Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Book Review: Tales of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong


Kelley Armstrong's gripping and imaginative short stories are brought together in this collection. A young vampire learns the heavy price of his new existence; black witch Eve Levine meets Kristof Nast, her soul mate and her nemesis; and Paige Winterbourne discovers just how fraught a white (witch) wedding can be.

My Review:
I waited until the series was finished before I read this anthology. It covers the meetings between popular couples-Aaron and Cassandra, Eve and Kristof and Clay and Elena. We also get the wedding of Paige and Lucas, Logan arriving at Stonehaven and Sean Nast gets himself into trouble at a murder scene.

Being a wolf fan, the main draw here for me was reading about Clay and Elena's story. It is great seeing another side of Clay and you can finally understand why he chose to bite Elena. I really enjoyed the wedding story which was amusing! Seeing Logan in these stories makes me feel pretty sad as I like his character and I know what his later fate is.

REBIRTH: (#0.01)
Aaron tries to stop a shopkeeper being robbed and is stabbed, waking up in a coffin where his mother explains about what a vampire is. If Aaron does not kill one human in his first year, he will die and as he gets near his time, he is considering picking death. Enter Cassandra.

There is not enough Cassandra in the Otherworld so this short story was nice. Why couldn't they have sent her on a mission with Adam or the Pack during the series? She is much more fun than whiny Savannah!

BEWITCHED: (#0.06)
Eve is being threatened by a client and Kristof offers to make the problem go away in exchange for magic lessons from her. This is the start of the forbidden relationship that leads to Savannah's problems with the Nast Cabal.

This story was sad because Eve and Kris were such a great couple and for Kris to be cheated from seeing his daughter grow up by his evil family was heartbreaking. It also shows the good sides of Eve, trying to put Kris first so he did not lose his family and career over her.

BIRTHRIGHT: (#0.07)
Logan has never known his father but a message is sent to him with Jeremy's address at Stonehaven. Clay, however believes that this is a mutt arriving to challenge Jeremy and is is ready to deal with him accordingly.

Poor Logan goes to Stonehaven thinking this is the address of his dad and gets a few shocks from Clay on arrival! I liked this short story.

BEGINNINGS: (#0.08)
Clay is regretting teaching a group of giggling students trying to seduce him-until Elena walks through the door. He offers her a job as his research assistant and they fall in love. But Elena has noticed that Clay is very possesive and when he beats up her stalker stepbrothers she is ready to dump him so Clay decides to take her to Stonehaven to tell her the truth-if Jeremy will allow it.

We all know what happens next but it was nice to see how we got to The Bite. I had more sympathy for Clay after reading this-his anxiety at being parted from Elena overcoming his common sense. Seeing Jeremy so afraid and unable to stop Clay was quite gripping. The story also gives us more back story into Elena's abusive upbringing.

EXPECTATIONS: (#0.11)
A man tells Lucas about a witch who has a dangerous book and Lucas agrees to go and get it. What he gets is a face to face fight with Eve.

This was amusing, watching poor good guy Lucas getting his ass handed to him by Eve! Interesting story.

GHOSTS: (#1.1)
Jeremy is plagued with doubts about the decisions he has been taking during the mutt uprising, and it forces him to look at the ghosts of his past.

I liked this story as we see the Alpha unsure and vulnerable as he wonders what to do about the mutts. Of course, I love Jeremy so I'm always happy to see him in any story.

WEDDING BELL HELL: (#4.1)
Paige and Lucas get anxious and stressed when the well meaning Benicio decides to 'help' with the wedding arrangements.

This was a pretty amusing story. I like Benicio but he really knows how to make things worse! Poor Paige is already stressed enough without his interference!

THE CASE OF EL CHUPACABRA: (#6.1)
Sean Nast is on business and visits a gay bar, stumbling across a murder victim, blamed on a local legend. He asks Paige, Lucas and Savannah to assist as the Cabals start fighting over a suspect in the crime.

This was quite interesting, seeing Sean in the limelight for once. I liked all the twists and turns in the story though I could've done without Savannah stirring up trouble as usual.

This was a good anthology and I liked the stories in it though I'd have liked Logan's story to be more of a novella size like the recent wolfie releases! Great anthology for fans of the series.


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