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After a recent trip to the library I managed to get some real bargains via the end of book sale my local library runs occasionally, with my son being a real little hunter, sniffing this particular vampire book out for me!
The book in question is - "Micah and strange candy".
This book is split into what I initially thought was two parts, the first being a short story called Micah, which (being an avid reader of the Laurell K Hamilton vampire hunter series of books "Anita Blake") I know to be one of Anita's live in lovers, and a were leopard to boot.
The story follows Anita, a necromancer (someone who can make the dead rise from their graves, and control all dead beings, including vampires), as she goes to a job where she has to raise a corpse as part of an ongoing murder investigation, a useful thing to be able to do if the murderer has yet to be identified, with them being able to actually tell you who did it!
This is however not as important as the fact that this is the first time she has travelled cross country with her being alone with one of her lovers, a thing that she has never done before, sex she can deal with, but intimacy is not one of her forte's, how will things go?
To be honest this is not the best story I have ever read, with it being so short there is really very little that can be done with the characters, though of course she does manage to get naked and do the dirty ( a few times!) in quite a short space of time, this book will not make any sense to anyone that is unfamiliar with the Anita Blake series of books, so as an additional story to the series is ok.
There is a very gratuitous sex scene in the story, so of course is only aimed at adults, with there being plenty of guts and gore thrown in for good measure, this is the sort of thing that only a real fan could appreciate.
The rest of the book I soon realised, is split into 14 very short stories, some only being around 3-4 pages long, with there only being a couple a few pages more.
There are a plethora of different theme's covered within these stories, most of them being one's that the author had written and had published before hitting it big, so felt indulgent enough to release them in a book form.
Those who seek forgiveness
A lust of cupids
The edge of the sea
A scarcity of sea monsters
A token for Celandine
A clean sweep
The curse maker
House of wizards
Here be dragons
The girl who was infatuated with death.
Each story has a collective theme running through them, with this being the unusual, with many of the stories being about things that you would struggle coming up with even in your wildest imaginations.
Many though are extremely macabre in theme, and almost always involving a mythical creature of some sorts, with there even being a couple of early Anita Blake stories, though both of them almost being like a background to the books I have already read, almost like reading about what she has done that hadn't been documented before, I enjoyed these a lot, though of course were extremely gory in content.
There are a couple of lighter themed stories, with my favourite one's being "a clean sweep" and "a lust of cupids".
A clean sweep is about a super hero, that now his arch nemesis Dr Grime, has all but retired, is finding his usefulness diminishing, with him having more calls to clean peoples houses for parties, than cleaning up the mess his nemesis would have caused, his ultimate revenge is fantastic though, and adds the idea that even the good get pushed too far at times!
A lust of cupids, portrays cupids as predatory creatures that spend all day trying desperately to couple people up, with the ever increasingly frightened 30 something's that don't really want love at that time, having to hide out every time the cupids are around.
There is a fantastic scene where two mum's have bribed the cupids with candy (the best thing to offer the greedy cherubs!), to shoot there children with love arrows and finally get them married off, with there being a real twist at the end of the tale.
There are a couple of these sort stories that also delve into another of Laurell K Hamilton's character past, with these being stories revolving around and staring Sidra Ironfist, who became a warrior of sorts in a mythical time and land, after her younger twin sisters were taken and killed in the name of magic.
In both of the stories she is accompanied by her ever faithful Milon, a bard who recalls all of her feats and trips through song, and a sword called leech, who will fight to the death for her in return for a blood payment, hers, the person she is fighting, it really doesn't mind!
These stories are not only completely original in theme, but have you engrossed from the start, though unfortunately from what I can gather have only ever been short stories for magazines, a full book is surely in order!
The last of the stories that gripped me entirely was "here be dragons", with the theme of the story not being very forthcoming from the title.
This story follows Jasmine, a former member of a school that still haunts her dreams, well, more than she haunts other peoples dreams.
Jasmine is a wanted woman, and one that has almost every dangerous criminal mind currently incarcerated desperate for her to die, why?
Jasmine has a particular gift, with that being able to go into peoples dreams and twist them to her own devices, thus she is employed by the prison service to try and rehabilitate very dangerous criminals, nothing more sobering than being tortured via your dreams by the little girl you raped and killed a few years previously!
There is a problem though, at the afore mentioned school for brilliant minds and special gifts there is a little girl whose talents out weigh her age, and she thinks nothing of terrorising her fellow pupils, though after one dies of fright Jasmine is needed for expertise!
This story feels like a cross between X-Men and the cell (Jennifer Lopez, very disturbing to watch! The film not her!), with some of the themes being the kind I don't like to read about normally, but written in a way that doesn't give too much detail, but still leaves a disturbing air around it, I am undecided as to whether I enjoyed it, but gripped me it certainly did!
Who would enjoy this, well obviously anyone who is familiar with the Anita Blake series of books for a start, but for the shorter stories anyone who likes the mythical and macabre would get a kick from these.
Each short story comes with a full introduction to it's inception, with many of them being rejected initially from being published, but as the authors fame and popularity increased the stories were more readily snapped up, these are certainly an interesting read.
Price wise this is currently available via - www.amazon.co.uk for around the £5.00 mark.
I did enjoy this book, with the first chapter being ok to read, but the short stories were certainly the saving grace, recommended!
Thanks for reading x