1/8/2010. Contributed by Sue Davies
pub: Bantam Spectra. 387 page hardback. Price: $25.00 (US). ISBN: 978-0-553-80788-2.
check out website: www.bantamdell.com and www.kelleyarmstrong.com
These 'Tales Of The Otherworld' are the back stories to many of the characters that Kelley Armstrong has used in her series of novels about the strange creatures who only appear to be human. There are eight stories and they have previously been available free on the Kelley Armstrong website. Popular demand has seen them issued in hardcopy with the proceeds going to charity
These are substantial stories in length and detail and, if you are already a fan, you should enjoy most of them. I was slightly handicapped by not knowing all of the characters but it was still an enjoyable red. It may make you want you to read more about them in the novels. One of the longest stories is 'Beginnings' or how Clayton met Elena and got bitten by love. In case you're unfamiliar, Clayton is a werewolf. His pack and various characters are featured in 'Bitten' and 'Frostbitten' and in other novels in the series in 'bit' parts. This extended short story explains more about the relationship between Clayton and how Elena becomes a werewolf.
'Bewitched', the other long story, involves the witch Eve Levine and her surprising relationship with son of a sorcerer, Kristoff Nast. No prior knowledge of the characters is necessary here neither.
A complete standalone story, 'The Case Of El Chupacabra', features two characters, the witch Paige Winterbourne and the sorcerer Lucas Cortez, who also appear as main characters in various novels including, 'Industrial Magic' and 'Dime Store Magic' .
A companion piece is 'Men Of The Otherworld' which as you might guess is mainly about the men in the Otherworld.
It's a nice idea that the characters can escape their novels to play around in other stories. It gives us a sense of how their back-stories live in the mind of the author making them fuller and richer on the page. If you are a fan, this is the ideal complement to your collection. If not, you may well want to dip in to see if you like it before you commit to a novel?
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Stephen Hunt's novels - USA