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TALES OF THE OTHERWORLD
KELLEY ARMSTRONG
ISBN#: 978-0-553-80788-2
April 2010
Bantam
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
Hardcover
$25.00
400 Pages
Paranormal Anthology
Rating: 4 Cups

Rebirth

Aaron became a vampire upon his death, a legacy from his mother’s side of the family. He hates the need to kill once a year, but wants to continue his life such as it is.

Cassandra is tall, beautiful, red haired, and a vampire. She is intrigued by the moral struggle of the new vampire Aaron.

Aaron does not want to kill to extend his own life. Cassandra will find a way for him to survive and appease his conscience.

Ms. Armstrong has a different take on the vampire myth. Hers must kill one time a year to survive. Cassandra is very convincing and Aaron a little naïve, making for the beginning of an interesting relationship.

Bewitched

Eve is half demon and half witch. An outcast from both parts of her heritage, she makes her living teaching magic and finding and selling magical artifacts on the black market.

Kristoff is the eldest son of the powerful Nast Cabal. They are very powerful.

Kristoff Nast wants to hire Eve Levine. Sorcerers and witches do not generally get along but Eve is not the average witch and Kristoff is unique.

Fans of the Paige and Lucas stories will love the story of how Savannah came to be. The story also gives a bit of insight into Eve and Kristoff’s personalities.

Birthright

Logan Jonsen is a college student. He has no idea who is father is, so when a letter arrives with a name and address, supposedly from the absent parent, he thinks it is a fraternity prank.

Logan arrives at the home of Jeremy Danvers certain that he is the victim of fraternity hazing, but the man who greets him at the door is scarier than any prank could ever be.

Logan is a key character in the first of the Otherworld books and I enjoyed reading about how he came to be a member of the Danvers pack. This story answered all of my questions and gave me a look at Clayton from a different perspective.

Beginnings

Elena is a college student. She is an orphan with little money, so a job is essential for her to continue her studies.

Clayton is an anthropologist on loan to Elena’s university for a semester. He is also a werewolf.

Elena needs a job and Professor Clayton Danvers offers her a dream one as his TA. Clayton has been aware of his need for a mate for a long time, but Elena has no idea what he really is, and it is forbidden for Pack members to have permanent relationships. Clayton has an idea of how to keep Elena forever.

This is one of the prequels to Bitten and a great story. It tells how Elena became the only female werewolf in far more detail than in Bitten. The reader also gets to know Logan much better.

Expectations

Lucas Cortez is the illegitimate son of the leader of the Cortez Cabal and a college student. He is a bit nondescript looking and tends to blend into the scenery.

Eve Levine is still dealing in magical artifacts on the black market and in black magic.

Lucas and Eve both are after a stolen grimoire. The witch has it in her possession and she is a powerful opponent for a twenty year old college student and sorcerer.

I enjoyed reading about Lucas and Eve’s first encounter. They both learned a lot about each other and in turn the reader did also.

Ghosts

Jeremy Danvers is the Alpha of the Danvers Page and about to face the biggest challenge of his life.

Jeremy reminisces about his past and the members of his pack and thinks over his decisions as a huge battle looms.

This is a brief look back on Jeremy’s life and his decisions as Pack Leader, particularly in regards to Elena and Clayton. I liked seeing things from his point of view.

Wedding Bell Hell

Paige is a witch with a black witch/sorcerer/demon hybrid adopted daughter and the son of the leader of the Cortez Cabal as her fiance.

Lucas is a lawyer and a sorcerer. His relationship with his father has much improved but Benicio would still like to run his and now Paige’s lives.

Planning a wedding is always difficult, especially when the groom comes from a prominent family. Supernatural elements only add to the fun and stress.

This is a nice story of a typical wedding with all of its stresses and mistakes. Only the bride and groom and their wedding party are full of supernaturals of every description. Fans of the series will enjoy seeing characters gathered together at a much happier gathering than the last.

The Case of El Chupacabra

Lucas Cortez is a sorcerer and lawyer. He spends too much time away from his family defending supernaturals and hopes to spend more time at home in the near future.

Sean Nast is the son of Kristoff, a powerful sorcerer in the Nast Cabal. He is also gay and depressed about the state of his romantic life. Bigger problems lie ahead.

Lucas gets the news that his father wants to set up a satellite Cabal office in his hometown, when his adopted daughter’s half-brother finds the dead victim of El Chupacabra in a gay bar.

This is an interesting case and a detailed look into the workings of two Cabals. Cassandra makes another appearance and there is a detailed look into the different family dynamics of the Cortez and Nast families.

Most of these stories have been published before on Ms. Armstrong’s website and the proceeds from this compilation go to charity, so the reader should not feel cheated for paying for stories available for free. Fans of the Otherworld series should give this collection an extra cup because the characters will be familiar and not need any further development for them. Those new to the series will enjoy them also, but have less insight into the various characters and their relationships. My two favorites are Beginnings and Wedding Bell Hell, the first because I love the Elena stories, and the second because despite their supernatural powers, planning a wedding was just as crazy for Paige and Lucas as it would be for the average human. The author injects a bit of humor into that story also.

Maura
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

 

 

 

 

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