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5.0 out of 5 stars Out Of This World!!!
(Paperback review)
Out Of This World!!! No other way to put it! I've read all of the "In Death" Series by Robb(Aka Roberts) and enjoyed everyone. This one "Interlude..." did not disappoint. Excellent as always! I liked the fact it was short (89 pages). Told the story and got to the conclusion, left you wanting for more of Eve & Roarke.
I was however a...
Published on March 10 2002

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Marketing Ploy
"Out of This World" is a series of four vignettes whose only connection is that they each have a futuristic theme. The four are very cleverly packaged by the publisher: J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) guarantees instant sales, as Eve and Roarke fanatics like me are severely addicted and cannot pass up ANY new book that offers more of these characters. Therefore,...
Published on Aug. 31 2001 by Wendy Kaplan


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4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Introduction to Great Writers, Oct. 24 2002
By 
I bought this book simply because I am an Anita Blake junkie and couldn't wait to get my next fix. So you can imagine my surprise at how much I really enjoyed the other stories.
Now, before we continue with the review, let me just admit that, yes, apparently I have been living under a rock. I say this because I had never heard of J.D. Robb and the 'In Death' series before buying this book. The story 'Interlude in Death' starts off the quartet of stories and it made me an instant Eve Dallas fan. "Wow!" is all I can say. I had never met any of these characters before, but by the end of the story I felt I knew them and wanted to spend more time getting to know them. (I immediately went out and bought every book in the series.) The fact that Ms. Roberts could make a new reader like me care so much about these characters in a little over 100 pages just amazes me. That is truly a sign of a great author.
The final story is an excerpt from Laurell K. Hamilton, from her then new novel, "Narcissus in Chains". I was disappointed only because it was not original and by now, I had already read the full "Narcissus in Chains" novel. But even rereading an Anita Blake story is better than a lot of what is out there.
The middle two stories, "Kinsman" by Susan Krinard and "Immortality" by Maggie Shayne have the misfortune of being sandwiched between two really outstanding stories. I think if I read these two first, or as part of a separate collection I would have a much higher opinion of them. Both are good. Both are entertaining. They just didn't reach out and grab me like Robb's or Hamilton's stories do.
Basically, if you are only familiar with only one or two of the authors I would really recommend this book to get a taste of similar, but very distinct, writers -- I think you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Out Of This World!!!, March 10 2002
By A Customer
(Paperback review)
Out Of This World!!! No other way to put it! I've read all of the "In Death" Series by Robb(Aka Roberts) and enjoyed everyone. This one "Interlude..." did not disappoint. Excellent as always! I liked the fact it was short (89 pages). Told the story and got to the conclusion, left you wanting for more of Eve & Roarke.
I was however a disappointed w/Maggie Shayne's "Immortality"...Story done over and over in various venues of sci-fi/mystery. Bad turns good, dark witch finds love becomes white witch... it's not much more than a romance novel... Found it rather HO-HUM....
Laurell K Hamilton's "Magic...." made me want to read more, I'll pick up "Narcissus in Chains" first chance I get. I read a review that said 'Buffy (the Vampire Slayer) look out for Anita'.... I have to agree! Anita, Jean-Claude and Richard were a very good mix.
The one that truly surprised me was Susan Krinard. I've read a couple of her "Wolf" stories and expected more of that series. THIS WAS GREAT!! Great isn't good enough, "KINSMAN" WAS EXCELLENT WRITING. Although you didn't know the species, in a short 87 pages, you were able to pick up on the character traits, even visualize the way they looked. I'm hooked and want more. A very pleasant surprise deviation from her past theme, shows she is a creative, gifted writer. Are there more stories of Jonas Kane VelArhan out there that I haven't yet discovered?? (If so, please!, someone send me the names of these books!) This is steps way beyond Startrek or Starwars! Ms. Krinard give us more please!!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Highly Enjoyable Anthology!, Jan. 16 2002
By 
"Out of This World" contains four short stories by four unique and talented authors. I read the reviewer warnings which stated that if the reader has not read any of the previous books by three of these authors, that the corresponding stories will not make sense. I decided to give it a try anyway and I truly enjoyed every single one, never once feeling confused or lost!
I bought this book for the J.D. Robb story, as I am completely addicted to her "In Death" series. "Interlude in Death" is a fantastic read. We meet up with Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke at an off-planet police and security conference. After a brutal murder occurs, Eve finds herself trying to track down a rogue ex-cop, before he can get his way and destroy Roarke! The passion between Eve and Roarke is intense and steamy as always, and the suspense builds effectively, even in such a short piece. Fans of Robb and first time readers alike will be completely captivated by this story. Upon reaching the end, readers will surely want to see more of Eve and Roarke!
The second story in the book, "Kinsman" by Susan Krinard is a great read. I was completely absorbed into the world of shauuri, kinsmen, and humans. At times the story was bogged down by having to explain this complex new world, but for the most part it was well-written and enjoyable. The main characters, Kori Galetéa Challinor and Jonas Kane VelArhan, are both telepaths, who join forces to search for a lost ship. They uncover a terrible conspiracy and vow to stop those responsible. Jonas and Kori have a very special connection, and the love that they share will be put to the ultimate test in their fight for justice!
Third is Maggie Shayne's "Immortality", which is excellent. We meet Puabi, a Dark Immortal High Witch on the verge of death. Matthew finds her floating in the ocean and saves her life, bringing her back to his island. Puabi, who has spent 4000 years using her evil ways, finds something changing inside of her. Matthew is also getting over his own tragedy, and these two begin to heal each other. Puabi puzzles over the strange and tender new emotions she is feeling, and her romance with Matthew is fresh and passionate. But things are not as they seem, and a dark force is looming close, waiting to destroy them. Now Puabi and Matthew must pull together and fight for their newfound love! I really enjoyed this story, and never once felt confused, even though it is the first piece by Shayne I have ever read.
Finally is Laurell Hamilton's "Magic Like Heat Across My Skin", which is merely an excerpt from her newest book. I think I enjoyed this the least. I really liked Anita Blake, the necromancer, and her lovers Jean-Claude, the Master Vampire, and Richard the Alpha Werewolf. I thought the dynamics between these three were great and that the magic of "merging auras" was fascinating. However, at times Hamilton seemed to be more interested in describing the dominance and submission, sadism and masochism than in telling the story. Perhaps this is supposed to be an important part of vampire/shape-shifter culture, and since I haven't read any of her books, I can't be sure, but it seemed excessive. I was also highly frustrated by the way the story ended, with no resolution at all. But then, I suppose that was the point, hoping that we will rush out and buy "Narcissus in Chains". Overall, the characters were interesting and well-written, and I found them very compelling, but I was irritated by the story's lack of resolution and its emphasis on disturbing sexual practices.
All-in-all, I really enjoyed "Out of This World". Robb's story was my favourite, and Krinard's and Shayne's stories really caught my interest. Hamilton's 'excerpt' had some intriguing aspects, and though I will not buy "Narcissus...", I may have a look at some of her earlier works, which are reputed to be much better. Of course, my opinions won't be shared by all, due to the diverse range of genres included in this anthology. This book provides a wonderful opportunity for readers to sample new authors, and I believe it is most definitely worth the read!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Be warned, not for everyone, Nov. 20 2001
By 
Sarah "sssspro" (North East, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
(...)I would like to add a huge WARNING though. For 3 out of the 4 books, if you have never read the books in the series preceding this anthology, you will probably not enjoy these stories. I have read all of the authors and thought this a pretty good book, thus the 4 stars, but if this is your first experience with Hamilton, Shayne or Robb, move ahead cautiously.
J D Robb's (aka Nora Roberts) story was a good short story keeping in line with her ...In Death series. The characters are mostly all there and the plot is a good one. I suppose if you have never read her books, you could enjoy this story, but there is so much previous baggage from the relationships that it would seem to me that coming in on this story would be like watching the Return of the Jedi without watching Star Wars or The Empire Strikes Back first.
I could not even begin to imagine following Maggie Shanye's novel if I had not read at least Destiny, and probably Infinity and Eternity as well. Puabi was so evil in Destiny that it was quite hard for me to get into this book. If I had no previous knowledge of her earlier history, this book would not make much sense. So much revolves on how utterly evil she was and the lengths and time she spent trying to get her way.
I felt VERY cheated with Laurell Hamilton's portion of the book. As stated elsewhere, this is just a segment of Narcissus in Chains. I am a huge fan and would have bought her book anyway. I wanted something different, why pay for this if I am going to pay for the whole book anyway? VERY bad judgment call, whoever made it, the author or the publisher. If I had never read the Anita Blake series, this is not the way to be introduced into it. SO much has happened before this point (what 9 or 10 books worth?) that I do not think someone new to Ms. Hamilton would enjoy this story (or part of the story). The fact that this is just a few chapters with no beginning and no end, no real purpose besides sensual images, bothered me too.
I liked Susan Krinard's book very, very much. Maybe not quite as sensual at the other stories, but the ONLY story that was a stand-alone. I like Ms. Krinard's older books, and the imagination in this story reminds me of the originality found in them. We had the development of both a relationship and a fictional world that was done without relying on previous books. Kudos Ms. Krinard!
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Hit and Miss Anthology, Nov. 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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Tastes, Oct. 22 2001
This book of romance tales loosely categorized as "spellbinding" is an interesting introduction to some interesting authors. I don't read much straight romance, preferring it mixed with sf, fantasy or history. As a Laurell Hamilton fan from the beginning, there was no doubt I'd have to get this book. And I was pleased to be introduced to two new authors I'll have to check out.
"Interlude in Death," J.D. Robb's tale featuring her futuristic cop Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke (of the apparently-shady past) is the strongest of the lot. It has a complete story, starting with murder at the Martian resort where the cops are gathering for a conference. And while they're busy solving the murders, we get a nice taste of their relationship and their chemistry. No supernatural elements, but decent sf. Good enough that I'll want to go back to the beginning and read them. I wanted to know more about the characters, which is pretty much the best you can get from a sort story.
In "Kinsman," Sue Krinard apparently took a departure from her more supernatural world of werewolves, and shared what might be the beginning of an sf romance series. The sf situation (featuring telepaths as liaisons to the aliens) is well set up, and intriguing; the relationship of the two characters predictable but adequately written. I remember Krinard's name from Star Wars and Mad Max fanzines 25 years ago, and was sufficiently intrigued to plan on looking for her current set of books. Not as strong as the Robb, but worth reading.
Maggie Shayne's "Immortality" was the weakest of the four tales. Although complete unto itself, I assume that it is set in a world where other such Witches exist. This is a tale of redemption for a bitter, Black Witch, who finds love along the way. The interaction between the characters was predictable, and without chemistry. The background didn't interest me, and the style of writing, where we were told how people felt, was obtrusive. This is a pass from me, not a world I'll look to revisit.
Laurell Hamilton fans will love and curse the last tale. It's obviously an excerpt from her next Anita Blake novel, Narcissus in Chains, and is not complete. The excerpt does have a start and end, but there's obviously a lot more that's going to happen that night to our daring characters (a master vampire, an alpha werewolf, and the necromancer who holds them and their magic together). It is, however, a good representation of the kind of story Hamilton tells: fast-paced, tense, deadly, sexy. This is some of the best cotton-candy around: a fast read, leaving you both satisfied and wanting more; I reread them often just for the fun of it. The world of legalized monsters -- from vampires to lamias -- is fascinating and fun. I ripped through this story and then cursed it, because I'll have to wait until early November to get the rest!
If you're looking for a little romance in a different place, this is one to check out.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great Marketing Ploy, Aug. 31 2001
"Out of This World" is a series of four vignettes whose only connection is that they each have a futuristic theme. The four are very cleverly packaged by the publisher: J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) guarantees instant sales, as Eve and Roarke fanatics like me are severely addicted and cannot pass up ANY new book that offers more of these characters. Therefore, hers is the first story in the book.
"Interlude in Death" is a quick hit of Robb's futuristic world of murder, mystery, on-the-edge business dealings, and the always intriguing, always sensual marriage of hardboiled cop Eve Dallas and equally hardboiled (and gorgeous) billionaire businessman Roarke. There is method to the publisher's madness, and Robb's as well. For hard-core fans, Robb offers an intriguing, heretofore unmentioned secret from Roarke's past. For Eve-and-Roarke newbies, there is enough standard fare to lead them straight to Robb's "In-Death" series.

"Kinsman," by Susan Krinard, is an equally brief but interesting tale about telepaths in a very structured futuristic society. Because I do not read many novels in this genre, I was amazed by the attention to detail, and the author's ability to bring the reader easily and deeply into the world of Kinsmen, shaauri, and humans. The story itself, which involves a deception that threatens the entire society, was a bit slow, but the glimpse into the author's imagination was fascinating. "Kinsman" did not hook me into reading more Krinard, because the slowness of her style would not suit this impatient reader. Nevertheless, it was fun to sample her work.
"Immortality," by Maggie Shayne, is a quick read with a pat and improbable ending, again, entertaining but not a grabber. It's the story of an ancient witch whose human form is that of a beautiful and sexy young woman. The story features a fire, a drowning, a hurricane and more--all in this brief novelette. One can hardly, therefore, call the story slow or boring, but--I didn't like the witch. When Nora Roberts writes about witches, I am completely absorbed into their worlds. I believe every word, every spell, every bit of magic. With Shayne, I was well aware that I was reading a creative piece of fluff. I was never engaged.
That's OK, however, because OH MY the Laurell K. Hamilton vignette was worth the price of the book and then some. I had never heard of Ms. Hamilton before a few weeks ago. Now I am a fanatic. She drew me effortlessly into the world of vampire hunter Anita Blake. "Magic Like Heat Across My Skin" is a dark, dangerous, deeply erotic tale of vampires, werewolves, wereLEOPARDS (an idea of which I heartily approve)--and in this story, a werehyena or two. Reading this small Hamilton offering is like dressing in black velvet and drinking a smoky dark wine. It feels dangerous. It definitely stirs one's senses. And...it does exactly what it is supposed to do, it makes one want more.
I gave "Out of This World" 3 stars because of the two middle stories; otherwise, I would have given Robb a 4 and Hamilton a 20! What? Only 5 starts maximum? That positively ruptures my aura, as Blake says.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun, Futuristic/Fantasy Adventure, Aug. 26 2001
By 
Out of This World is the anthology that all fans of futuristic and fantasy romance have been waiting for! For everyone moaning about the lack of futuristics available there is not one, but two fantastic stories in this anthology. J.D. Robb gives us an excellent addition to her In Death series with a story that finds Eve Dallas attending (very reluctantly) an off world police conference with Roarke in tow. When a crooked cop attempts to bring Roarke down, Eve finds herself fighting one of her own. J.D. Robb is consistently good -- and this story is no exception. Susan Krinard contributes a great futuristic of her own with "Kinsman" a sci-fi adventure telling the story of an empathic/psychic who must join forces with a not-so-truthful woman in order to save both of thier species' from destruction. "Kinsman" is an excellent story combining what I love best: Science-fiction, psychic phenomena, and a HOT love story! Maggie Shayne contributes a short story that is connected to her witch series of books. The tale of an immortal dark witch who lives to regret her actions, and the mortal man who fishes her out of the ocean, this story was very enjoyable, but in my opinion it did not stand alone. I hadn't read the most recent novel in the which series, and found myself lost a few times while reading the story. Laurell K. Hamilton contributed an excerpt from her novel Narcissus in Chains due out in October. It was a wonderful excerpt despite its teaser ending, picking up right where the book Obsidian Butterfly left off. But again, in my opinion the story didn't stand alone -- anyone not familiar with Anita Blake would have been lost. I also felt the publisher had an obligation to state on the cover of the book that her contribution was an excerpt. But as you can see from my rating, the quality of these stories especially Robb's and Krinard's were such that I still highly reccomend this read. Buy it, Read it, Love it!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's a miracle! They're all good!, Aug. 17 2001
Usually anthologies have one or two great, or even good stories, and the rest are just passable but "Out of This World" breaks free from the mold of good/mediocre. All of the stories are interesting and well written. Part of what makes this anthology so good I think is that each of the authors gets the pacing right for the story. So often the pacing is off and the story suffers for it, but not here!
JD Robb (Nora Roberts) in, 'Interlude to Death', has Eve Dallas at an off world police convention in a fabulous hotel owned by the yummy Roark where of course murder and mayhem and murder occur. Short though the story is we learn an interesting fact about a possible, earlier - dark connection between, Roark and Eve's fathers'. While not Robbs best work to date it is still a welcome installment in to the IN DEATH series.
Susan Krinard is the only author in this collection who doesn't write a new chapter for an existing series, but creates an entirely new world. Because it is new however there more space given to explanation rather than story telling which somewhat weakens the story. In, 'Kinsman', a damaged telepath and a princess in disguise band together to halt a conspiracy that has universe wide implications that could create war. In the end it is literally their love that saves the day. I hope that this was just an introduction to a new world and that she writes a full book for it, perhaps for the missing - and found Prince.
Maggie Shayne's 'Immortality' gives us a more sympathetic view of Puabi, the Immortal High Dark Witch who spent centuries taking the hearts of good witches and torturing her husband for loving another woman. She is found barely alive in the ocean after her final confrontation with her husband and his lover and she at last finds the missing piece of her soul romantically and literally.
'Magic Like Heat Across my Skin' by Laurell K. Hamilton was awesome! Anita Blake finally stops fighting against the marks that bind her to Jean-Claude and Richard and embraces them in one of the steamiest public almost sex scenes that I have ever read. This was truly the best story out of the anthology because it had real character progression and looks to be a great lead in for the next installment, "Narcissus in Chains".
I highly recommend this book for long time fans and for new readers who like don't have the time to invest in getting to know a new author that they may not like after all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An explosive collection of stories!!!, Aug. 15 2001
This anthology of four paranormal romance stories totally rocked! Laurell K. Hamilton and J.D. Robb are my two favorite authors, but I've never read books by Krinard or Shayne before.
J.D. Robb, aka Nora Roberts, contributed 'Interlude in Death.' This mystery/romance story follows her bestselling In Death series, as NYPD Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband, Roarke, chase an esteemed *rogue ex-cop* at an intergalatic conference. The cop harbors a personal vendetta against Roarke because of his mysterious past. All in all, the story stands well alone, and will prove satisfying whether you're a long-time Robb fan or a new reader to the series.
Susan Krinard's story 'Kinsman' is a futuristic/romantic thriller. When her brother's ship disappears during a secret space mission, a young princess of a small planet asks a 'Kinsman,' (a member of a special human *race* that possess certain telepathic powers) for aid. Along their journey to find the missing prince and his crew, the two discover a conspiracy brewing among the Kinsman's own people. They also discover that they're falling in love. I find this the weakest of the four stories, mostly because there were a lot of names and species that I didn't understand.
Maggie Shayne's 'Immortality' continues her Witch series. Puabi is an Immortal High Dark Witch who finds, after 4,000 years of existence, that she doesn't want to continue her old, evil ways. After being rescued by an unsuspecting human man and getting stranded on his island, Puabi rediscovers the zest to her life, as she and Matthew grow ever closer. However, Puabi's powers are slowly but surely diminishing. And there is unknown danger on the island. Tied into all this is the memory of Gabriella, Matthew's dead wife, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Puabi, although the two women are polar opposites. The ending is very poignant, with a wonderful plot twist. I really loved this story, and I'll definitely pick up her other books now!
'Magic Like Heat Across My Skin' is a sizzling, six-chapter preview of Laurell K. Hamilton's long-awaited NARCISSUS IN CHAINS, the 10th book in her bestselling Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series. After six months of celibacy, our heroine comes back to St. Louis and finds out that her wereleopards have been kidnapped by a rival group of shapeshifters. To get them back, she seeks her old lover, the sexy vampire Jean-Claude, for help. Jean-Claude agrees, but only if Anita will *marry the marks* so that she has a chance to fight and live. At the S&M club Narcissus in Chains, Anita, Jean-Claude, and Richard (Anita's werewolf lover) merge their energies, completing their triumvirate of power. Anita may be an animator, vampire hunter, necromancer, lupa of Richard's pack, and Nimir-Ra of the wereleopards, but she is human nevertheless. The line between humans and monsters is all-too-thin sometimes, and by consumating the marks, Anita may have become irrevocably changed now. Also, the story tends to lean toward the romance side, which will no doubt create mixed feelings among Hamilton's loyal fans. New readers will most likely find this story difficult to follow, but very, very sensual. I found Laurell's writing style a bit 'off,' but I still can't wait for NARCISSUS IN CHAINS in October!
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Out of This World
Out of This World by J. D. Robb (Hardcover - Jan. 2002)
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