Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding" edited by P. N. Elrod

I love short story collections, especially when it gives me a chance to try authors I've not read before. For some reason, a book of short stories never seems to take me long to read, and this one was no different, as I plowed through it over the weekend.

I picked this up mostly because of some of my faves making contributions, and I pretty much enjoyed those stories the most. Jim Butcher's "Something Borrowed" was a nice little Harry Dresden vignette, concentrating on his werewolf friends, two of whom are being married. Only problem being that the bride disappears, then reappears suddenly, only it's not the bride. This story relies heavily on previous Dresden books, so it may be for true Harry fans only, as some of the action may not make a whole lot of sense. What I was really impressed with is that Butcher stayed true to his style of writing - no cute fluff here. Often, I find myself disappointed by more serious authors when they try to write lighter stuff. Butcher stuck with his tried and true, and it works.

I was surprised at the entry by Rachel Caine, "Dead Man's Chest", as it's much more romantic than her Weather Warden series. But again, the writing is still enjoyable, and she didn't make it total fluff. Love that!

Charlaine Harris's entry, "Tacky", is all about a marriage between werewolf and vampire, and if you've kept up with her Southern Vampires series, you know this probably won't be easy. Vamps are "out" to the real world, the wolves are not. The two factions don't trust each other any farther than they can throw each other, and in this case, that's pretty darn far. It's interesting to watch the groups tiptoe around, but I was disappointed that none of her usual characters made an appearance.

Sherrilyn Kenyon's "A Hard-Day's Night Searcher" was pretty much like all the other Dark-Hunter stories I've read. Nothing new, but that's not a bad thing. I didn't think it was her best try, though, and I'm hoping the new novel due out next month is better than this work.

I hadn't read anything by the other authors in this collection, and based on the stories they contributed, I'm not sure I will, except for the editor, P. N. Elrod. Her story, "All Shook Up", was a great little piece about an Elvis impersonator at a wedding. Except, is he really an impersonator? It's hard to tell, even for the reader, until the end of the story. I liked the characters, I thought the story itself was good, and now I'd like to read more of Elrod's work.

Esther M. Friesner's story was OK, as was Lori Handeland's, but neither will inspire me to seek them out in novel form. The only story I didn't really like was the final one, "...Or Forever Hold Your Piece" by Susan Krinard. There was a very brief explanation of her mythic world, but even that wasn't enough to help me wind my way through her short story. Too involved! If I had been reading her novels, I think I would've understood what was going on, but for a first-time reader, it was just too complicated, something that severely detracts from her piece.

Finally, I did not read the entire story by L. A. Banks, "Spellbound". I just couldn't get into it, and went on to the Harry Dresden short.

Overall, I would recommend this, especially since you can skip through (or over) the stories you're not enjoying. Life is too short to be reading something you don't like!!

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