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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Strange Brew Edited by P.N. Elrod

Sometime back, I had caught up George R. R. Martin in his A Song of Ice and Fire series.  It was a moment of ultimate triumph and subsequent withdrawal.  After months of knights, dragons and damsels in distress (and dat dress and sometimes no dress at all)  I was left wanting more but, GRRM was going at his usual pace in releasing the next book.  It was then that I discovered that he also edited anthologies with Gardner Dozois and so began my appreciation of that type of publication.  I can get stories from familiar writers and even familiar worlds and characters.  I can also be exposed to different writers and worlds without having to commit to the whole book.  All of this is what led me to check out Strange Brew.

I first heard of this book when I read Side Jobs by Jim Butcher.  I loved the story he had submitted for it (containing one of the sexiest scenes containing Karin Murphy to date) and had high hopes for the rest of the book.  There was a slight disappointment in the fact that Mr. Butcher's was the most creative on the use of the theme.  Most of the stories we well written but, there seemed to be a lack of separating from the obvious path.  Now, that may have been intentional on the part of P.N. Elrod.  If it was, well, I think it was a missed opportunity.  Many of the other anthologies I have read contain a central theme though the tropes as well as genres may be mixed.

Uses of the theme aside, many of the stories were well written. With names like Faith Hunter, Patricia Briggs and Charlaine Harris, finding at least one story to love  Any readers who are unfamiliar  with these authors , get  a good sample of those worlds they have created.   For those worlds you are already acquainted with, these can be some interesting side stories or even gap fillers for the regular series.

All in all, this anthology has what I want most from anthologies: introduction to different authors and characters and visiting with familiar characters outside of the regular series.  There are many adult situations, violence and language so, it earns a firm PG13 bordering on R rating from me.

Spin the wheel, take a chance and read this anthology.  You may find another author to   add to your favorites list.


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Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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