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Tales of the Otherworld [Hardcover]

Kelley Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 13 2010
More of New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong's most popular Otherworld characters get a chance to shine in this second short fiction collection, showcasing critical moments from many different lives.

Kelley Armstrong's readers have proven themselves a dedicated fan-base: her previous hardcover collection of short stories, Men of the Otherworld, appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, and Canadian lists too - despite three of the stories having been available, unedited and for free, for years on Armstrong's website. With a similar format - a handful of reedited stories and one wholly original novella - Tales of the Otherworld explores the lives of some of Armstrong's most popular characters, giving readers glimpses into how Clay and Elena met, how Eve and Kristof first hooked up (a brand new novella), and how Lucas and Paige got married. Kelley is a superstar of the genre, and Tales of the Otherworld is a great way to begin 2010.

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“There is something for everyone between the covers. Fans of the Otherworld can find out more about their favourite characters, and many new readers will be intrigued enough to pursue the novels. The book is a win-win situation for any reader.”
 — The Globe and Mail

Praise for Kelley Armstrong:
“Like Stephen King, . . . Armstrong not only writes interesting page-turners, she has also achieved that unlikely goal, what all writers strive for: a genre of her own. . . . This is not The Call of the Wild; it’s Nora Roberts meets The Sopranos by way of Henry David Thoreau.”
The Walrus

Praise for Men of the Otherworld:
"The intriguing tales, originally published as serials on Armstrong's web site, unfold so fluidly that they read almost like a novel, providing a good introduction to new readers and a real treat for fans."
Publishers Weekly

"It truly is a treat, even for those not familiar with Armstrong's previous work…. No matter which man is narrating…Armstrong creates a distinct and engaging voice and depth of character while maintaining her own sophisticated style."
Winnipeg Free Press

Praise for Living With the Dead:
"As Armstrong readers have come to expect, this book is balanced between likable characters and the creepy evil that they fight, all wrapped together with nonstop, edge-of-your-seat action."
Library Journal

"Rarely is the ninth book in a series as fresh and entertaining as the first, but this Women of the Otherworld volume defies the odds."

About the Author

KELLEY ARMSTRONG is the author of the Women of the Otherworld series, as well as the New York Times #1 bestselling young adult trilogy, Darkest Powers. She lives in rural Ontario with her family.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love her style Jan. 13 2011
By Sandy S. TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Kelly did not disappoint with this book. The story about Clay and Elena was great. The background information is something I have always needed to help explain the why and how of the characters. Keep them coming Kelly
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! Jan. 6 2011
Kelley Armstrong is an awesome writer! I love the whole Otherworld series and "Tales of the Otherworld" is a great follow up. It helps bring all of the stories together and gives the background that the other books hinted at.
Thanks Kelley! Keep them coming!
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By Lotusland Lady TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Kelly Armstrong rarely makes a misstep and certainly does not make any with this collection. She creates warm, complicated, tender and tautly written stories and characters. I have read her previous books and am familiar with the characters in this one but I believe someone could pick this up as their first Kelly Armstrong book and be as involved as I was.
Her characters are almost always very bright, complex and articulate. They also are decent, even when they may be confused, self-centred or selfish. They bruise more easily than they want known and can be touching, very funny, self aware and vulnerable. There is not a cliche to be found in this book and each story ended long before I wanted it to. Armstong respects each of her creations and controls her work with a steady hand.
I have several favourite paranormal writers but she is the only one to whom I would like to write a fan letter. She is Canadian and we are very lucky to be able to claim her. I cannot imagine anyone not enjoying this book.I could not put it down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful collection. A must-read! April 26 2010
By Dee18
'Tales of the Otherworld' is a collection of short stories and novellas set in Armstrong's 'Women of the Otherworld' series. All of these short stories were initially e-serials, available for free on Armstrong's website as a sort of 'gift' to her fans.

Fans aren't disgruntled by the fact that these previously free stories are no longer available online ' because (as Armstrong says in her author's introduction) after she published her e-serials the number 1. fan question was 'when will they be available in book form?'. Well, that time has finally arrived. And Armstrong's even gone so far as to donate the proceeds of 'Tales' to the World Literacy of Canada ' a nonprofit volunteer organization. Wow. As if fans needed another reason to heap praise on this legendary paranormal author'

'Tales of the Otherworld' is a collection of 8 short stories featuring some beloved character, and a few secondary ones. Only 1 short story is original, and never before been available for download.

'Rebirth' is the story of Aaron, and his transition from human to vampire.

'Bewitched' is the new story in the collection, and is all about Eve Levine (Savannah's mother). The story is a 'prologue' of sorts, recounting how Eve met and became lover to Kristof Nast.

'Birthright' is the back-story to a deceased werewolf pack member. It explains how Logan discovered his werewolf heritage and journeyed to Stonehaven to come face-to-face with his father for the first time.

'Expectations' follows Lucas Cortez in an early investigation of his.

'Ghosts' is another time-filler, set during the timeline of 'Bitten' when Jeremy is left alone at Stonehaven.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  51 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Stories About Characters We Love April 14 2010
By AgaGreene - Published on Amazon.com
I must first say that I am a great fan of Kelley Armstong, I love her characters, her plots, and her writing style. With Tales of the Otherworld, like her previous anthology for charity, Men of the Otherworld, Armstrong is giving her readers more glimpses into the lives of characters we love from her series. This anthology includes: Rebirth (the story of how Aaron became a vampire), Bewitched (the story of how Eve and Kristof Nast got together), Birthright (about how Logan discovered his werewolf ancestry), Beginnings (how Elena and Clay got together), Expectations (a story of an early investigation by Lucas), Ghosts (this takes place during Bitten, when Jeremy sends Elena and Clay to Toronto and is left at Stonehaven), Wedding Bell Hell (Paige and Lucas's wedding), and The Case of El Chupacabra (a case Lucas and Paige investigate at the behest of Sean Nast). Some of these stories Armstrong had posted on her website for fan consumption, but I had not read Bewitched or The Case of El Chupacabra before, which makes me pretty sure they're brand new. Even though I had read the others before, when I got the book I reread them all and enjoyed it immensely!
Many of the details in these stories have been referenced in the novels, and these fill in the gaps in reader knowledge. Rebirth was my least favourite, that not to say I didn't like it, but I was not as intrigued as I was by the others. Cassandra and Aaron are great characters, but I liked them more in El Chupacabra than I do in this story. Bewitched made me like Eve more than I have in Haunted and Angelic, and will make everyone sad we didn't get to see Kristof more before he died. Birthright was a sad one, simply because we know how little time Logan had with the Pack, but I loved seeing Clay and Jeremy from an outsider's perspective. Beginnings is wonderful, I loved reading about Clay and Elena's early relationship. We are given chapters in both of their perspectives, so that the readers have a very good understanding of what is going through their minds. Expectations was fun, the reader meets Lucas a few years before he is introduced in Dime Store Magic. He meets (or encounters) Eve, which is referenced in DSM. He is such a likeable character, and this story just furthers that. Ghosts was quite sad, and made me like Jeremy even more. It also gives more information about what happened to Elena when she escaped soon after Clay bit her. Wedding Bell Hell was fun to read and had almost all of the characters (well, the likeable ones) from the novels. Lucas's mother is introduced and she is a lovely character of whom I would like to see more. The Case of El Chupacabra deals with Sean Nast coming to terms with his homosexuality (and really makes me hope he pops up in Savannah's books) and also explains how Paige and Lucas came to own their office, which is first introduced in No Humans Involved.
I would recommend Tales to any fan of the series, it's quick to read and you're guaranteed to enjoy it! Plus, all the proceeds go to charity, how could it get better?
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Backstory on the Women of the Otherworld Characters May 4 2010
By Barbara Sharpe - Published on Amazon.com
I love the Women of the Otherworld series and this is an excellent addition to the mix.

When Armstrong began her career, she wanted to do something to thank her readers so she put free fiction on her website. Readers loved it but they asked her "When will they be in a book?" Armstrong waited until she could do it with a charitable project, which she did with Men of the Otherworld. Tales of the Otherworld is the second collection of eight short stories and all of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to World Literacy of Canada, which is "dedicated to promoting international development and social justice."

The first story, Rebirth, tells the story of how Aaron became a vampire. I have to tell you that I didn't know who Aaron was until I read the last story of the book. I really need to reread some of the earlier books and make notes so I can keep track of all of the characters! Aaron is the second in command of the north American vampires, working with Cassandra. It's quite a short story so to tell you more would give away too much. Let's just say Aaron wasn't that excited about being a vampire.

Bewitched is the story of how Eve met and fell in love with Kristof, thus producing Savannah. And, how it came to be that Kristof didn't know about Savannah until after Eve died. Dime Store Magic and Industrial Magic are my favorite of the entire series, so I was happy to see this one included. I always thought there had to be more to Eve and Kristof than we first thought.

Birthright is Logan's story. At least the story of how he came to the Pack. He was raised with his mother and never knew anything about his father until, on his 18th birthday, he receives a letter with nothing more than the name of Jeremy Danvers and his address. Logan assumes that Jeremy is his father and, despite the changes he is going through, never suspects that he is a werewolf. Just as his father must have wanted - Logan has a lot to learn and now he has someone to teach him and give him a place in the werewolf world.

All of us who are fans of Women of the Otherworld know that Clay bit Elena and that is how she became a werewolf. What we didn't know is what Beginnings is all about. As the name suggests, it's the beginning of their relationship. This is one of the longest of the stories, which makes sense as Elena and Clay have a long history. Elena is a college student when she meets Clay - who is a visiting professor. For reasons he can't explain, he gives her a job when he doesn't need an assistant and, gradually, they develop a relationship. Elena has been in foster care most of her life so she is slow to trust and slower to love, but eventually she does love and trust Clay. Clay, however, hasn't told Elena that he is a werewolf, so there is some tension.

As it's not a secret that Clay bit Elena, I will tell you this: it wasn't premeditated, it was an impulse. He'd taken Elena home to meet Jeremy, thinking that once Jeremy saw that Clay had met his mate, then Jereamy would lift the ban on long-term relationships. Clay and Elena got engaged and almost no one in the Pack knew about her. Jeremy isn't happy about it and when Clay thinks that Jeremy is going to send Elena on her way, he bit her.

The short story pretty much ends there but the rest of it is in the early book, Bitten and more is told along the way in the other books that feature Elena and Clay as well as in Men of the Otherworld.

Expectations is a quick & dirty version of Lucas Cortez's first meeting with Eve Levine and the lessons she teaches him.

Given that we read the beginning of Clay and Elena's relationship just a few pages earlier, Ghosts was sort of disconcerting as it takes place after Clay and Elena are married. Jeremy, the lead of this story, also has memories of Elena just after she is bitten, so it gets a little confusing. In this story, though, Jeremy is dealing with a potential challenger for Alpha and facing the consequences of some of his choices as Alpha.

Wedding Bell Hell features my favorites: Paige Winterbourne, Lucas Cortez and Savannah Levine. Paige and Lucas are getting married and being supernatural does not mean that things always go smoothly - or that Lucas' father will not try to highjack the wedding and turn it into what *he* thinks it should be. Eventually, though, they do end up married - Paige and Lucas, that is - and no one's father is harmed in the doing of it.

The Case of El Chupacabra is the first nonprequel novella that Armstrong wrote. It also features my favorite witches and sorcerer, along with Cassandra and Aaron, the werewolf from the first story.

Sean Nast is in a gay bar when he finds a body - and the man appears to have been killed by a vampire. He hires Lucas Cortez to find out what happened, hoping to keep his own name out of the press and to keep his family from finding out he's gay.

Benicio Cortez, Lucas' father, is intent on getting Lucas to join the family business, which Lucas is dead set against. They finally come up with a solution that will make both Lucas and Benicio happy.

Sean struggles with coming out and eventually does come out to his uncle. Unfortunately, he does not get a positive response. I have to say, the struggles that Sean has with coming out are fairly realistic. It's easy to say "you should come out!" (and, for the record, I believe you should) but the actual doing of it can be tricky and there are frequently consequences. A person has to be prepared for them. Sean seems determined to find a way to reconcile his personal and professional lives and to be his own man, regardless of how difficult that might be.

The next book (due out in August) is Waking the Witch, which features Savannah, who is Sean's half-sister. I suspect we are going to be seeing more of Sean in that book, as he is the only Nast who acknowledges Savannah.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fans of the Otherworld April 17 2010
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
The second Otherworld short story collection (see Men of Otherworld) is a superb compilation that enhances knowledge of characters in the saga. As stated by Kelley Armstrong in the Introduction to the eight story anthology, "Beginnings" and "The Case of El Chapacabra" were written previously and placed on the author's website. In "Rebirth", Aaron learns of his vampire bloodline. "Bewitched" half-demon Eve and corporate sorcerer Kristof prove opposites attract. Logan Jonson seeks his "Birthright" when at eighteen he is about to meet his father Jeremy Danvers and unwittingly the pack for the first time. Elena of "Bitten" fame tells of her "Beginnings". The wedding of the year between Lucas Cortez and Paige Winterbourne brings "Expectations" to fans who know everything will go wrong. In "Ghost" the house seems empty with Elena and Clay gone but Daniel threatens his former pack mates. Three weeks and counting down to the nuptials, but the engaged couple feel as if they are going through "Wedding Bell Hell" with the slow countdown. In "The Case of El Chapacabra", Lucas and Paige investigate murder. These are terrific entries, but only fans of the Otherworld series will appreciate them as, like Ms. Armstrong has done on-line, they fill gaps in the series.

Harriet Klausner
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Collected for the first time! June 11 2010
By Tim Janson - Published on Amazon.com
This new hardcover collects several of Armstrong's shorter fiction featuring characters from her "Otherworld" series. There are eight stories in all, three novellas and give short stories. Most of the stories had been previously available to download off Armstrong's website but are collected here for the first time. Not being a fan of reading online I much prefer to always read print versions.

The book opens with "Rebirth" as kind-hearted Aaron wakes find himself in the family crypt, and makes a startling discovery about his mother's heritage. Next up is "Bewitched" the only all-new story in this collection. Narrated in first person by the witch Eve Levine, it is the story of how she met and became romantically involved with Kristof Nast and how they each taught each other valuable lessons in magic and life.

"Beginnings" is the longest story in the book and nearly a novel itself at around 200 pages. This story tells how Clay and Elena met and Armstrong takes the clever angle of allowing both to narrate a portion of the story. Nicely fills in the early details of their early days. "The Case of The El Chupacabra" is the other longer length novella and is the story of Lucas and Paige's investigation into a murder that could be the work of the mythical Chupacabra.

A superb collection overall and if you haven't already read these online then its definitely a must-have for Armstrong fans.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real treat for both new and old fans. Aug. 30 2012
By RabidReads - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It's been a few months since I've read a book by Kelly Armstrong but within moments of starting this one I was reminded why she's one of my all-time favorite authors. Her writing skills are top notch and her characters are so real I feel as if they're my friends. Tales of the Otherworld is a real treat for both new and old fans because it offers a peak into this series without commitment but also offers new insights into your favorite characters. There was one particular short story that I was looking forward to in this novel: the tale of how Clay and Elena met. My absolutely, most favorite, beyond the shadow of a doubt, werewolf couple. And rest assured that it did not disappoint! In fact, it was all that I could have ever hoped for and more! I'm getting warm fuzzy feelings all over again just thinking about it!

There are a few short stories in this book that are only a chapter in length. Not much to go on if you're new to this series but for long-time fans they're like the cherry on top of a delicious sunday. Short but oh so sweet! While these stories may leave a newcomer confused, don't worry because others are between 100 & 200 pages in length with ample content that'll convert even the most skeptical reader. One such story is about the beginning of Eve Levine and Kristof Nast's romantic relationship. Both of which are extremely badass and evil in their own right but this tale shows them in an entirely different light. Love doesn't discriminate and even bad guys have a soft side. By the end of this short story I actually liked Eve. I was shocked by the history between these two! A quick side-note, they're Savannah's parents, and because of this my interest in their lives grew two-fold.

The coup de grâce of this anthology for me was Beginnings. I've been dying to know how Clay and Elena's relationship first began. Bits and pieces are mentioned throughout this series but this story really brings it all together. Again, I was surprised by the events in this tale. Modern day Clay is very masculine, which is still true in Beginnings but a whole new side of him is also explored. When he meets Elena he falls head-over-heels and all of his walls turn into goo. I loved seeing this side of him. I already count him among my fictional boyfriends but this story made me pine for him even more! Elena is great too. In the more recent books of the Women of the Otherworld series she's strong, authoritative and the backbone of the pack but she didn't start out that way. In this tale she's vulnerable, insecure and human. I could go on forever on the reasons why I adored Beginnings but I'm afraid to ruin it for those who haven't read it so I'll stop here. But I LOVED this short story. There I go getting emotional again! Will I be re-reading this one? HELL YEAH!

Wedding Bell Hell and The Case of El Chupacabra are also brilliant! Lucas and Paige are front and center in both of these stories. Another one of my favorite fictional couples. The second tale gave me a whole new understanding of Lucas and the motives behind his decisions. What more can I say!? This book is incredible and I was enthralled from page 1. My expectations going into this novel were excessively high, but in true Kelley Armstrong fashion, she surpassed them by leaps and bounds. Read this anthology; in fact, read the whole series! I can't reiterate enough how fabulous all aspects of these books are so you'll just have to read them for yourselves and discover first-hand.
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