10 October 2012

Death's Excellent Vacation


This was definitely a hit or miss collection. I had been wanting to read this book for quite some time, because of Charlaine Harris and Katie MacAlister. That was long before I'd ever read anything by Jeanine Frost. Her story, "One for the Money", and the Sookie Stackhouse story, "Two Blondes", were by far the best two in the collection. I enjoyed MacAlister’s story “The Perils of Effrijim”, but not as much as her novels about Aisling Grey, Guardian, which Jim appears in.

The only other author in the book I was familiar with was Christopher Golden, and that was just for his Buffy/Angel books. His entry, "Thin Walls", was ok. “The Innsmouth Nook”, by A. Lee Martinez, was just weird and ended abruptly. I enjoyed the banter between the characters in “Meanwhile, Far Across the Caspian Sea…”, by Daniel Stashower, but the ending felt unfinished.

I was excited that L.A. Banks had contributed a story, “Seeing is Believing”. She’s an author who I’d never read before, but had heard/seen a lot about and so I was eager to be introduced to her work. But I didn't care for her story at all. I couldn't connect with the characters and I did not like the way they talked. When Justin tells Jessica he’s leaving by saying “So, I’ma go, okay?”, I just can’t take him seriously. I almost closed the book right there. But since the story only had eight pages left I forged ahead, only to give up in disgust one page later. Jessica says to Justin, “You’ve lost so much…even your dog.” But four pages earlier, she had said “You have a dog?” He replied, “Kinda.” Nothing else is said about the dog, so how does she know he lost one? Okay, I realize that Jessica has some kind of second sight, but she kept wondering why she couldn’t "read" Justin, so she wouldn’t have picked up the knowledge that way. I scanned backwards thinking I missed something, but could not find any mention of anything happening to his dog. And yes, I know, there had been some talk about werewolves. But it still didn’t make sense. And it just now occurred to me that maybe she "read" Justin’s grandmother and that’s how she knew about a lost dog, but you’d still think that something in the narrative would have indicated that. Of course, since I was having trouble staying interested in the story, I still could have missed something.

(I received this book through BookCrossing.)

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