Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Tales of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong

More of New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong's most popular Otherworld characters get a chance to shine in this second short fiction collection, showcasing critical moments from many different lives.

Kelley Armstrong's readers have proven themselves a dedicated fan-base: her previous hardcover collection of short stories, Men of the Otherworld, appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, and Canadian lists too - despite three of the stories having been available, unedited and for free, for years on Armstrong's website. With a similar format - a handful of reedited stories and one wholly original novella - Tales of the Otherworld explores the lives of some of Armstrong's most popular characters, giving readers glimpses into how Clay and Elena met, how Eve and Kristof first hooked up (a brand new novella), and how Lucas and Paige got married. Kelley is a superstar of the genre, andTales of the Otherworld is a great way to begin 2010.
Normally I am not a big fan of short stories. I would much rather read a novel if I had the choice; but there are certain authors that can pull it off and make me love the short story form. Kelley Armstrong is one such author. I hate reading long things on a computer screen, so I am thrilled that she has taken the time to edit her stories and release them for a wider audience. For those that are fans of the series you will appreciate how this book fills in a few loose ends. They aren't something that you had to know, but you are happy to learn about it when given the chance.

If you read my review of Frostbitten, that I did with Marg, you will know that I am a werewolf fan. I love Elena as a character, but I think the short story in this collection really showed me who Clay was. I have always liked him, but you very rarely get to see things from his point-of-view, so you miss out on things. The short story included in this collection shows you a side of Clay that doesn't really come across in the novels and tells you how it is that Clay and Elena met. When Bitten takes place that is all in the past, so it was nice to get a chance to back in time with the characters.

Anyway, there are lots of other stories, too. There is the story of how Aaron, the vampire, came to be the character that we see occasionally in the series. He is in Waking the Witch, actually. It would be a good time to do a book about the vampires. I would love to see a whole book about Cassandra because she is such an intriguing character when she does show up. The next book is going to be about Savannah again, but maybe the one after that. Speaking of Savannah, the next story in the collection is about Eve. I really like Eve; so I was interested in a story about her and Kristof. It's a novella, really. It tells how they met and how things turned out the way that they did. We know Kristof as a high-official for one of the cabals, but this shows the more 'human' side of him.

The next story in the collection is about the werewolves. It's actually about Logan, who I have to admit I hardly even remembered. The refresher, and his appearance in one of the other stories, makes me want to reread the earlier books in the series to refresh my memory further. After that is the novella about how Clay and Elena met. I think it was my favourite one, but really they were all good. I all ready talked about it above and if you want to know more you will just have to read it. This is followed by a short story told from Jeremy's point-of-view. It is also from the beginning of the series and it mainly shows events that have all ready happened from Jeremy side of things.

"Wedding Bell Hell" is a story about Lucas and Paige. I think the title of the story sort of sums up the point of the story quite well. One of the ways that we learn about Kristof is through Sean, his son, who appears from time to time in the books. He is actually a central character in the next story and I found it really interesting. I enjoy how Armstrong might be writing about very 'different' things, but she still manages to tackle instances that can pertain to anyone. This story is one such example of that and I think she handles it really well. Plus, it is sort of 'to be continued', so I think it is fitting because Armstrong is in the middle of a witches story arc at the moment. This story actually fills in a few blanks about Waking the Witch. Nothing that you have to know, but now that I know I am glad that I do.

So, there is bit of clues about what to expect from the stories in this collection. If you want to know more you will have to give the book a read! You will not be disappointed!

Thanks to Random House Canada for sending me a copy of this book!

This book counts toward the R.I.P. V challenge.


  1. I wasn't a big fan of short stories until I read Jhumpa Lahiri ... then I saw what can be done with the form. How neat that she put her writings into a collection that is easier on the eyes.

  2. Jenners: I am pretty sure I have a book by Jhumpa Lahiri on my TBR pile. I will have to check and see what you are talking about. :)

  3. I will have to keep my eye out for this one. I read something of hers long ago but never continued with any of these series. As a BIG fan of short stories I am always looking for good short story collections to add to the tbr list.

  4. So many great options of RIP!

  5. Carl: Guys should read Kelley Armstrong. I only know of girls that do...

    Care: Yep! :)

  6. Whoa, it sounds intense and perfect for the RIP V! Don't you love it when a publishing house sends you a book, and you love it?! I don't normally go for short stories either, but these sound enticing.

  7. Bellezza: Kelley Armstrong is sort of a given for love factor, but yes, it's great!

  8. I really need to catch up with this series (and about a couple dozen or so others . . .)

  9. Literary Feline: If I read one more book I am all caught up! That's a big deal for me! Unfortunately I can't FIND the one book, or I would be reading it right now for that sense of accomplishment...


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