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Otherworld Nights by Kelley Armstrong

Otherworld Nights

by Kelley Armstrong

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16129114,072 (3.94)6
"Rare and never-before published short stories featuring fan favorites from the New York Times bestselling series It's been more than ten years since Kelley Armstrong began the Otherworld series and drew legions of fans to a realm roamed by witches, werewolves, necromancers, vampires, and half-demons. Many of the novels have become bestselling favorites, but not all of the Otherworld adventures have been easy to find. At last, Otherworld Nights shares short stories that have previously been available only online or in obscure collections. Fans have long been clamoring for this anthology and they won't be disappointed-they'll find plenty of surprises are in store. "--… (more)



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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed theses extra stories esp the Elena and Clay ones ( )
  StarKnits | Feb 6, 2019 |
I'd read the majority of short stories included, but had not read either "From Russia With Love" or "Vanishing Act." I was surprised at how much I enjoyed "From Russia With Love" and the fantastic look it gave me into Elena and Clay's life, and especially at the twins. I enjoyed "Vanishing Act" a bit less, mostly because Savannah and Adam's problem could have been solved with a conversation. That being said, I'm extremely fond of Savannah and the issue she had was one I wasn't at all surprised to see her dealing with and one that I thought was just so very in character and great for her. (Provided by publisher) ( )
  tldegray | Sep 21, 2018 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A very entertaining and solid collection of stories from the Otherworld. Fans of the series won’t want to miss it!

Opening Sentence: Talia stared at the painting.

The Review:

If you’ve read any of my other reviews of anthologies before, you know I’m not always the biggest fan of short stories, mainly because it often feels like the story is too rushed and isn’t meaty enough. To this point, the only author whose short stories I regularly enjoy was Stephen King. Now, I can add Kelley Armstrong to the list as well. While some stories did fall a little flat, none of them failed to be entertaining or felt too rushed. I think the stories really benefited from existing in a world that’s already been explained by Armstrong elsewhere, thus no world-building needed to be done in the stories. All in all, this was a highly satisfying collection, and I’ll certainly be checking out more of Armstrong’s short stories.

Demonology – 3.5 stars

I can’t remember if we ever got to meet Adam’s mom in the Otherworld series, but it was very interesting to get a story from her point of view as she struggles to figure out what’s wrong with an eight-year-old Adam. Talia felt like a very fleshed out character even though the story is very short. In the same vein, the story was well-paced and included a flashback to Talia meeting Adam’s father. My one complaint would be that I wish the story had lasted a little longer rather than ending in the way it did. Still, I really liked it.

Twilight – 5 stars

Cassandra has never been my favorite Otherworld character, so I wasn’t thrilled to have a story from her point of view. However, it hooked me from the very beginning, and I just could not put the book down until I had finished this particular story. The strongest part of this story lies in the imagery that Armstrong uses towards the end of the story, as Cassandra realizes why it is that old vampires end up dying. The reader is placed firmly in Cassandra’s shoes and can’t help but feel what she feels. This is tied for my favorite story in the collection.

Stalked – 3 stars

Elena and Clay have never been my favorite characters in the series, and this story really didn’t change my opinion. I wasn’t fond of Clay as a narrator, and I felt very frustrated with his determination to keep Elena in the dark about the mutt stalking her. She has proven time and again that she can protect herself, so there’s really no need for him to feel that she can’t handle herself. Now, I know that part of his reasoning is that he doesn’t want to ruin their honeymoon, but it still frustrated me. This one was probably my least favorite entry.

Chivalrous – 5 stars

This would be the other story that’s tied for my favorite entry. Wow. That’s really all I can say. Since I read this series over such a spread out period of time, I can’t remember if we ever got Reese’s back story or not. I have a feeling we did, and I just forgot. Either way, seeing it play out for myself was heartbreaking. I can’t really think of anything else to say. It’s just an awesome story.

Lucifer’s Daughter – 3 stars

This one follows Hope and Karl as they attend an event that Hope’s grandmother has put together. Chaos ensues of course, and Hope and Karl find themselves at the center of it, trying to stop a demon from wreaking havoc. Despite the seriousness of what’s going on, I never truly felt like matters were urgent. I knew Hope would be able to take care of things, so that took a little enjoyment out of the story for me. Still, it was entertaining.

Hidden – 4 stars

This one is a full novella rather than just a short story. Elena and Clay have taken their kids away for their first Christmas alone. While trying to enjoy their family time, evidence begins to pile up that there could be a maneater in the area, so Elena and Clay have to investigate while trying to keep their kids from being exposed to the dangers of the werewolf world. This one was very well written and kept me guessing as to what was going on. I also really enjoyed the side story involving Elena trying to figure out when to tell her children about werewolves. Despite the subject matter, it felt really true to life. When do you sit your kids down and talk to them about serious matters? Watching Elena struggle with this made me feel more connected to her than I ever have before. Very solid story.

From Russia with Love – 4 stars

This one was really short, but good. I don’t want to say much about it to avoid giving away spoilers. It’s another Elena story and takes place after the events of Thirteen.

Vanishing Act – 4 stars

How Savannah ended up being my favorite narrator, I have no idea, but I really do love it when she takes the lead. This is another story that takes place after Thirteen and follows Savannah and Adam as they try to protect a boy who’s being chased by one of the cabals. It’s nice to see how Savannah has grown up and matured throughout the series, and we get to see the culmination of that here. This was a solid story and left me feeling fully satisfied.

Notable Scene:

“I’ve always said I like a woman who can take care of herself. You could before, too, but you were a little wobbly on the self-confidence when I met you in Winslow’s playroom. You remember that? When we were prisoners together, watching each other’s back?”

“I was his prisoner. You were his employee.”

“But I still helped you, didn’t I?”

“For a chit, which I repaid. Do you remember that? You made me steal the From Hell letter while I was six months pregnant.”

“But it all worked out. You have two beautiful, smiling . . .” He looked at the twins. Both were staring at him stone-faced, Logan coldly appraising the situation, Kate tensed to pounce.

“It all worked out,” he insisted, his voice a little less certain.

“Did it? Have you forgotten that letter released zombies? One of them gave Clay a really nasty scratch.”

“But he’s fine now, right?”

“After a very long, very grueling rehabilitation. You should ask him about it sometime.”

Xavier looked like he’d rather swallow thumbtacks.

FTC Advisory: Penguin/Plume provided me with a copy of Otherworld Nights. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | May 28, 2016 |
[b:Otherworld Nights|17827953|Otherworld Nights (Otherworld Stories, #3)|Kelley Armstrong|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1400095091s/17827953.jpg|24940587] and [a:Kelley Armstrong|7581|Kelley Armstrong|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1199068298p2/7581.jpg]
This is a book about all kinds of supernaturals. Though you get to read about the American Pack. It falls more on Clay and Elena then the others. Though you get a piece each part of the stories. You get to learn a bit about Adam and though not all of it. You get parts of all eight stories list or at least part of it.

Though most of the book talks more on Elena and Clay and his family and adventures. You read all about what Adam mother find out about her son. You get to read about Clay an Elena Honeymoon story and Hidden/ Twilight though I do not know how that fits in much. Chivalrous you learn about Reese's back story. Lucifer Daughter comes in but not much is about either of them. From Russia with Love is a sweet story about Elena. Vanishing Act is the newest story about Savannah and Adam when he is older.

I know it a collection of stories not all them in a lot of detail. I was a little confused going from one story to the next I understood Elena and Clay story better and Savannah and Adam. That is all I understood. The others I would not understand how it went from Adam being four years old to him being an adult. Why most of the stories where about Elena and Clay and American Pack when it started out with Demons and ending with Demons or half demons. ( )
  Lindz2012 | Feb 22, 2016 |
I've heard a lot about Kelley Armstrong over the last few years, and thought I'd take this opportunity to introduce myself to her writing and her world...

(Material in quotations from Armstrong's contents listing)

"Demonology - Adam's mother discovers what he is"
And... here I begin to doubt whether this book will be a best introduction. This is not really a separate story, but more of an 'origin' piece for a clearly already-established character and his mentor. A young boy's mother has to deal with the fact that her young son is developing pyrokinesis...

"Twilight - my unfortunately-titled Cass story from "Many Bloody Returns""
A vampire needs to kill at least once every year in order to live. But this one year, Cassandra duCharme (really?) cannot bring herself to do it.
This story would've been greatly improved by at least some hint of the reasons behind the main character's troubles - as it stands it's just an inconclusive, random-feeling episode.

"Stalked - Clay/Elena honeymoon story from "My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon""
Two werewolves on an unexpectedly boring honeymoon find their trip enlivened by being stalked by a rogue 'lone wolf.' There's some action, but the focus is more on relationship dynamics (which were a bit stereotypical.)

"Chivalrous - Reese's backstory from SubPress's long sold-out "Tales of Dark Fantasy 2" (my Dec SubPress graphic novella picks up this storyline, so it's perfect timing)"
Fratboy and sorority-girl type werewolves engage in Pack politics, and generally act like douchebags. Pretty much everyone in this story deserved to die miserably - except the ones who did.

"Lucifer's Daughter - Hope/Karl story from "Blood Lite 2""
During a museum gala opening in her honor, a woman with demonic heritage has to deal with an annoying imp on the loose. Can she figure out how to re-prison him before he insists on doing her honor with human sacrifices? Light and humorous piece; quite fun.

"Hidden - SubPress 2012 Elena/Clay novella (see my site for details)"
A longer, fully-developed story with a mystery format. Elena and Clay are two werewolves on a Christmas vacation getaway with their two children. While they're in town, a 'lone wolf' approaches them - and his overly-friendly attitude raises alarm bells. Does this guy know that Elena's her wolf pack's designated investigator? Has he been up to something (like, say, murdering humans) that's against pack rules?
I had two categories of problems with this story. First, on a personal level: You cannot get two pages through this story without the main characters trying to have sex and being interrupted by their children. OK, I am sure that this does happen in families, but it is overdone and unappealing (although the author seems to think it is 'cute.')
I also was not won over by the Big Drama of whether to tell the kids that they're in a werewolf family, or not. Maybe it is just that the target audience for this story is mothers - and I am not, nor do I have any interest in being one.
Second category, on a technical level: The mystery is solved with a very unsurprising 'twist' and a trite 'boogeyman.' The big finale also doesn't make sense in the context. It's pedophiles. (It's always pedophiles.) However, we get this big showdown where everyone's in the woods and the evil werewolf pedophile is about to 'get' the little girl, and he has to be physically attacked to keep him away from her. But, umm, there's been no indication that he wants to kill or eat the kid. And he's not about to molest her out in the woods with a gun pointed at him, is he? The story also contains that worst feature of poorly-executed mysteries: an overly-long expository bit at the end explaining everything that just happened.

"From Russia with Love - Elena bonus story included with hardcover of "Thirteen""
Not very memorable. It felt more like an extra chapter of a longer book - one that an editor discarded. It takes place in Russia, but the actual setting is a cabin out in the woods, so there's no 'Russian' flavor to the story at all. There's a confrontation, of which both the beginning and the resolution are missing. However, this is where the werewolf Elena gets named Alpha of her pack, so I'm guessing fans would be interested in it just for that.

"Vanishing Act - brand-new Savannah/Adam novella set after "Thirteen""
A supernatural detective agency is called in to investigate a demon summoning - and ends up getting mixed up in the affairs of a paranormally talented youth who's being chased down by at least three cabals - not all of which - if any - have his best interests at heart. Fun, good action. It reminded me quite a bit of Mercedes Lackey's Diana Tregarde books, which I liked when they came out. Unfortunately, it has way too much of the two paranormal detectives' boring relationship problems tacked onto the end.

Overall, I'm going to have to say that this book let me know that Kelley Armstrong's writing is not for me. (And never again will I, even for a second, confuse her with Kelly Link.) Many thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to discover this. As always, my opinions are solely my own. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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