Holidays are Hell: Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel / Run, Run, Rudolph / Six / The Harvest
Holidays are Hell Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel / Run Run Rudolph / Six / The Harvest Author:Vicki Pettersson, Marjorie M. Liu, Lynsay Sands, Kim Harrison This holiday, spend quality time with family and loved ones -- living and dead... There's no place like home for the horror days--unless you'd prefer a romantic midnight walk through a ghost-infested graveyard... or a haunted house candlelight dinner with the sexy vampire of your dreams. The (black) magical season is here -- and whether ... more »it's a solstice seance gone demoniacally wrong with the incomparable Kim Harrison, a grossly misshapen Christmas with the remarkable Lynsay Sands, a blood-chilling-and-spilling New Year's with the wonderful Marjorie M. Liu, or a super-powered Thanksgiving with the phenomenal Vicki Pettersson, one thing is for certain: in the able hands of these exceptional dark side explorers, the holidays are going to be deliciously hellish!
TWO GHOSTS FOR SISTER by Kim Harrison
Rachel introduces us to a younger Rachel Morgan -- an undergraduate witch-in-training -- who naively resurrects a spirit and sparks a terrifying showdown with a deadly undead adversary.
RUN, RUN, RUDOLPH by Lynsay Sands
In order to escape from a determined stalker, a beautiful, reluctant shape-shifter must assume different forms.
SIX by Marjorie M. Liu
A petite-but-powerful government agent's hands are full when she must join forces with a hunky necromancer to prevent an unholy brotherhood of terrorists and vampires from ringing in the New Year with blood.
THE HARVEST by Vicki Petterson
A former superhero -- an elite Zodiac warrior (Zoe) comes back to the mortal world for a Thanksgiving reunion with her equally hated and beloved enemy to do battle for the lives of her imperiled children.« less
For the most part I liked this anthology better than the first one, Dates from Hell. I think most were on the "good!" side.
"Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel" by Kim Harrison. In Dates from Hell we got a story about Ivy set before she meets Rachel, and in this story, we get a story about a young teen-aged Rachel before she ever joins Inderland Security. I thought this was well done because you don't have to have read the Rachel Morgan books to understand the world (much less confusing than the story in Dates from Hell), plus there are a lot of new things to learn for those who read those series. We learn about Rachel's family dynamics, and about Rachel's reasons for joining IS. I was also surprised to see how different Rachel is physically in this short story than what I was used to seeing in the series, but her stubbornness and trying to do things seemingly beyond her abilities seems very familiar.
"Run, Run, Rudolf" by Lynsay Sands. If you look at the link to the first anthology, and check out the "Claire Switch Project", this is a continuation of that short story. A couple of scientists gets zapped by a "destabilizer ray" that allows them to shapeshift if they concentrate really hard. I thought that story was goofy and I think this continuation is equally so. I have checked out reviews from this book and this was many people's favorite story so I don't know.. For me, this was my least favorite of the bunch and it did not fit in with the rest of them.
"Six" by Marjorie M. Liu. I think this one is a stand alone, unconnected to an outside series, and it manages to have great world-building, action, characters, and plot in a short space. Six is a elite Chinese agent trying to track down terrorists when she stumbles upon the paranormal - vampires - not the western myth I'm used to reading about, but the Chinese version - Jiang Shi. This was a refreshing twist. Possibly my favorite of the bunch because I liked the setting - urban China. Liu has several romance novels out but I really like her urban fantasy.
"The Harvest" by Vicki Pettersson - Another one based in the world where a series is set. This is the story of Zoe Archer - the mother of the protagonist in the Signs of the Zodiac series, Joanna Archer. I thought this was a great side story to go with the series which fills us in on the motivation of Zoe's mother as well as learning about her personality and how she was able to do what she did. But, if you haven't read this series, I'm not sure how lost you would be reading this story. It's possible the answer is - quite lost. Though there are several hints that explain the world, the Zodiac world is very complex so it's hard for me to say how confused someone would be. Definitely a must-read for a Zodiac series fan though.
I really enjoyed 3 of the 4 stories in this collection. Harrison is a big fave of mine and it was great taking a peak at Rachel's younger self. I found the Sands story just silly-didn't like the writing style or the plot. I had not read Liu or Pettersson before, but they are going on my wish list now:)
The first story, by Kim Harrison, was the best of the anthology, IMO. I haven't read the rest of the series it's a prequel to, so I can't say if it works in that context or not.
The Lyndsay Sands story was a sequel to another story in the Dates from Hell anthology, I think, and I didn't like either one.
The Marjorie Liu story was fine and had an interesting premise and setting, but seemed rushed. I think this would have been better had it been longer. The heroine was a stiff, two-dimensional, emotionless assassin, which was sort of boring and cliched. We've seen this character before, only usually it's a man. Given the amount of time Liu spent telling the readers about her harsh background, I had a hard time believing she fell in love with the (interesting, not two dimensional!) hero so quickly.
The last story was one I really felt had a lot of potential, but I suspect I missed a lot of the point since I hadn't read anything else by the author. It was a lot of catching the reader up with the parts they should have read in other books.
Rebecca H. (Rebemdee) reviewed Holidays are Hell: Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel / Run, Run, Rudolph / Six / The Harvest on
Helpful Score: 1
I don't really care for the Zodiac books, so I skimmed the Vicki Pettersson story. The Lynsay Sands shapeshifter story was so similar to the previous story she wrote for the anthology before this, Dates from Hell, that it was absolutely boring. I enjoyed the other two stories, they were fresh and interesting
The only one of the four shorts that I enjoyed was Kim Harrison's Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel which is strange being as I didn't like the first two books in this series at all.
Run Run Rudolph - Lynsay Sands was a ridiculous Christmas story. Six - Marjorie Liu was boring and must be part of a series since it made little sense. The Harvest - Vicki Pettersson was just awful and terribly boring.
Ugh, just reinforces my belief that anthologies are crap and a waste of money.