Top positive review
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I thought I had struck "novella gold". Whoa up there, not so fast!
on 26 January 2010
These are four novellas from four private investigator/paranormal character series. Each of the four has a very different flavor. The page numbers indicate actual print pages for each story. The book is 311 pages long but there are many blank pages and also title and dedication pages which I have not counted toward story length.
Jim Butcher - Harry Dresden in "The Warrior" - 59 pages - 5 stars
This story just jumps right in to the previous relationship between Harry and Michael without filling in much background. Someone is sending Harry photographs of Michael and his family as a possible warning of danger to them. As it unfolds, the messages were actually aimed to get Harry's attention. If you've never read any other Harry Dresden stories, this is probably not going to help you a whole lot with catching up with character development, but it will certainly show you the high quality you can expect from a book written by Jim Butcher.
I saw a statement written by someone several weeks ago where he was complaining about having "Christian propaganda shoved down his throat". If you feel that way also, I need to tell you that this story is full of Christian symbols, history and doctrine juxtaposed very nicely with magical abilities. I loved it!
Simon R. Green - John Taylor in "The Difference a Day Makes" - 63 pages - 5 stars
John Taylor and Dead Boy are spending some quality time at the oldest bar in the world, Strangefellows, in the Nightside when trouble comes walking through the door. This trouble has lost her memory for the last 24 hours and she wants John to find those memories for her because her husband may be in trouble.
Have you ever read a really good parody of a bad Humphrey Bogart film? Well, that's exactly what this story reminded me of and it was fabulous. I had never read any of Simon Green's books, but if this is an example, I knew I wanted to read more. I immediately ordered Something from the Nightside (Nightside, Book 1) to start this series from the beginning. I was really surprised by what was found at the end of this recovery mission, have never even come close to reading about something like that before, but it fit with all the other strange things going on in this story. Dead Boy's car is something else entirely - what an imagination Mr. Green has.
Kat Richardson - Harper Blaine in "The Third Death of the Little Clay Dog" - 90 pages - 4 stars
Anybody who is given a $30,000 bequest from an unknown person should be a little suspicious. Harper Blaine is definitely suspicious but that doesn't stop her from traveling to Oaxaca, Mexico to put the clay figurine of a dog on the grave of Hector Purecete on November 1st as specified in the conditions of the will.
This author is another new author for me. From mentions in this novella the premise is that she died for a few minutes but was brought back to life and can now see ghosts in the Grey. I'll definitely have to check this series out. A little interesting tidbit (at least I found it interesting) is that there is not one chapter break in this entire story. That's quite unusual.
Thomas E. Sniegoski - Remy Chandler in "Noah's Orphans" - 84 pages - 3 stars
Remy Chandler is still mourning the death of his wife. That is made more unusual by the fact that Remy is actually Remiel an angel who is a member of God's heavenly host, but who is trying like all get-out to live as a human. He even has a dog, a black Labrador Retriever named Marlowe who Remy can talk to. This story takes place soon after Remy has saved the world from the Apocalypse (in another book) and he's taking some time off from his PI work. Unfortunately Remy finds out that Noah (as in Noah and the Ark) has been murdered.
What can I say? This was not a favorite of mine but it was interesting to look into the world created by Thomas Sniegoski. For whatever reason I just never seemed to warm up to Remy and I found it a little unusual that this murder took place in such a "human" manner when everybody around seemed to be an angel.
This collection is definitely highly recommended as a way to find new authors or to catch up on the happenings of characters you already enjoy reading about. Jim Butcher is already a favorite of mine so I enjoyed reading more of the adventures of Harry Dresden. Simon Green and Kat Richardson definitely gave me a reason for seeking out their previous works. Thomas Sniegoski's name will go on my list of authors to investigate further. I really don't think I could have asked any more from a publisher.