Oct 22, 2014

ARC Review--Otherworld Nights by Kelley Armstrong

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.

The stories included are:

1) Demonology - Adam's mother discovers what he is
2) Stalked - Clay/Elena honeymoon story from "My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon"
3) Hidden - SubPress 2012 Elena/Clay novella
4) Twilight - a Cass story from "Many Bloody Returns"
5) Chivalrous - Reese's backstory from SubPress's long sold-out "Tales of Dark Fantasy 2" (the Dec'14 SubPress graphic novella picks up this storyline)
6) Lucifer's Daughter - Hope/Karl story from "Blood Lite II: Overbite"
7) From Russia with Love - Elena bonus story included with hardcover of "Thirteen"
8) Vanishing Act - brand-new Savannah/Adam novella set after "Thirteen"

I received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

I am always ecstatic to return to Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series! I can never get tired of it! Otherworld Nights combines a handful of Kelley's short stories and novellas for some of our beloved characters! I admit, I haven't read all of these prior to this book--really just two, numbers 4 and 7 on this list above--and having them in this nifty anthology was awesome! I loved these characters to pieces and sometimes it's hard trying to buy every anthology or SubPress graphic novel--which are pretty picey--ever just to get them all. So I am very happy with these anthologies! And a bonus? A BRAND NEW story set after Thirteen with Adam and Savannah! It doesn't get much better than this!

Demonlogy was the first story and was a rather short one and would be my least favorite of the anthology. Perhaps because it was so short, and there's not a whole lot going on. That and it's been a few years and many, many books since I was last reading this series, I couldn't exactly recall one of the key characters. Here, Adam's mom seeks the help of a doctor to find out what's going on with her young son, Adam. His fascination with fire isn't really the sort that can be labeled pyromaniac. And Dr. Robert Vasic supposedly has the answers she needs. Again, I couldn't quite remember this particular character, so perhaps that's why the story was just meh. But young Adam was so cute!  

Rating 2.5/5 stars 

Stalked was probably one of my favorites. Not only was it Clay and Elena taking their much needed and kind of delayed honeymoon, it took place in St. Louis! Naturally I was laughing at the jokes saying there wasn't much to do there. And why did we choose this city again? Because really, after the Arch, what else is there? I honestly couldn't tell you! Anyway, the honeymoon gets a interrupted when Clay--our narrator--notices a mutt following them with his eyes set on Elena. And naturally, this doesn't make Clay a happy camper! Violence ensues! 

Rating 5/5 stars

Chivalrous was another good story and another new to me one. I admit, I couldn't quite remember Reese so well, but later in another story he becomes a little more familiar to me. This is the story of how he fell in love with a girl from school. It was a sweet budding romance kind of thing but soon they both learn that the other carries heavy secrets and that creates a problem or two. This one was very exciting and because of my lack of memory skills (or really just reading too much of everything!) the end came as quite a shocker! I wasn't expecting it and it was definitely one of the more heart racing stories!

Rating 5/5 stars

Lucifer's Daughter brings us back to Hope and Karl, another couple I can't help but love! While attending a museum party in Hope's honor, they stumble upon a demon that's on the loose and must get him back in his prison before he kills everyone at the party in Hope's honor. I love the dynamics between Hope and Karl! They can be pretty funny at times. Especially when Karl can't always seem to let his thieving ways go, yet the love they have for one another never wavers and it's definitely a tale with sweet moments, with an even sweeter ending!

Rating 4/5 stars

Hidden was yet another favorite for me, because you guessed it, it's an Elena and Clay story! This time Elena is back at the helm! And I think I even have this one in my TBR Mountain of Doom in its own little book format! So one less book in the mountain now! Yay! Anyway, this one brings us to Elena, Clay and their children Kate and Logan getting away for the holidays to celebrate Christmas their own way. But their location presents a dire problem. A mutt is paying too close attention to them. And what's worse is that there have been a few disappearances going around, but the people always turn up. Except in one case where it was a dead body that showed up which puts Elena and Clay on the case and some babysitters to the rescue to watch the kids.

It was a great story too, because I just love Elena and Clay so! And their kids are adorable and funny too! Elena's pressing issue in this one also deals with whether she and Clay should tell the twins about werewolves and that they (Elena and Clay) are ones and that maybe someday they would be too. It was a perfect read since we're getting close to the holidays. And the mystery element was fantastic! It really took me by surprise too, as I had assumed it was going one way before it went in the other direction entirely!

Rating 5/5 stars

Vanishing Act is the newest novella to the mix and tells us a story about Adam and Savannah post Thirteen. Basically life is moving forward for them and of course, so is work. But after taking care of a demon possession case, there is more to solve than just the cleanup. There's a teenage boy with special abilities who has become a hot commodity for all the Cabals. Adam and Savannah do their best to help, but the problem is larger than they thought. To add trouble to the mix, there are some relationship woes between them that makes you wonder if they were ever meant to be together or not! Definitely yet another heart pounding read from the mind of Kelley Armstrong and one I absolutely loved as well!

Rating 5/5 stars

So pretty much this anthology was awesome! The Otherworld series has always been a favorite and I'm glad that despite the books being over, the stories aren't quite finished yet. Short stories or novellas, it's still a peek inside what has been on my all time favorite Urban Fantasy series and I so can't wait for the next installment!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

Otherworld Nights releases (in the US) October 28, 2014

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