24 March 2011

Book Review Number 50: Many Bloody Returns, ed by Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner

I seemed to have come out of my Graphic Novel phase and dropped firmly into my paranormal phase.  It's a lot of what I've been reading lately.

I picked up Many Bloody Returns because it had a Kelley Armstrong story that I hadn't read before.  And I adore Kelley Armstrong.  But the whole book was just fabulous.

The premise for this anthology of short stories is combining vampires and birthdays.  With the wide variety of authors, you get a lot of different definitions of birthday, and stories that run the gamut between silly and sad.  While I wouldn't say that every one was my favorite, a few did stand out.

Charlaine Harris brings Sookie to the party... literally.  She writes about the party being thrown for Dracula's birthday... and what happens when he shows up.

Kelley Armstrong brought in Cassandra from her Women of the Otherworld series and let us take a look at what it's like for an older vampire in her world as they get closer to their yearly mandated kills.  I adored this because, for all that she can be a bitch, I like the depth that's in Cassandra.  It was nice to see her story.

Jim Butcher brought forth, 'It's My Birthday, Too' - a Dresden Files short story that has Harry visiting is brother for his birthday... at a vampire LARP being held in a mall after hours.

And P.N. Elrod brought vampire Jack Fleming out to help prevent a grieving widow from getting rooked by a charlatan medium.  (And I REALLY need to get my hands on these novels because I've been wanting to read more about Jack.  I just have too much on my library list!)

Being short stories, it was a good read for when I didn't have a lot of time to devote to reading (which has been happening a lot lately).  I enjoyed the anthology so much that I've picked up the editor's follow up book, Wolfsbane and Mistletoe (which is one of the books I'm in mid-read of at the moment.)  If you're a fan of vampires, you should at least check out this book.  Even if you don't like all the stories, you may find some new series that catch your fancy.