Most helpful critical review
A Hit and Miss Anthology
on November 8, 2001
I bought this book because I like the work of most of the authors in it (JD Robb, Laurell Hamilton, Susan Krinard) but mostly because I was extremely excited to read a short set in the Anita Blake universe. I was extremely disappointed. Very, very disappointed.
Laurell Hamilton's offering was actually an excerpt from her newest novel "Narcissus in Chains," a fact that wasn't mentioned anywhere on the cover of the book. Now, I don't mind excerpts, but I don't feel that this should have been included in this anthology. I feel that if Ms. Hamilton had wanted to participate, she should have written an original short story. This was cruel teasing and frankly, won't be at all desired now that "Narcissus" is out. I could not believe, after I read it, that I paid that much for an excerpt! After all, most post those on their websites and worse, I felt like she was cheating me out of the pure enjoyment of "Narcissus"! However, plotwise, it was good. Cliffhanger wise... it was truly evil. The publisher (whom I blame in this instance) should find some other way to market Ms. Hamiton's excellent work than in this manner, though I wish that the esteemed author did dabble in shorts between her longer works.
The other stories:
Maggie Shaye's was based on a series she has published. Frankly, I didn't bother to read it. I read one of the others and found it dismal at best. I don't like reincarnation stories that often. I liked Ms. Shay's vampire stories, however, so perhaps it is just the theme.
JD Robb is JDRobb. Ms. Roberts (writing under her pen name) is as excellent as ever, though I don't know if reading this short about Eve and Roarke is worth all seven dollars, I certainly am happy to add another "In Death" piece to my collection. Keep going Ms. Roberts!!
Susan Krinard. I liked some of Susan Krinard's work, but I think any perspective buyer should be warned that you either hate her work or you like it. It can be boggy, messy and terminally detailed at times, but her premise is generally enjoyable. I read to see how she goes actually plots the stories. I found myself enchanted by her first historical werewolf story (can't remember the name) but the rest....so=so. I can't comment on this story directly because I didn't read it. I was/am working on a story with a premise that is depressingly close to hers, though a bit spicier, I hope, and didn't want to influence my own work with hers.
All in all, if you like the "in death" series, get the book, or if you enjoyed Maggie Shay's series, I suppose. If you're reading it for Hamilton, forget it, and consider writing the publisher about their underhanded marketing techniques. If you want to try Krinard... this is as good a place as any. Ms. Robert's work truly carried the day here.