired, hungry, and there is foul-smelling blood on her boots. All she wants to do is to go home, but when Mercenary Guild offers her a job she can't refuse, she finds herself protecting a man against Russian wizards. Previously published in Dark and Stormy Knights. Also includes first two chapters of FATE'S EDGE, book 3 in the Edge series, and first two chapters of Magic Grieves, a Kate Daniels novella.


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I picked this book up primarily for the Night Huntress short story in it, so I could read it in order as I work my way through that series. While I enjoyed the short stories that come earlier in the series (chronologically speaking), this one was rather a disappointment. I haven't yet read any of the Kate Daniels books, so I don't really have any frame of reference for that story. Taking it on its own merits, it was ok, I thought. Likely those who are already familiar with that series would get more out of it than I did. Overall I'm not sure this anthology is entirely worth it, but my opinion may change when I get more familiar with the two series in question. Read on past the jump to see my brief individual reviews of the stories.



One for the Money by Jeaniene Frost
★★★☆☆
Much as I'm loving Cat and Bones as I work my way through the Night Huntress books, this story seemed like little more than fluff to me. Particularly when compared to some of the other richly detailed short stories in the series, this one feels very thin and like little more than an excuse to write another cool fight scene for the pair. That's not to say the story is wholly without merit, for there are a few interesting developments with the characters (Bones sneakily teaching Justina how to fight for one), but overall? Meh. I'll give it 3½ stars for the interesting tidbits that are thrown in, but I'd say I'd say unless you're being a total completionist with the series/universe (which I admit I kind of am, or at least am trying to be) you can likely safely give this one a miss.

A Questionable Client by Ilona Andrews
★★★☆☆
As I mentioned in the intro paragraph, I haven't yet read any of the Kate Daniels books, so I am wholly unfamiliar with the universe and with Kate herself. Just based on what I saw of her here, I'm intrigued, and would likely be adding the series to my To Be Read list if it wasn't already on there. She has a spunky no-nonsense attitude and seems to be more than a bit of a badass, so what's not to like here? As for this story itself? Well...it's odd. Intriguing in many ways with some of the mythology it references and pulls in, but still rather bizarre in many ways. I'll be curious to see if her client in this story becomes a significant figure in the series itself as is hinted at in the last few paragraphs here. My guess is that those who are already familiar with the series will find this more interesting than I did, though perhaps not. I look forward to seeing whether or not my opinion of the story changes once I've read one or more of the books.

2 comments:

  1. LOVE Kate and Curran's series. I'd imagine it would be harder if you'd not tried them before. I need to start working through these novellas. If you try out the series I hope you enjoy it. Book one wasn't the easiest of reads but after that it's pretty amazing.

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    1. I've heard that about book one...that it isn't the best one. Such can be said of a lot of book ones though I think.

      I forgot to mention in my review here that half or more of this book is just preview chapters for other books/stories. Frost has previews for Once Burned and for the story in Home for the Holidays, and Andrews has a preview or two as well. I didn't read any of the previews, just the short stories...and both were fairly short.

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