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Strange Brew by P. N. Elrod
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For some reason GR keeps showing this as one of a series as if it is exclusive to one. It's not. It's a bunch of short stories by some of the hot UF/PNR writers around so there are a lot of series represented. They're all women, with the exception of Butcher, FWIW. While there were a few good stories, most were barely OK. Considering these authors are churning out several books a year, I expected a little better, although wasn't holding out too much hope.

Most of the fighting was fairly horrible & the characters were pretty flat. There weren't any surprises nor tough decisions. Lots of stupid people trying not to kill people that obviously were going to die for dumb reasons. Seriously, it was old comic book material with a few exceptions.

"Seeing Eye" by [a:Patricia Briggs|40563|Patricia Briggs|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1228867484p2/40563.jpg] pg.1 is set in the Mercy Thompson universe, but doesn't feature her. It's a quick, good story with a witch & werewolf.

"Last Call" by [a:Jim Butcher|10746|Jim Butcher|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1205261964p2/10746.jpg] pg.40 - is a good Dresden story. Harry at his typical. Fun.

"Death Warmed Over" by [a:Rachel Caine|15292|Rachel Caine|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1351943784p2/15292.jpg] pg.78 - Caine will never be my favorite author. Great imagination, but her writing, especially action scenes, doesn't work for me. As usual, there's a ridiculous love angle & she spends too much time filling in the back story, too. If you like her, this is a Holly Caldwell, resurrection witch, story. I've only read the first of her Weather Warden & Morganville Vampire series & one short story of the latter. If I never read another word by her, that's OK.

"Vegas Odds" by [a:Karen Chance|38066|Karen Chance|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1274779703p2/38066.jpg] pg.123 - wore me out, just like the later books of the Cassandra Palmer series did. I got to the third book & haven't had any desire to read another. Too much silly action. It might make a good comic book, but doesn't work as a novel for me.

"Hecate's Golden Eye" by [a:P. N. Elrod|6457944|P. N. Elrod|http://www.goodreads.com/assets/nophoto/nophoto-U-50x66-251a730d696018971ef4a443cdeaae05.jpg] pg.181 - was the first short story that I've read by Elrod, I think. It was excellent, another Jack Fleming story, the main character of her 'Vampire Files'. It's set back in the 30's with Charles, a short case. Lots of fun.

"Bacon" by [a:Charlaine Harris|17061|Charlaine Harris|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1307925926p2/17061.jpg] pg.225 - Not Harris' best. It bugged me that two major points of the story seemed to contradict the rest of her Sookie Stackhouse world. A wolf from another pack became the second of a rival pack after they'd killed the first one & vampire women married werewolves. One would be strange, but two? If I could forget those two items, the story still didn't fly too well. The tone was uneven, going into boring detail about some things & then trying to be subtle, even mysterious elsewhere. Still, it was kind of fun. I don't think short stories are her forte.

"Signatures of the Dead" by [a:Faith Hunter|234115|Faith Hunter|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1301338242p2/234115.jpg] pg.259 - This is the first story I've ever read by this author. Not bad. Kind of an interesting world. A major character of this story is Jane Yellowrock, who is the subject of a series. If I stumble across the first one, I'll probably read it, but won't go out of my way to get it.

"Ginger: A Nocturne City Story" by [a:Caitlin Kittredge|823146|Caitlin Kittredge|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1304116660p2/823146.jpg] pg.295 was OK. Again, the first time I read anything by this author. Again, kind of dumb action. The heroine kept trying to be shown as meek, but didn't come off that way very well.

"Dark Sins" by [a:Jenna Maclaine|245963|Jenna Maclaine|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1264794468p2/245963.jpg] pg.338 again, simply OK.Somewhat interesting, but there was no real suspense.

Overall, I wasn't thrilled with this collection. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
Strange Brew is a collection of macabre short stories. Unlike a lot of anthologies, I have no problem rating this collection: they are all good. I originally singled this out for a story from the world of Harry Dresden, but found the other offerings to be very worthy of standing next to Jim Butcher’s mainstay character. I’m just going to list some highlights of my more favorite stories:

Last Call, by Jim Butcher, is a side story from the Dresden Files. I don’t know about you, but I really want to find McAnally’s Pub and sample his beer. Purely in the interest of zymological research of course. If you’ve read any Dresden Files books, you know how particular Mac is about his brew and how fond Harry is of Mac’s beers, so you can imagine how upset Harry is when someone has tampered with a batch of the bubbly beverage. Of course, Harry sets everything right, but that does not diminish the enjoyment of the story.

Vegas Odds was a mixed bag for me. I liked Karen Chance’s style, but it took a while for the story to really get me. This is not to say the story was slow, it opens with a huge magical battle and carries in that way for more than half the story. That actually was part of my being slow to warm to this one: no time to consider the characters or get a grip on the plotline. Once the battle was over, the mental games began and I was hooked. I need to see if there is more from this author.

Charlaine Harris writes like a mash-up of H P Lovecraft and O Henry. Not that there is any reference to Cthulhu in her story Bacon, but she evokes the eerie tension that marked Lovecraft’s style and she has a wonderful, and well deserved, plot twist at the end of the story.

Because of Caitlin Kitteredge, I now have another supernatural series to explore, the world of Nocturne City, the setting for Ginger. What can I say, a witch with a werewolf cousin take on a fiendish attorney. Ok, so the last is a redundant descriptive. Ginger was well paced and left me wanting to know more of the stores in Nocturne City.

Taken together, the collection is a well-deserved four stars. ( )
  PghDragonMan | Mar 2, 2014 |
Only read "Bacon" & "Seeing Eye"

I always struggle with how to rate such short stories. Most of the time they leave me wanting more and too many times I feel unsatisfied - not in a positive way.

"Bacon" - pretty much a revenge story and I actually liked it a lot more than I thought I was. I wouldn't buy the anthology for just this story, but it was still a pretty interesting, quick read. - 3 stars

"Seeing Eye" - This is the reason I picked up this anthology and I loved this story. Now that could be because I love this series so much and I liked these characters when I read Hunting Ground (I think it was). Rare that a story this short can feel so complete, but it really worked for me and was glad to get Tom & Moira's story. - 5 stars ( )
  CupcakeMom | Feb 12, 2014 |
Witch/Vampire/Werewolf stories are not my overall favorite. I do enjoy some like Jim Butcher, but majority of them don't inspire me to keep reading more which sums up this collection. ( )
  capiam1234 | Aug 14, 2013 |
Witch/Vampire/Werewolf stories are not my overall favorite. I do enjoy some like Jim Butcher, but majority of them don't inspire me to keep reading more which sums up this collection. ( )
  smcamp1234 | Aug 14, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elrod, P. N.Editorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Briggs, PatriciaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Butcher, JimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Caine, RachelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chance, KarenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Elrod, P. N.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harris, CharlaineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hunter, FaithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kittridge, CaitlinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maclaine, JennaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bark, MimiCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Emmett, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The doorbell rang.

These stories are works of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in each story are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.

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First edition: July 2009

The printing line reads 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In this bewitching collection, nine of today's hottest paranormal authors spin otherworldly tales featuring witches and dark magic.

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