Tuesday, May 17, 2005

REVIEW: Bite by Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, MaryJanice Davidson, Angela Knight, Vickie Taylor

Date Started: Tuesday, May 3, 2005
Date Finished: Monday, May 16, 2005
My BookCrossing Rating: 7 out of 10 stars
(overall average based on all stories)
Since I’ve been reading the stories from this book in between other full-length reads, I should’ve been making notes on each story as I went along. That said, today I just read the Laurell K. Hamilton contribution, which was pretty short, only 30 pages, and previously, a couple of weeks ago, I read the Charlaine Harris and MaryJanice Davidson stories.

The Girl Who Was Infatuated With Death by Laurell K. Hamilton
Unlike her contributions in other anthologies, this was actually an original short story instead of the first few chapters of her next-to-be-released Anita Blake book. It was only 30 pages long and takes place between the events of books 8 and 9 of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, Blue Moon and Obsidian Butterfly.

There wasn’t a lot of substance to the story itself. If anything, it probably only serves to introduce those unfamiliar with the Anita Blake series to Anita’s world. That said, though I love LKH’s writing, I found this story kind of flat in comparison with the other Anita books, and more like a filler. If you’re an Anita fan and miss this one, don’t fret as it doesn’t really add anything new to the Anita Blake storyline.

Rating: 7 stars

One Word Answer by Charlaine Harris
Another story I felt was more of a filler to introduce new readers to Sookie Stackhouse and the Southern Vampire series. This one only 23 pages in length, we’re actually introduced to one new fact, that Sookie had a cousin who was a Vampire living in New Orleans. The events which transpire in this story, though not significant to the series in any way, take place after the 4th Sookie novel, Dead to the World. (There’s actually another Sookie story in Powers Of Detection: Stories of Mystery and Fantasy, also published in 2004 and edited by Dana Stanebow, which takes place around this same timeframe.)

In any case, I also found this story rather boring as it didn’t really contain any substance either, and was more of just a single event that occured in the course of one night. A definite fluffer!

Rating: 6 stars

Biting in Plain Sight by MaryJanice Davidson
I liked this story so much better than the previous two. It was 69 pages in length and did contain more of a story. Granted it’s still considered a short story, but there were some new characters introduced, and of course, the old favorites, Betsy and Sinclair and the others. Granted the story and mystery behind it isn’t too deep, you simply can’t go to the depths in a short story that you can in a full-length novel. However, it was meaty enough to let me actually enjoy it.

A rogue vampire is killing innocent young girls. Well, not directly, but he plays mind games with them until they eventually commit suicide. Dr. Sophie Tourneau is a veterinarian in Embarrass, Minnesota, a very small country town where the town knows what she is deep-down, but they don’t discuss it openly, and don’t seem to mind. Dr. Sophie is the first to suspect that these suicides are somehow vampire-related. She enlists the help of Liam, who’s been a silent admirer of Sophie for many years, and they head out from Embarrass to bring the news to the Vampire Queen (Betsy) and ask a few questions of the latest victim’s parents. There’s a bit of a love story underneath it all, as a relationship develops between Sophie and Liam. And of course, Betsy still hates and strongly denies her attraction to Sinclair.

Since it’s a short story, there’s not a whole lot of clue collecting and detective work to the mystery of figuring out whodunit, but the quest to discover the truth and find the rogue vampire is a funny story in itself and does contain a sufficient story line, and even a subplot. :)

Rating: 8 stars

Galahad by Angela Knight
The reviews at Amazon indicated that most of the reviewers liked this story the best of all. I must be very different from the other readers because I hated it! The author tries to mix the world of Vampires with that of King Arthur and his knights, and it just didn’t work for me. Their dialogue seemed completely inappropriate for either group. The author seemed like she was trying to hard and all the references the characters made to pop culture, like being voted off the island, or to Lord of the Rings, was just sad. It felt like some wanna-be writer trying to write her first short story and falling short.

I actually did find the explicit sex scenes rather interesting, but unfortunately they didn’t really seem to mesh with the rest of the story. Sir Galahad as a womanizing vampire? Puh-leeze!

Rating: 4 stars

Blood Lust by Vickie Taylor
I found this to be a good story and I enjoyed the characters too. At 77 pages, it’s long enough to allow for some character development as well as an interesting story.

Daniel wants to become a vampire so that the stakes are even for him to go after Garth La Grange, the Vampire who stole his research, his house, his woman. What follows is the the tale of his hunt, joined with the vampire that converted him, in which he learns more about his new powers. He also discovers some new things about the love he held for his former fiancee, plus the true extent of what his research means to the rest of the vampire community.

Rating: 7 stars

See the BookCrossing journal page for this book for more info and relevant links.

View at Amazon