HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Strange Brew by P. N. Elrod
Loading...
MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7414412,575 (3.58)33
English (43)  French (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-25 of 43 (next | show all)
Short stories containing Witches and/or Vampires, Strange Brew is a mixed bag, as with most short story collections. The Jim Butcher story is a stand out and most of the others are quite enjoyable. ( )
  Archmage | Apr 6, 2016 |
A collection of short stories by some of the best-known authors in the paranormal romance/urban fantasy genre. Each is set in the author's already popular series. On the plus side, this means the writing is at least readable and some small effort has been put into the world building. On the minus side, nothing important can happen for fear that regular readers of the books will miss out.
Patricia Briggs's "Seeing Eye" would have been good as a book--as a short story, there is barely a climax and the denoument is unbelievably rushed. The last few paragraphs in particular are wretched.

I hate Jim Butcher's Dresden series, so I simply skimmed his "Last Call" and believe it to be just as pedestrian and poorly developed as all his work.

Rachel Caine's "Death Warmed Over" was the highlight of the collection for me, for the simple reason that I like the concept of her story. And the love interest is a zombie!

Karen Chance's "Vegas Odds" has my favorite world and characters and some very good action scenes. But she spent too much time explaining her characters and their backstories, and I felt the romance was shoe-horned in to make her story fit the genre's conventions. Not every heroine needs to date a werewolf biker!

PN Elrod's "Hecate's Golden Eye" was totally lackluster and unconvincing. No emotion, no heat, no memorable characters, and not much of a plot.

Charlaine Harris's "Bacon," about a vampire using a Circe to get revenge, would have been much better under the knife of a good editor.

Faith Hunter's "Signatures of the Dead" has interesting world building and a unique main character. The stand out to me was her friend Jane, a vicious, fearless shapeshifter. I'd like to read more about her. (ETA: having read the first novel about Jane, [b:Skinwalker|5585788|Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock, #1)|Faith Hunter|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1311281076s/5585788.jpg|5757031], I take that back. She is boring and annoying in novel format.)

Caitlin Kittredge's "Ginger" has no point--it just sort of meanders, stumbling as it tries on several different plots at once.

The worst of the book is the last, Jenna Maclaine's "Dark Sins." The love interest immediately calls the heroine "mo ghraidh", the heroine and her bffs are "The Righteous" (who answer only to the High King of the Vampires, btw), and in the end the heroine defeats the baddie cultists (who have chained the vamps to marble alters! naked!) by summoning the Morrigan, who tells our dear heroine that she is the Chosen One. Melodramatic and lazy writing style, as well. Blegh. Definitely giving this author's books a miss. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Thoroughly enjoyed the stories by Patrica Briggs, Jim Butcher, Karen Chance, Faith Hunter and Rachel Caine. In fact that was the reading order. Patricia's, Jim's, and Karen's stories were all within the worlds they've built in their series. Patricia's and Karen's are not main character story lines, but could easily become ones. I have to check to see if my library has gotten Faith's new book that features one of the characters in her short story as the main person. The three of the other authors are known but I haven't gotten interested in their series so skipped their stories. One was a total unknown for me - Jenna MacLaine, and hers was a historical so totally skipped. ( )
  pnwbookgirl | Feb 7, 2016 |
Another wonderful and engaging collection of paranormal short stories....

Authors include: P.N. Elrod (ed), Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, Rachel Caine, Karen Chance, Faith Hunter, Caitlin Kitteridge, and Jenna Maclaine.

The stories mostly revolved around witches, justice & revenge for wrong doings: Bacon by Harris was funny.

Dark Sins & Signatures of the Dead were a tad too violent/brutal for my tastes, but engaging none-the-less.

Seeing Eye was fascinating.

Hectate's Golden Eye was sleight of hand.
( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
An anthology containing several urban fantasy stories. I thought Jim Butcher's Harrty Dresden story was great. Some fo the others were good and a few ere very badly written. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
All of the stories in this collection involve witches and there are many appearances by werewolves and vampires and other mystical creatures. I really liked all of the stories but my favorites were probably the first tale Seeing Eye, Last Call, a Jim Butcher story, and the final tale Dark Sins. The stories are all paranormal mysteries and some of them are pretty funny as well. I find myself wanting these stories to be continued because the characters were so appealing. I am thinking about finding the full length novels written by the books and giving them a shot. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
All of the stories in this collection involve witches and there are many appearances by werewolves and vampires and other mystical creatures. I really liked all of the stories but my favorites were probably the first tale Seeing Eye, Last Call, a Jim Butcher story, and the final tale Dark Sins. The stories are all paranormal mysteries and some of them are pretty funny as well. I find myself wanting these stories to be continued because the characters were so appealing. I am thinking about finding the full length novels written by the books and giving them a shot. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
All of the stories in this collection involve witches and there are many appearances by werewolves and vampires and other mystical creatures. I really liked all of the stories but my favorites were probably the first tale Seeing Eye, Last Call, a Jim Butcher story, and the final tale Dark Sins. The stories are all paranormal mysteries and some of them are pretty funny as well. I find myself wanting these stories to be continued because the characters were so appealing. I am thinking about finding the full length novels written by the books and giving them a shot. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
All of the stories in this collection involve witches and there are many appearances by werewolves and vampires and other mystical creatures. I really liked all of the stories but my favorites were probably the first tale Seeing Eye, Last Call, a Jim Butcher story, and the final tale Dark Sins. The stories are all paranormal mysteries and some of them are pretty funny as well. I find myself wanting these stories to be continued because the characters were so appealing. I am thinking about finding the full length novels written by the books and giving them a shot. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
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 |
Seeing Eye by Patricia Briggs
Story of How Tom meets Moira. Tom was the 2nd of Angus' pack from Hunting ground. Not a romance but a UF story. Very good if you know Mercy and Anna and Charles's world.
  tivonut | Jul 25, 2013 |
Amazon preorder
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
Abigail reviewed many of these stories seperately, see her posts here:

Seeing Eye by Patricia Briggs
Death Warmed Over by Rachel Caine
Vegas Odds by Karen Chance
Hecate's Golden Eye by P. N. Elrod
Signature of the Dead by Faith Hunter
Ginger by Caitlin Kittridge
Dark Sin by Jenna Maclaine ( )
  Capnrandm | Apr 15, 2013 |
Not bad. Some of the stories were, of course, better than others. I think I've decided that Charlaine Harris is much better at the full-length novel than short stories, but Jim Butcher always delivers the fun. I didn't discover any new authors to look for, but at least I didn't skip any of the stories; that's good, right? ( )
  Krumbs | Mar 31, 2013 |
Listened to Seeing Eye by Patricia Briggs only. ( )
  Kaetrin | Aug 13, 2012 |
A fun, exciting collection of supernatural stories, all dealing with witches and/or potions and brews.

Recommended! ( )
  kayceel | Jun 18, 2011 |
collection of urban fantasy by popular writers, including Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris, Faith Hunter, and others. Faith Hunter - Jane Yellowrock character had some of the most interesting characters. Read the whole thing, but this reminded me that I'm not really interested in most of the vampire/werewolf genre.
  pascoejm | Jan 11, 2011 |
Anthologies are often uneven. This one is mostly very good to great, with a very few exceptions. I really liked the stories from Briggs, Cain, Chance, and Hunter. The stories from Butcher, Elrod, and Kittredge were good. I didn't care for Harris and Maclaine's stories. Seven good or very good stories out of nine is makes this a worthwhile purchase in my opinion, especially since many of these stories tie in to or introduce the authors' longer running series. I am particularly interested to see if Rachel Caine is going to do anything more with the characters in her story. ( )
  saltypepper | Aug 19, 2010 |
More romancy than I expected but still good. I'm partial to Jim Butcher, and his Dresden Files story was the highlight of this anthology for me. It was quite humorous and might be my favorite of all Buchter's shorts. The stories by Briggs, Caine, and Chance were all enjoyable, though very relationship-focused. P.N. Elrod's vampire P.I. mystery was campy, but in a good way (or maybe I'm just fond of detective stories). Faith Hunter's work was gory, but intriguing. Maclaine and Kittredge's stories left something to be desired; the former's chosen-one-of-unequaled-power plot line was too cliche and the latter was plagued with plot holes and unremarkable characters. Surprisingly, one of the worst stories in this anthology was the one by Charlaine Harris. Her characters were annoying, the plot predictable, the dialogue disjointed, and the writing mediocre at best. Despite its clunkers - all anthologies have them - Strange Brew was entertaining and will be appreciated by fans of the urban fantasy genre (but be warned that it definitely rides the line between urban fantasy and paranormal romance). ( )
  les121 | May 23, 2010 |
Seeing Eye
By Patricia Briggs
38 pages

After reading just this short story, I can not believe I have not read any story by Patricia. I have her first story for Mercy Thompson on my shelf and I am going to have to get to it soon.

Moira Keller, a good witch in Seattle, gets a late night visit the day before Halloween (also called Samhain) from a man - or werewolf - in need of help against Them. Tom is looking for his kidnapped "gifted" brother, Jon. Everything Tom told Moira rang true with her as it matched her dreams. Moira believes Jon was kidnapped as a sacrifice on Halloween for Kouro Samhain and his coven.

I really enjoyed the unexpected turns and events of the story. This story has made purchasing the anthology worth it. And this was only the first story.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Last Call
By Jim Butcher
36 pages

Harry Dresden decides he needs a beer after a hard day of work... wizarding, and walks into his favorite friendly bar to an ugly mess of unconscious or dead bodies. What caused these people to go violent at the same time? Was there something in the beer Mac brews? Harry Dresden and Sergent Karrin Murphy are on the case.

I believe this story is from Jim's Dresden Series. This story reads to me as an extention of the series. I didn't feel there was much world building or character growth in this short story, just a mystery under foot. In the end I liked the action of the mystery and the little secrets Harry and Murph are afraid to admit to each other, or even their selves. But not my favorite story in the book.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Death Warmed Over
By Rachel Caine
44 pages

Holly Anne Caldwell, a witch whos the best at what she does - resurrection, hates doing ressurections on a work night, as they take all night and no sleep doesn't help the day job. But Sam asks her to do one on Thursday, it's Monday. A long-term resurrection for the Police Department can't be a good thing, and on such short notice. Will she take it? The person she is to resurrect has a long strong history himself, and a short history with Holly too.

I really enjoyed this short story. I Rachel has me wanting to read of the short time Holly and Andrew spent together taking down their bad guy from before. I loved the way the characters where developed in this short story and connected with each other. I really could feel a connection with them as well. I am definitely going to have to get a few more of her books after reading this short story. Great read!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Vegas Odds
By Karen Chance
55 pages

Accalia de Croissets, Lia as she likes to be called, is waken by the constant banging at her front door. When she opens it, still half asleep and dazed from lack of sleep of over working with the mage war going on, to find a delivery man hidden behind several long stem roses. Thinking the roses were from her Were boyfriend, Cyrus, Lia was caught off gaurd by the attack. As the atack goes on her boyfriend shows up and the attackers are her mage students. Why are they attacking her? Who is behind this?

This read is of Lia and her powers along with history more than of Cyrus. You do learn more of them as a couple though. This read, I believe is to be read before the short story in Inked though. I have been enjoying Karen's reads on Lia and Cyrus.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hecate's Golden Eye
By P.N. Elrod
42 pages

Charles Escott, of Escott Agency doing Private Detective type work, and his partner Jack Fleming, who is a vampire, wait in a dark alley for a potential client - Chicago 1937. Miss Mabel Weaver shows up asking them to help her steal back the necklace pendant called the Hecate's Golden Eye, which is a valuable yellow diamond, that was stolen from her by her cousin and replaced with a glass fake. However, there is a curse on the Eye... any man who touches it dies.

This was another story for me that was slower and the clues given where strong giveaways to the plot. I had the mystery of what was going on figured out before the end of the story. The character of Jack Fleming is from the authors series of the Vampire Files.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bacon
By Charlaine Harris
32 pages

Dahlia, a vampire, waits at Seeley's Restaurant for Kathy Aelnides, The Circe witch, whom is late. Dahlia with the help of a few friends have worked very, very hard to get this appointment. Dahlia wanted to have Kathy help punish the people who killed her werewolf husband. Not sure if Kathy, an elementary teacher during the day, is really The Circe real deal and able to do as Dahlia is needing - Dahlia and her friends look into her more. And there is a little twist to go with the story here.

I smiled while reading this short story and enjoyed the lightness of the story. It was a fun read and had a plot that help through from the beginning. I liked the ability of the characters and the way they all connected.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Signatures of the Dead
By Faith Hunter
33pages

A whole family is butchered and Brax wants to get the killers. Brax needs to know for sure if its vampires, if they are okay, and where they sleep to get justice. Molly is a unique Earth Witch and could help. But could it hurt her?

Being a short of thirty-three pages, I felt the suspense and couldn't wait to get to the end to see where they story went. As the story went the plot thickened for me. I really felt pulled in to this world with these characters. The characters abilities and limits amazed me. I really liked the way witches were broke down and made a bigger type of character with new rules (for me) along with limits.

This short story introduced me to a character I really liked the idea of, Jane Yellowrock. I am going to have to get into the series with this character: Skinwalker. I enjoyed the Native American heritage behind this character.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ginger
By Caitlin Kittredge
41 pages

Sunny Swann, the reliable of the two cousins and a witch, sat at the back of the courtroom while Luna, detective in Nocturne City PD and a werewolf, was on the stand. During the recess a male witch enters the courtroom and Sunny and Luna now protect the man they are trying to put behind bars along with everyone else in the courtroom. After Sunnys display of magick she gets offered, from an unknown source, to use her powers elsewhere. Why are they after this person whose to be going to jail and who wants Sunny for what reason?

I liked the all the characters, the main cousins mostly - Luna and Sunny. I got a glimpse of the Nocturne City series and enjoyed it. I will have to find a way to get this series in on the reading schedule. I like the sound of magick in this city and the action that takes place in this short story.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dark Sins
By Jenna Maclaine
33 pages

Cin a witch turned vampire three years ago by Michael, unusually retained her witch powers - yet she doesn't have control of them and has premonitions. Cin and Michael are on a holiday in Venice with their friends Devlin and Justine when they are attacked by a dark Wizard and his witches. When Cin wakes up she is on a stone floor surrounded by a ward and her friends are laying on alters. Why are they wanted in this town?

This story starts off with action of both sexual and physical battle. I enjoyed how the action kept moving through this story. This short story also had a start, climax, and an end to the story. There was a creation of a god and plans for the future with these characters. I look forward to other stories here in this world, whether in anthologies or full books. I am going to have to find this series of Cin Craven now. ( )
  MelHay | Apr 21, 2010 |
I bought this last year for Patricia Briggs' entry "Seeing Eye," but on found the majority of the stories to be fairly readable. On re-reading it recently (and discovering I hadn't actually entered it into LT!) I like a couple of the stories better having become more familiar with their characters in the meantime.

Standouts for me other than "Seeing Eye?" (Which, by the way, fills in some backstory on a couple of minor characters that show up in one of the full length books quite nicely.)

Rachel Caine's "Death Warmed Over" made me want to track down a full length book and read more about the escapades of the necromancer and her dead not-quite lover.

Karen Chance's "Vegas Odds" - it was nice to catch up with Cyrus and Accalia again now that I've encountered them elsewhere. The storyline is starting to make a bit more sense!

"Bacon" by Charlaine Harris was clever, but her characters seemed a bit stiffer and less sympathetic than others of her characters, and the reasoning behind the plot felt a bit muddled.

And "Dark Sins" by Jenna Maclaine begged for a bit more information - another author whose work I'll have to look for.

All things considered, I guess I'd say this anthology accomplished its purpose - LOL! ( )
  SunnySD | Apr 5, 2010 |
Showing 1-25 of 43 (next | show all)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
164 wanted
2 pay5 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.58)
0.5 1
1 1
1.5 1
2 14
2.5 4
3 65
3.5 17
4 79
4.5 1
5 28

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,136,641 books! | Top bar: Always visible