Friday, October 22, 2010

Harvest Moon by Mercedes Lackey, Michelle Sagara, & Cameron Haley

A Tangled Web by New York Times bestselling author Mercedes Lackey

Kidnapping Persephone should have been an easy task. But in the Five Hundred Kingdoms, nothing's ever simple - and the wrong blonde goddess is stolen by mistake, leaving Prince Leopold without his new bride. At least until he braves the realm of the dead to get her back..

Cast in Moonlight by New York Times bestselling author Michelle Sagara

Barely a teenager, Kaylin Neya is a thief, a fugitive and an attempted assassin. She also has a smart mouth, sharp wits and mysterious markings on her skin. All of which make her perfect bait for a child prostitution sting in the city of Elantra - if she survives her first meeting with the Hawks!

Retribution by Cameron Haley

In the underworld, there are tricks to killing. Like executing rivals at crossroads so ghosts won't follow you home. But sometimes retribution is hard to avoid - and now a supernatural hit man has a contract on Domino Riley's life. Luckily she knows a thing or two about death..
**I requested this title for review from NetGalley**

I knew I was going to enjoy Sagara's story in this anthology, but it surprised me how much each author's contribution was really unique and entertaining. 

Lackey does a retelling of the Greek myth of Persephone & Hades in her tale, and I liked the way she brought in a different pantheon of Norse gods to round out the cast. It wasn't just the gods and goddesses we were used to seeing - it was Ragnarok and human interference and the relation that all of these different belief systems had to each other. I do have to say though that I didn't really feel like either of the romances mattered so much to the overall story line. Yes at the base of everything was Persephone and Hades, but I never felt like I got to know them enough to care about their happy ending. Neither of them had unpleasant personalities, in fact I think Hades was particularly well done, but I just didn't feel attached to their experience enough. Maybe because this wasn't a romance? Oh well, it just felt a little tacked on even though it was ultimately the basis for everyone's experience in the tale. The story itself was still good and it's a nice addition to the anthology.

Sagara's story was my favorite and it's a prequal to her 'Cast in' series (also published by Luna). She's one of my favorite contemporary fantasy writers and she does an incredible job showing to new and and season readers alike why she's so respected. Even in just a few pages we feel attached to Kaylin and the hardship she's had to go through. Marcus and the Hawklord are very prominent and it's the first time I've really felt like I've gotten into the HL's head a bit. Plenty of mystery, magic, and mayhem and I think it'll do great to inspire those unfamiliar with her work to pick up the next book. 

I'd probably say I was surprised the most by Haley's story. I am not familiar with her 'Mob' series and for the first few chapters I was like 'What is going on....?' The beauty of this story is that about half way through you're stuck, wanting to know how/if  Domino is going to escape a death a curse - a curse that summons the Angel of Death at that. The dialogue is witty and sharp paces and as another prequel, does have me intrigued about how her characters play out. I'm not saying definitively that I'll buy the next book, but I'm for sure going to see if it's available at my local library and request it if it's not.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up!

Series - "Cast in Moonlight" and "Retribution" are prequals to those authors respective series, "A Tangled Web" is a stand alone.