Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding Anthology

Werewolves, vampires, witches, voodoo, Elvis---and weddings

An “ordinary” wedding can get crazy enough, so can you imagine what happens when otherworldly creatures are involved? Nine of the hottest authors of paranormal fiction answer that question in this delightful collection of supernatural wedding stories. What’s the seating plan when rival clans of werewolves and vampires meet under the same roof? How can a couple in the throes of love overcome traps set by feuding relatives---who are experts at voodoo? Will you have a good marriage if your high-seas wedding is held on a cursed ship? How do you deal with a wedding singer who’s just a little too good at impersonating Elvis?

· L. A. Banks
· Jim Butcher
· Rachel Caine
· P. N. Elrod
· Esther M. Friesner
· Lori Handeland
· Charlaine Harris
· Sherrilyn Kenyon
· Susan Krinard

Shape-shifters, wizards, and magic, oh my!

My main reason for picking up this short story collection was so that I continue working my way through Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series. An unfortunate side effect is that I am pretty sure I read something out of order for the Harry Dresden series, but what can you do really? I am not 100% sure if some of the other stories were parts of series as well because that will really knock my "only read a series in order" mantra around a bit as well!

In Spellbound by L A Banks, the Hatfields and the McCoys have been feuding for generations, "working roots on each other, casting evil spells, dabblin' in hoodoo". When Odelia Hatfield and Jefferson McCoy fall in love, the one thing that can be guaranteed at the wedding is problems! It doesn't really help that the wedding was something of a surprise to all parties who thought they were coming to town to celebrate individuals graduations!

L A Banks is an author who I only ever seem to read in anthologies, but I do like her voice, and will maybe try to make an effort to read more of her longer books!

I really enjoy reading Jim Butcher's Dresden files stories, and Something Borrowed was no exception. Wizard Harry Dresden is a last minute replacement best man for his friend's wedding, but there just isn't quite something right about the bride! Once he puts his finger on what the issue is, it's a matter of life and death and Harry has to pull out all the stops to save the big day!

The only thing that was a bit annoying for the OCD in me, is that this story should be read between Dead Beat and Proven Guilty (books 7 and 8 in the series) and I am only up to book 3. I have previously read another short story out of order as well! Let it go Marg, let it go!

Dead Man's Chest by Rachel Caine was a really fun read. At first I was really confused at where the author was trying to take the story, but in the end I think this will be one of my favourites from the collection.

Cecilia couldn't believe her luck when romance cover model Ian Taylor fell for her. Only problem is that things are going a little bit fast for her when suddenly she is whisked onto an old style sailing ship to be married in what appears to be a ship wench outfit. Turns out there is something strange about the crew, and suddenly Ian doesn't seem to be quite the catch either. Lots of fun.

All Shook Up by P N Elrod was another fun read. Frankie is catering at a celebrity wedding reception when she is completely shocked to see that the entertainment is a VERY good Elvis impersonator. Whilst she is an excellent caterer, she also has another gift - seeing the future, and she is not sure that she likes what she sees, but Elvis seems to be doing a good job of distracting her for now! Another author that I only seem to read in anthologies. Last time I reviewed one I said I can definitely see myself reading more by this author. Same still applies - I just need to get around to starting a whole book by her.

If there was one story in this collection that didn't really work for me, it was Esther M Friesner's The Wedding of Wylda Serene. There haven't been many events held at the exclusive Club, basically because absolutely anything could, and has happened. It is therefore something of a surprise when the local darling, Wylda Serene insists that she must get married there, especially when no one seems to have met the lucky man yet. Whilst I did enjoy the premise, and think that it is one that the author could have a lot of fun with (who couldn't have fun with a bunch of ancient and trouble making Greek Gods), I don't think I really got the mother-of-the-bride-zilla moments enough to be able save this story from being meh!

Lori Handeland seems to be yet another author that I only read in anthologies, and yet I liked the last story I read from her featuring characters from her Jager-Sucher series. In this story, Charmed by the Moon, Jessie and Will are about to get married when they find a love charm that has been hidden amongst their belongings. This leads them to question whether they are really in love or if they have been manipulated, and by whom?

Tacky by Charlaine Harris is set in the same world as the Sookie Stackhouse books, but Sookie isn't one of the characters. This short story examines what might possibly happen if a vampire decides to marry a werewolf. The main character is neither bride nor groom, but the bridesmaid. She also has to figure out what the bridesmaid's role in the wedding is meant to be, with a special focus on not ending up with a bridesmaid dress that looks tacky! There is also the fact that not everyone on either side is comfortable with this union, which leads to some problems on the big day, and then there is also the opinions of regular humans that might well get in the way as well.

A Hard Day's Night-Searcher by Sherrilyn Kenyon was the reason I read this book, and was in itself an okay story. It certainly didn't blow my mind though. Rafael Santiago's squire Jeff is a bit of a problem. He has published a story where he has changed the names, but other than that he has basically written about the Dark Hunter world, and now the top squires want to see him. They send Celina to pick up Jeff, but Rafael manages to stall by offering her a deal - he can get her to break the Squire within a week if she has to stay with him.

"...Or Forever Hold Your Peace" by Susan Krinard, was more a mystery than a romance, but I would love to read more set in this world. It is set in a alternate Victorian style world called Albion, where all the best families pass on not only land and treasures but also paranormal Talents. At the key moment in the wedding of Lady Emma Wakefield and Lord Edward Parish, a stranger bursts into the wedding and objects to the union. As he runs away from the wedding, he is killed. The next day, the bride goes missing and it is up to Lady Olivia Dowling and her friend, Kit Meredith, to figure out how those two events are connected. I really liked Olivia and Kit as a couple and you could easily see something more developing between the two characters.


  1. It's been ages since I read any of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden books. Thanks for reminding me about them! I must get back to that series. And the rest of the anthology sounds highly entertaining as well.

  2. I'll admit that this book didn't look very appealing to me before I read your review, but after reading some of your story descriptions, I might go ahead and try this one. It looks kind of fun! Thanks for the great review.

  3. I love the concept behind this anthology. I enjoy sci fi/fantasy reads with a good theme to them. What fun!

  4. Loved My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon anthology but I never did get around to picking this one up...

  5. I'm so glad to hear you talk about issues with reading things out of order - that is such a huge thing with me! I know it's kind of silly, but I am a stickler about it because I hate spoilers - and also that "huh?" feeling when it seems like there's a gap. I wish authors who write for these anthologies would make the stories more along the side - side characters, or things from the characters' pasts, etc. The stories sound like fun, though!

  6. I hate to read out of order to, which is the reason I have only read a few stories. I've liked all the one I've read though, exspecily Tacky even though it was far to short.