Thursday, December 11, 2014

Anthology Night Shift

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh delivers a smoldering story with Secrets at
Midnight , as the scent of Bastien Smith’s elusive lover ignites a possessiveness in him that’s as feral as it is ecstatic. And now that he’s found his mate, he’ll do anything to keep her.
In #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews’ novella, Magic Steals , when people start going missing, shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau and jaguar shifter Jim Shrapshire must uncover the truth about the mysterious creatures responsible.
From Milla Vane—a warrior princess must tame The Beast of Blackmoor to earn a place among her people. But she quickly discovers that the beast isn't a monster, but a barbarian warrior who intends to do some taming himself.
It’s seer Makenna Frazier's first day on the job at Supernatural Protection and Investigations, and her first assignment is more than she bargained for when bodyguard duty for a leprechaun prince’s bachelor party goes every which way but right in national bestselling author Lisa Shearin’s Lucky Charms

Comment: As soon as I realized this anthology would have stories by to of my favorite authors, I pre ordered right away. The book arrived and I started reading it that same day. I know most readers only read and review the two stories I also liked best, the ones by Nalini Singh and Ilona Andrews, because the other two aren't as fascinating, for several reasons. 
Personally, I read them all, this is an anthology after all and my grade is according to it. It's one of those things if we knew, then we could have waited for our favorite stories to be released alone, which they will surely be someday. If the stories by the author I've read were amazing for me, the same can't be said for the other two, which bored me a lot and it took a real dose of patience to go through, although thankfully they were short.
Here's a small comment about each one:

Secrets at Midnight is a wonderful story about one of Mercy's brothers, Bastian. He senses his mate one day and can't let go but of course finding her isn't as easy. When he meets her at last he knows who she is for him but she doesn't seem to feel the same and the story is mostly about they finding out why Kirby acts and smells weird something. I liked the story, it has all the usual ingredients in a Singh's story, with several references to beloved characters. It's like meeting new friends through old friends and the plot, despite short, was still well paced. 

Magic Steals is a short story focusing on Jim and Dali, while Curran and Kate are in Europe. This story is pretty much in the same level as another one featuring them, we see their relationship develop slowly, we get the idea they have been seeing each other, not as much as that, but still, and now they unite forces to fight someone/something that is targeting innocent people. I liked this story not only for the personal development of both Jim and Dali, as they grow to admit things for each other and between them, which is refreshing, but also because Dali recognizes she is worthy of him and together they are stronger than she would think. Loved reading this one, it was actually the one I've read first.

Lucky Charms is hard to explain, honestly. Ive recently tried my first book by the author and wasn't impressed. I'm afraid this author just isn't for because despite the interesting plot and world building, I can't seem to go past the narrative style, which I don't like. This story focus on Makenna's first day on a new job and we get a description of several beings that populate the world, goblins, vampires, ogres, nymphs, etc, which tells me there would be diversity, but the way the story is told, how Makenna is involved with a job and characters that didn't strike me as intriguing, then I wonder why bother. Not close to be enjoyable for me.

The Beast of Blackmoor is a weird story which I still haven't really understood. It's about a man who mocked a god and was punished, then years later he is doing a sort of penitence? and the heroine, a warrior of some sort is doing a god's quest to earn her place at court or something so she has to defeat the warrior they call beast but when she finds him, he lives in a very deplorable place, where everyone is prey to a wealthy and powerful man and the beast is actually the one who helps. Anyway, interesting idea, but the execution felt rushed and sincerely, the world described was boring and too harsh for such a story, I think. I wasn't really focused on it and struggled to finish.

-> So, after having read the 4 stories, I must say two were great, combining both limited page count and rich story telling, and the other two were weird and not that interesting, but like everything in life, it's all about one's taste.
The anthology offered a good time, despite the less appreciated stories so I don't think this was totally a waste of time, but in the future I'll take a better look at all the titles before buying anthologies.
Grade: 6/10

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