Sunday, October 17, 2010

Review: Must Love Hellhounds Harris/Singh/Andrews/ Brooks

This little beauty was a grocery store find.

Must Love Hellhounds
Here's the Synopsis (stolen from
In these four original novellas, readers follow paranormal bodyguards into Lucifer's realm, where they'll encounter his fearsome four-legged pets; seek out a traitor in the midst of a guild of non-lethal vampire trackers, one who intends to eradicate the entire species of bloodsuckers; find out why the giant three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades has left the underworld for the real world; and embark on a perilous search for the kidnapped niece of a powerful vampire alongside her blind-and damn sexy-companion and a hellhound.

First, I have to say, I love the idea of novellas. Realistically, I don't have time to read or even vet everything that I want to read. My "to be read" pile gets larger and larger and NaNo looms closer and closer. This type of novella collection is great to be able to get a flavor for the world building of a particular author and to find out whether he or she belongs at the top of the pile, the bottom...or in the "I bet so and so will love this for Christmas" pile.

That said, the stories in this collection are goodish, but there are definitely winners and also-rans in this bunch.

I loved Nalini Singh's Angel's Judgment. It pulled me directly into her world and I wanna know more! Her hero is HOT her heroine is strong and while I got a great sense of her world, I never felt bogged down by back story.

My next favorite was Blind Spot by Meljean Brook. Again I didn't feel inundated with backstory, though this one came with a bit of baggage. Blind Spot did the best job of using the "hellhound" prompt, though I think that Sir Pup might be a regular character in her series. Ms. Brooks manages to put a long history between the Female MC and Male MC-- without the Female MC being aware of it.

The other two were slightly less successful, mostly because they felt like throwaways to me. I have not read anything else by Ilona Andrews, but it seems to me that the POV character in Magic Mourns, Andrea Nash, is generally a side kick to the oft mentioned Kate Daniels. I might feel differently if I had read the series ( I probably would actually- i would be all- Oh! I love Andrea...and look she's got her own story! Sweet!) But as it was, I had a hard time connecting to her. She spent a lot of time not quite bitching about being in her BFF's shadow...but she couldn't get anything done without an assist form the ever off screen Kate. The world is really interesting, though. A world where magic rises like the tide,rendering all mechanical devices useless... I might have to dip my toe in.

The last one to review is The Britlingens go to Hell by Charlaine Harris. First-- I should make this clear. I am a Sookie Stackhouse fan. I have met Ms. Harris and she is a wonderful, charming, fascinating woman. I bought Must Love Hellhounds because her name was on the cover. That said. I did not love The Britlingens go to Hell. This story comes fro the "Sookieverse", but the characters come from an alternate reality. Explaining all of this and how it connects to the Sookieverse and how the society works and mech and magic and how Hell isn't really hell... It ends up bogged down in a ton of back story that was difficult to slog through.

Which is a shame, because I dig me some Britlingen warrior women!

So? Did you read it? Do you love these authors? Do you have a novella collection I just has to buy? Lemme know!

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