Strange Brew

I was quite pleased when I received Strange Brew in the mail. Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher and Caitlin Kittredge are guaranteed good reads for me. I have enjoyed Karen Chance and Pat Elrod in the past but Faith Hunter, Jenna Maclaine and Rachel Caine were new reads for me. I dove into it within minutes of the postman driving away. When I finished it, I could honestly say that my streak of great anthologies continues! All of the stories revolve around magic and witches.
Patricia Briggs starts out this volume with Seeing Eye. Don’t get your hopes up; it isn’t about Mercy and Adam or Charles and Anna. It was however a very intriguing story about Moira, a blind witch and Tom, werewolf and second in command of the Emerald City Pack. Tom’s brother, Jon who is human and a cop was kidnapped by a black magic coven called Samhain. Tom needs Moira’s help to get his brother back in one piece. Moira is not what you expect. She is incredibly cranky and a great character as is Tom. I wouldn’t mind seeing them in another story.
Last Call by Jim Butcher was another amusing addition to his Dresden Files. One day I am going to catch up on all of the volumes in this series but until then I can count on the short stories to bring a smile to my face. All he wanted was a beer but what he got was a whole heap of trouble. Mac’s, where the magically community goes to relax, was hit with some serious magic and it is up to Harry to stop the trouble before it infects the whole city. This dude should have a collection of metals for all the lives he has saved.
Death Warmed Over by Rachel Caine was quite a surprise. I enjoyed this tale immensely, was quite touched by it. Holly works your typical boring office job but her sideline is raising the dead. When she is coerced by her boss and the police department to raise a particular guy, one she has a past with, she is less than thrilled. But lives are at stake and she is the best as what she does. I would be really happy if Holly’s adventures continued.
Vegas Odds by Karen Chance was an action packed ride through the life of Lia, a trainer of new recruits for the War Mage Corps. When a group of mages attacks her at home, she barely makes it out with the help of her werewolf boyfriend Cyrus. She is even more shocked to find out that they aren’t the enemy; they are her new crop of students. I am going to be checking out Ms. Chance’s other paranormal offerings.
Hecate’s Golden Eye by P.N. Elrod featured her beloved gumshoe vampire private eye Jack Fleming. This was a fun read and a nice change from cell phones and such since it takes place in 1937.
Charlaine Harris’ Bacon is a wickedly fun tale, if you find revenge taken in unique ways fun like I do. Dahlia is a vampire who is mourning the loss of her husband who was a werewolf. He was murdered and her only desire is to get revenge on the perpetrators. Dahlia is wonderfully written, cranky from having to deal with humans. I liked her a lot.
Signatures of the Dead by Faith Hunter is an awesome read. The main story is about a witch Molly who is called upon to stop a nest of vampires from killing any more families. But the great part here is the introduction of Jane Yellowrock. She is the main character in a new book called Skinwalker coming in July. This story made me want Skinwalker ASAP! I have a feeling Ms. Hunter will be taking up shelf space next to Ms. Briggs on my keeper shelf.
Ginger by Caitlin Kittredge was great!!! I love the Nocturne City books and this is a look at things from Luna’s cousin Sunny. I was really amused by Sunny and would love to see some more from her point of view. If you haven’t read Caitlin Kittredge, you should be!
Dark Sins by Jenna Maclaine was my first exposure to this author. I had heard of her Cin Craven books but had not picked any of them up. This story takes place in 1818 Venice and must have been early on in Cin’s life as a vampire. Cin is a unique vampire in that she was a witch before she was turned and remained one after her death. She became one The Righteous, policing the vamps for the High King of the vampires.This was a cute and at the same time intense read that I enjoyed.

Book Blurb for Strange Brew

Today’s hottest urban fantasy authors come together in this delicious brew that crackles and boils over with tales of powerful witches and dark magic!

In Charlaine Harris’ “Bacon,” a beautiful vampire joins forces with a witch from an ancient line to find out who killed her beloved husband. In “Seeing Eye” by Patricia Briggs, a blind witch helps sexy werewolf Tom Franklin find his missing brother—and helps him in more ways than either of them ever suspected.  And in Jim Butcher’s “Last Call,” wizard Harry Dresden takes on the darkest of dark powers—the ones who dare to mess with this favorite beer.

For anyone who’s ever wondered what lies beyond the limits of reality, who’s imagined the secret spaces where witches wield fearsome magic, come and drink deep. Let yourself fall under the spell of this bewitching collection!

Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2009 4.50