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Grave Decisions by John O'Riley
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Grave Decisions

by John O'Riley

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This review was written for LibraryThing Member Giveaways.

Grave Decisions is a collection of pedestrian urban fantasy short stories. The writing is not very good, nor are the fantasy aspects particularly interesting. The stories are meant to be humorous and there are hints of wit, but there's nothing to distinguish them. They're populated by apathetic millennials who make snide remarks and do dumb things with their magic.

"Grave Decisions": A young, impudent witch has resisted training: "Why would I want to give myself a headache and spend five minutes or more straining to light a candle with magic when matches were so much easier?" (Loc. 56). S/he runs up against a skilled vampire, and partners with an older (late twenties!) cousin to despatch it. The younger witch decides it's cool to have supernatural powers after all.

"Deadly Familiar": Julian wants a new, more powerful familiar, so he and his roommates, Mark and Natasha, unleash a powerful, ancient magic to turn Julian's new cat into one. Julian breaks his concentration and the energy lands on Mark's pet parakeet instead. Everyone fights about who's at fault. Julian is petulant and arrogant and refuses to take responsibility for the situation. Mark yells at him, "You're the worst roommate I've ever had in my entire life!" (Loc. 261).

"Vorgon": Three demon hunters fight a demon with heretofore unseen powers: It feeds off resistance. The team leader guesses this and everyone is saved. She and the other hunters bicker about how much she knew and when.

The rest (68%) of the e-book is a preview of another book by the author. I did not read the sample chapters.

(Disclaimer: This review is based on a free .mobi e-book provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. No additional compensation was received, but the author did offer two additional free books if reviews were posted on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads. My review has been posted on LibraryThing only and was not influenced by the free copy or the additional offer. The opinions in the review are mine alone.)

NB: This review originally was entered on LT on 8/24/14 and was reentered, without edits, on 8/16/16. ( )
  LibraryPerilous | Aug 16, 2016 |
Not sure where to start. I actually liked what I read but it was just way too short. It was like a very small glimpse into a world. Now however interesting the world may seem, the stories need to be a bit longer. Now, if these were novella size up to a novel size of a few characters in this world I'd totally recommend reading it! If I catch a full length novel based on this world then I'd want to read it.

Received a copy of these tales from Librarything.com Member Giveaway. ( )
  llyramoon | Jan 6, 2015 |
This collection of three short stories should probably be targeted for a teen audience. The writing is clear, clean and concise. Each story could have had more detail and depth but for a quick read it was fine. I would be interested to know what a teenaged reader might think of the collection.

I received this collection through LibraryThings giveaways in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  CathyGeha | Jan 4, 2015 |
It was an ok read, however it was so short. Before you can figure out what's going on, it's over. Felt like teasers for a longer book. ( )
  nstew1976 | Dec 29, 2014 |
Nice collection of 3 short stories. My favorite genre is supernatural based books. And these 3 stories covered magic quite well. My recommendation to the author would be to expand the first story. I think it could be a novel. The characters grabbed me from word one. Read this book if you get a chance. ( )
  deemelody | Nov 4, 2014 |
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