Besides the fact that these books are so much fun to read along with the kiddies, I guess what really strikes me about those two books is how age appropriate they are, and how the writing changes, becoming more complex as the characters grow older. But those first two books are perfect for 9 and 11 year old kids.
But those two are not the only books that I've been reading that contain magic or magical beings. I finally finished the Hex Appeal Anthology edited by P.N. Elrod. Here's the summary for the book:
This anthology really turned out to be a wonderful read. It includes stories from Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Carole Nelson Douglas, P. N. Elrod, Simon R. Green, Lori Handeland, Erica Hayes, and Carrie Vaughn. They are all about characters who have been hexed. My favorite stories are:
In the magical world that lies hidden beneath our own, witches and conjurers play deadly games. They know just the right spell to kill a man with one kiss—or raise him back again. And they’re not afraid to exact sweet revenge on those who dare to cross them. But what if you’re the unlucky soul who falls victim to a conjurer’s curse? And if you had the power to cast a magic spell of your own, would you use it?
In this bewitching collection, nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors tell all-new, otherworldly tales. Spellbinding stories featuring bigfoot, albino vampires, professional wizards, resurrected boyfriends and even a sex droid from the twenty- third century named Silicon Lily. But as our conjurers are about to discover, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hexed. And sometimes, even the best spun spells can lead to complete and utter mayhem.
Retribution Clause by Ilona Andrews, a story set in the same world as the Kate Daniels' series, but one that introduces new characters and a new city. I absolutely loved this short story, and the characters. The main character is Saiman's cousin -- also of the same species -- but much nicer partners a fascinating, feline-like powerful witch with lots of secrets. The story is scary, full of action with some understated sexual tension between the two main characters and a good ending. I would love to read more about these characters and this city because as it often happens with these writers and this world a short story is never enough for me.Although those were my favorite stories, all the stories more or less fit the anthology's theme and they were all worth reading. Grade B-.
Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden character appears in Bigfoot on Campus. He is another character that so far I seem to love in short stories although I have yet to read the series. In this one, Harry helps Bigfoot, Strength of a River in his Shoulders, by saving his son who is in danger from his vampire girlfriend. Of course there is more to this story! Narrated in the first person, this one is exciting and a bit on the sweet side.
How do you feel? by Simon R. Green. This is a Nightside story that covers Dead Boy's backstory. I really loved this nightmarish, dark story of betrayal and revenge with a touch of futuristic love. A speculative fiction short story that might not be for everyone, but is perfect for me!
Outside the Box by P.N. Elrod was a tale of vampires and the witches who help them. I really liked this one, but wish... oh how I wish that these two characters had their own continuing tale told in the future. They need follow-up. :)
What am I reading right now? Well, I'm still reading Sexual Revolutions in Cuba: Passions, Politics and Memory by Carrie Hamilton. That book is a trip and a half. I keep swinging from anger to disbelief in some sections, but overall I'm really enjoying it and I'm reading it slowly and only when I can really concentrate. This is a book that will probably be read by my brothers as well as a few personal friends because it's such a great study.
However, in between, I've picked up a few category romances (because of the length) and other contemporary or romance suspense reads.
What books am I taking on my vacation? My Kindle with tons of books in case I get the chance to read. (Yeah, right!) And in print, You Will Meet a Stranger Far from Home: Wonder Stories by Alex Jeffers and 2012 Wilde Stories edited by Steve Berman. Those two books have short stories that I'll be able to read in between other activities. :)
Hope you all have a great week!