This is a collection of 13 short stories written by authors such as Rachel Caine (who also edited the book), Rachel Vincent, Jeane C Stein, etc. As the title of the book, ‘Chicks Kick Butt’, suggests, these stories are all about women who kick butt, they take the lead in any adventure in front of them and they mostly manage to save themselves from any danger they encounter. Some of the stories are set in worlds and book series by the authors, others are complete standalones, so there should be something for everyone.
I’ll go through the stories one by one and then let you know my favourite and least favourite.
Shiny by Rachel Caine. This is part of the weather warden series which I haven’t read any of as yet. Having said that, I really enjoyed this story and loved the fact that it’s about djinn and weather magical manipulation, which is something new to me.
Vino Veritas by Karen Chance. Dory the dhampir has made some pretty scary enemies called the Leaping Tigers which she has to deal with fast! Another new type of creature the dhampir in this book, which is the offspring of a vampire and human breeding.
Hunt by Rachel Vincent. This is a traditional camping trip gone horrifyingly wrong when Abby Wade the werecat and her friends find out what it’s like to be hunted. This was pretty bloody and explicit, not something I would want to read again.
Monsters by Lilith SaintCrow. A vampire seeks vengeance on the slaughter of her charges and takes a werewolf along for the ride. This didn’t sit well with me, the writing style was a little too emo and there was too much telling not enough doing.
Vampires Prefer Blondes by P.N. Elrod. Two 1930s actresses have to battle a terrifying vampire using only a broomstick and their knowledge of vampire lore. This is written in a noir style which was interesting but it didn’t really catch my attention.
Nine-Tenths Of The Law by Jenna Black. Morgan Kingsley is an exorcist possessed by the king of the demons who is called in to rid a young girl of a demon but all is not as it seems. This was a new type of urban fantasy for me and I really enjoyed it. This is a series I would like to read more about.
Double Dead by Cheyenne McCray. A group of metamorphs tries to take over the paranorm council. This story I didn’t enjoy as I found it too confusing with not a lot of explanation as to the different creatures or much world building.
A Rose By Any Other Name Would Still Be Red by Elizabeth A. Vaughan. A mercenary is sent to ensure a slave trader stops his business and ends up in a much scarier situation than she imagined. I enjoyed this story as it combined high fantasy with urban fantasy creatures which was new to me. This is a series I would like to read more from.
Superman by Jeanne C Stein. Illegal immigrants are being found drained of blood feet from the American border so a vampire is called in to find out what’s happening. I felt that the author assumed a lot of knowledge about the characters from the reader, which I didn’t have. This made me feel I was missing things from the story.
Monster Mash by Carole Nelson Banks. A young woman is called in to uncover the truth behind an eerie angelic voice singing in a casino. I didn’t really get on with this story, I felt I don’t know enough about black and white movies to have got the best from it.
Wanted: Dead Or Alive by L.A. Banks. A new vampire shows she means business by trying to protect herself from the old guard. This story was ok, but it didn’t grab me. Plus there was a gratuitous sex scene which I felt was unnecessary.
Mist by Susan Krinard. Norse mythology comes alive when Loki and other evil gods and monsters try to come back to Earth to bring evil with them. Only a handful of brave Norse heroes have survived Ragnarok and are available to help defend Earth. I really enjoyed this story and would love to read more from this series if there are any.
Beyond The Pale by Nancy Holder. A group of young people are trained to stop the Great Hunt coming from Fairy to steal human babies and replace them with changelings. I really enjoyed the beginning of this story but hated the ending as it really left me hanging and wanting to know more.
Overall, this wasn’t a bad collection and there are some authors I really want to look into to see what else they’ve written.
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(pub: TOR/Forge, 2011. 349 page enlarged paperback. Price: $14.99 (US). ISBN: 978-0-7653-2577-8)
check out website: www.tor.com