6 member(s) found this review helpful.
This was a pretty good selection of writings. Despite the title not all of the stories featured Hellhounds; but all of them did include Hellhounds a little bit. My favorite stories were "Magic Mourns" by Ilona Andrews and "Blind Spot" by Meljean Brook. I am a big Ilona Andrews fan and this story doesn't disappoint. Meljean Brook's story was a surprise for me. I though Harris's story was written in kind of an amateurish style and was my least favorite. Singh's story was a bit too much of a romance for my taste but was set in a very interesting world. For synopsis and comments on each story see below.
- The Britlingens Go to Hell by Charlaine Harris (3/5 stars)
Two Britlingen body guards are hired to go to hell and help a client steal back something he tried to take from Lucifer. The story tone is very light and somewhat humorous. There is some action but I thought the writing was kind of amateurish. Overall I thought the story was okay.
- Angels' Judgement by Nalini Singh (4/5 stars)
Story about guild huntress Sara. She ends up as part of an investigation into a rogue guild member who is wrongly slaying vampires. Along the way she gets paired up with the Slayer, a super sexy hunter named Deacon. There was quite a bit of action but this story was definitely romance heavy. The world building was pretty good and overall it was interesting; although I didn't enjoy all the romance scenes that much.
- Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews (5/5 stars)
The story is told from Kate Daniel's friend's (Andrea's) point of view. Andrea gets a call from a distressed shapeshifter; it ends up being Raphael. She finds him being chased by a Cerebus. Raphael has had the hots for Andrea for a long time. They end up investigating the presence of the Cerebus and find that one of the People are involved. Just a warning about this story if you haven't read "Magic Strikes" yet (the third Kate Daniels book) this story gives away some of the stuff that happened in that book. I was a little irritated about that because I am in the middle of listening to "Magic Strikes" and this story kind of gave away the ending of the book. Overall though it was an excellent story, with great action scenes, and it filled in some of Andrea's history. 5/5
- Blind Spot by Meljean Brook (4/5 stars)
Maggie goes to rescue a blind man and his sister. She has a Hellhound with a strange sense of humor along for help. Lots of action and investigation. I actually really enjoyed this story and it made me want to look into more of Meljean Brook's books. The writing style and character personalities actually reminded me a lot of Ilona Andrews.
2 member(s) found this review helpful.
1) The Britlingens Go to Hell by Charlaine Harris: Batanya and Clovache are both part of the Britlingen Collective, highly trained bodyguards for hire, who are assigned an unusual client. Crick wants Batanya and Clovache to protect him in Hell while he retrieves an item that he'd been hired to steal but he was caught the first time he was there. It's a quirky, odd tale and not quite what I was expecting from Charlaine Harris. It takes some time to figure out who the Britlingens are and they use a combination of high tech and magic for their jobs, and hell is a bizarre place with a mixture of mythical creatures in it. Their client and others they run into are oddball people, and the whole tale uses a rather cheerful, matter of fact tone no matter what is happening. I'm not sure if this will appeal to everyone depending on their sense of humor or level of tolerance for the off-beat. I didn't dislike it, but it didn't love it either. So I suppose it was in the "OK" to "good" range for me.
2) Angels' Judgment by Nalini Singh: Set in the same world as Singh's Angel series, this story centers on vampire hunter Sara Haziz. Sara Haziz's job is to bring back runaway vampires to their angel masters. Her latest retrieval is of a vampire whose head was almost cut off. Word is that a rogue hunter who has killed other vampires this way is responsible, and Deacon, the Slayer, is brought in. This was a straightforward whodunit with two ass-kicking characters and romance between them. The world building was interesting, and I didn't have any problems following what was going on even though I haven't read any of the novels set in this world yet. The biggest issue I had with this was the repeated references to the sexual attraction of the two main characters, which made the romance very physical and not mental enough for me (and I think I'm in the minority from what I've seen). Not bad but the romance was too predictable and physical for my tastes, but I think it would appeal to those who like a little steam in their stories.
3) Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews: This is a story set in the same world as the Kate Daniel series, but this time the first person narrator is Kate's best friend, Andrea. Andrea is filling in for Kate one day, when a call comes in about a member of the Atlanta Pack being chased after by a giant, three-headed hound. It's probably better to have read the Kate Daniels series before reading this short story because much of the back story on Andrea's origins and her relationship with Raphael is in those books, but that's also reiterated in this story, so it's not hard to understand what's going on. I thought Andrea's personality was similar to Kate's (independent woman, hiding something, and doesn't trust easily), but her voice was different enough from Kate's (more wry humor I think) to make the story interesting. I enjoyed reading this one, because the pacing was just right to me, with a good balance of urban fantasy action and romance.
4) Blind Spot by Meljean Brook: Maggie is the equivalent of a butler for a very wealthy and powerful family, and her boss happens to be a vampire. When Maggie's employer's niece, Katherine, is kidnapped in New York, Katherine's brother, Goeffrey Blake goes to get her, but he runs into some trouble and Maggie is sent over. Maggie and Geoff must work together (along with the family's hellhound, Sir Pup) to find his sister. haven't read the Guardian series, but I have read another novella set in this world in the Wild Thing anthology. I think this author has grown, and I'm impressed! I felt like I was seeing Geoff and Maggie get to know one another and that although they each had an interest in each other they were aware that finding Katherine was more important. The attraction is shown more subtly, like their mutual curiosity for each other, and in gestures, like Maggie's quick looks everywhere but pauses on Geoff's mouth and hands. Meanwhile, Geoff's thoughts reveal that he has known and thought about Maggie far before they ever met, which pulled me in because I wanted to know why and how that happened. The fantasy elements, such as Sir Pup the shape-shifting hellhound, and interesting abilities (really cool but I don't want to spoil you), were unique and fascinating but also help along the story. I adored Sir Pup, the half-scary chaperone and comic relief.
2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Charlaine Harris's The Britlingens Go to Hell - you've got to admire a story that can do a credible hob of combining magic, Hell, Amelia Earhart, Narcissus and [of course] hellhounds. These are NOT lovable hellhounds.
Angels' Judgment - Nalini Singh - Although it stood well enough on it's own, I got the distinct impression there were nuances I was missing because I haven't read the Guild Hunter books yet. The hellhound had only a small part - as the original junkyard dog...
Magic Mourns - Ilona Andrews - I enjoyed a shifter who was not one of the standard species [wolf, lion, tiger, etc] but a bouda [werehyena]. It was interesting enough to make me look up the references - and yes, boudas are part of the folkloric tradition in Eurasian and African cultures. The hellhound here is the original superstar of the genre - Cerberus, guardian of the gates of hell. Related to the Kate Daniels series but functioned well on it's own.
Blind Spot - Meljean Brook - This one was fun - and had a truly lovable hellhound called Sir Pup. On the strength of this story I added the author to my wishlist...