Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Locus Reviews

I couldn't wait for my subscription to come, so I picked up a copy of Locus at Dreamhaven yesterday. Here are the reviews by Carolyn Cushman:

Tate Hallaway, Dead Sexy (Berkley 978-0-425-21508-1, $14.00, 294pp tp) May 2007. Cover by Margarete Gockel

Murder comes back to haunt Garnet Lacey in this sequel to Tall, Dark & Dead. Garnet first went on the run after Vatican witch hunters killed her coven and the goddess Lilith possessed her and killed the Vatican agents. Now the bodies have been uncovered, and the FBI is on Garnet's trail, so she's forced to turn to her vampire ex-boyfriend for help, while trying to keep her current boyfriend, the vampire alchemist Sebastian, from finding out, not to mention trying to keep Lilith from reappearing and wreaking havoc. And then there are al those zombies turning up around town... Garnet's an engaging narrator, and while the plot occasionally seems a bit over the tope, it's also a consistantly fun, fast-paced romp.

Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner, eds., Many Bloody Returns (Ace 978-0-441-01522-1, $24.95, 355pp, hc) September 2007. Cover by Lisa Desimini.

What do birthdays mean to vampires? Thirteen authors come up with as many answers in this amusing original anthology, which tends to the lighter side of vampire fiction, with birthdays frequently tangential to the stories at best. Several stories are part of popular series; among the best are Jim Butcher's Dresden File story, "It's My Birthday, Too," in which Harry Dresden tries to get a birthday present to his vampire half-brother, only to run into some live-action roleplayers facing real vampires in an after-hours shopping mall; P. N. Elrod's lively Vampire Files story, "Grave Robbed," finds PI vampire Jack Fleming taking on a phony medium; in Tanya Huff's Smoke series, "Blood Wrapped" sets Tony and Henry searching for a kidnapped child and for an appropriate gift for Vicki Nelson's 40th birthday; and Tate Hallaway's "Fire and Ice and Linguini for Two" finds wiccan Garnet Lacey (of Tall, Dark & Dead and Dead Sexy) trying to convince her vampire boyfriend that his birthday isn't cursed, despite some chilling encounters. Charlaine Harris's own entry, "Dracula Night," is amusing but slight, a Sookie Stackhouse story that finds the human telepath fortunately on hand when things go wrong during the vampires' celebration of Dracula's birthday. Co-editor Toni L. P. Kelner, a mystery writer, presents a punchy, but touching, tale of a vampire who catches a serial killer while on a nostalgia trip to her own home town in "How Stella Got Her Grave Back." The remaining stories are a mixed bunch, mostly standalones, and some less than satisfying -- possibly because they don't have well-developed series backgrounds to draw on. For fans of the series represented here, however, this is an entertaining birthday party well worth checking out.

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