Otherworld Nights

All in all, this is a great collection and a bonus having the new material. I would have bought it just to have the stories in one place, even the ones I have read. If you haven’t read any of them yet then it’s highly recommended.

 I always have a feeling of sadness when a much loved series comes to a close – especially one that has run across quite a few books.  I always want to know more, even if it’s in glimpses or character histories via short stories and novellas.  I was really happy to find out about three anthologies from the Otherworld series (also known as Women of the Otherworld) – not only to have the stories I had read in one place but also for the rare, hard to find ones and of course, new material.

The first of these is Otherworld Nights!

The focus of this one is love in its various forms such as family, friends or a loved one.

First up is Demonology – This was an online story and is the story of how Adam’s mother discovers what he is.  I originally read it online and it was an interesting look at the young Adam and how far Talia was willing to go to help him.

The second novella is Twilight – This appeared in Many Bloody Returns and is about Cassandra’s (re)birthday and the lack of enthusiasm she is experiencing at continuing on with her life.  It’s a good piece in its own right and Cassandra is an enigma for me in the Otherworld, so it was nice to have a story from her point of view.

Third is a Clay and Elena story and is called Stalked – I just can’t get enough of this pair and this is about their honeymoon.  It originally appeared in My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon and was one story I missed, so it was great to have it here.  Obviously things can’t run smoothly for them and it also has quite an amusing conclusion.

Fourth is Chivalrous, a story that appeared in Tales of Dark Fantasy 2 – It’s Reese’s back-story and I found it very emotional and tugged right at me.  It gives you so much more of an insight into the Australian Wolf and it is a really good story.

The fifth story is Lucifer’s Daughter and is about Hope and Karl – I originally read it in blood Lite 2 and this is probably the story I rate the least here.  While I like Hope and Karl, they just don’t grab me as characters the way most of the rest of the cast do, so for me, it’s enjoyable but not hugely exciting.

Hidden is the sixth story and is a long novella released in 2012.  Elena, Clay and the twins at Christmas time – just awesome.  Not only just for the characters but the plot of this is quite serious and on par with the novels.  There is a serious twist in the tale and a bit of a shocker.  This story is my favourite of the set but I may be biased!

The penultimate offering is From Russia, With Love and this Elena story was included as a bonus with some versions of 13.  Elena has grown so much over the series, and I just love her.  I feel like this was a brilliant point for her and something she has been working towards, even though she didn’t know it.  I don’t want to spoil it but it was a surprise to me and made me a bit emotional.

Finally we have the new novella – Vanishing Act.  this is about Savannah and Adam and is set after the events in 13 so there may be spoilers for you!  It’s really well written and gives you a look at ‘what comes after’ but I can’t say more than that.

All in all, this is a great collection and a bonus having the new material.  I would have bought it just to have the stories in one place, even the ones I have read.  If you haven’t read any of them yet then it’s highly recommended.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Kelley Armstrong
  • Series: Otherworld
  • Format: Paperback
  • Publisher: Orbit
  • Genre: Paranormal Romance
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

Otherworld Nights Blog Tour

We are taking part in the Blog Tour for the release of Otherworld Nights by Kelley Armstrong.  This is a collection of short stories set in the Otherworld universe featuring some of our favourite characters.  While you may have read some already in their original anthologies, they are together for the first time along with some new material!  It’s released today but stop by tomorrow on the 8th to see our review!

Otherworld Nights Blog Tour

Frostbitten

After a series of gruesome murders take place in Alaska, Elena Michaels agrees to investigate as they could be the work of a rogue werewolf.  Joined by her husband and pack enforcer Clay Danvers, they arrive to find all is not as it seems, and that there are things stranger than werewolves hiding in the icy wilderness.  Elena is already on edge due to a letter regarding her childhood and the mutts they have to deal with threaten to push her over the edge and render her incapable of action.  Her beast is something she worked hard to tame but unleashing it could be the difference between life and death, and they have to survive.

As I’ve noted before, Elena is probably my favourite heroine of Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series.  She’s just one of those characters that strikes a chord with me; her strength, compassion and love shine through in spite of the ordeals she has been through in life.  It was great to have another novel based on the werewolves and the Danvers pack.  They are always entertaining and while the book may not feature many of them other than Clay and Elena until later in the story, they don’t disappoint when they arrive.

I love how the relationship has evolved between Clay and Elena, especially now they are parents to twins.  Elena’s past rears its head in a sense and causes a lot of internal struggle for her.  It affects how she reacts to events going on and causes her to doubt herself and could cost her her life as well.  I admire the way Armstrong handled it to be honest, it was tactful but realistic and the way she resolved it led to a much greater understanding for Elena, to gain strength from it rather than let it diminish her.

The plot was actually very simple in this book, easy to understand but it suited the style, anything more complex and it would have detracted from the characters and what they have to do.  It was also brutal at times, but never gratuitously so.  There are a couple of  twists towards the end which were quite sad and as I was totally gripped by the story by this point, I felt the outrage along with Clay and Elena.  The odd spurts of humour and banter between the two even at the most dire of times were great and spoke volumes about how they feel about each other.  They are quite possibly one of Urban Fantasy’s most Kick-Ass couples.

All in all, this is a book I enjoyed a lot, and a great addition to the Otherworld series and the Danvers Pack ‘section’ of it.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Kelley Armstrong
  • Series: Women of the Otherworld (10)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Living With the Dead

Being accused of murdering your new boss isn’t the best way to get ahead in business.  Innocent but unable to prove it, Robyn Peltier has no idea what to do.  When it seems the murderer thinks she knows something and is after her too, she calls on best friend Hope Adams for help.  Along with Hope comes her boyfriend Karl, who Robyn finds a little creepy.  When it starts looking like the murder was supernatural in origin, Hope tries to help but keep Robyn unaware of the other side of her life.   Unfortunately, with Hope’s demon side revelling in all the chaos, a detective that can talk to ghosts, and Karl being a werewolf, Robyn quickly finds herself embroiled in a world she never knew existed.  She can fall apart or come out fighting and with the murderer on her heels everywhere she goes, falling apart is not an option.

I find Hope Adams an intriguing character.  Being a half-demon of chaos, she lives with her two natures, trying to keep both halves satisfied and controlled, but struggles to find a balance.  I’ve seen her grow through two previous books from a scared young woman afraid of her demon half to a bold, confident reporter and it’s been a good journey.  I liked that the mundane and supernatural world meet with the characters of Robyn and Finn, who I liked a great deal and both were great additions to the cast.

The book itself was a good, smooth read with enough tension and twists to keep you turning the pages.  This is something I’ve come to expect from Kelley Armstrong and her easy to read style of writing.  Happily, she delivers once again.   I also love the cameo appearances of characters from different Otherworld books, something that happens across the series and I hope that continues!

I found Living with the Dead quite poignant, the relationship between Hope and Karl was bittersweet and while I found the end quite sad, I also realise the necessity.  I look forward to Hope’s next book to see how she matures even further.

A great addition to the Otherworld series and a treat to read.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Kelley Armstrong
  • Series: Women of the Otherworld (9)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)