A Sultry Collection of Fantasy Short Stories
Edited by P. N. Elrod
St. Martin’s Griffin, $14.99, 368 pages
Short story compilation books are popular in the sci-fi and fantasy genres, and for good reason, as they can help introduce authors to new readers in addition to giving readers a good sample of the writer’s style. Some of these books are fun and entertaining, while others seem more random and haphazard. Luckily, the P.N. Elrod-edited book Hex Appeal is one of the better offerings. The stories are all entertaining, and it’s refreshing that the book isn’t so loaded with stories that it becomes overwhelming for the reader. There are many standouts in the collection. “Retribution Clause” by Ilona Andrews gives a new take on the idea of mercenaries; “Bigfoot on Campus” by Jim Butcher features the always sarcastic wizard Harry Dresden; “Holly’s Balm” by Rachel Caine looks at love and the fear of loss; the always cheeky Simon R. Green and his Undead Boy character feature in “How Do You Feel;” and “Cherry Kisses” by Erica Hayes features a con artist of the most devious kind. Fans of fantasy will enjoy this book.
Reviewed by Barbara Cothern