I bought this anthology only because of Ilona Andrews story; Magic Tests. As usual, I found a few more authors to put on my list. My TBR Pile is NOT happy! ;-)
I will talk about a little about each story and in the end I will give my opinion on the entire book. Enjoy! As always, no spoilers. Or at least I will try.
PLAYING POSSUM BY CHARLAINE HARRIS:
This is a short story about Sookie and the day she had promised to come to Hunter's school with cupcakes. The day turns out be a little more exciting than expected, since the secretary's ex-boyfriends suddenly turns up, wanting to "talk" to her and bringing all kind of hell.
Can Sookie and Hunter's teacher save the day without anyone getting hurt?
Warning: Involves creative use of apples and some very convincing acting.
SPELLCASTER 2.0 BY JONATHAN MAEBERRY:
What happens if one of the biggest non-believers is on a job to collect, translate and catalog every spell, conjugation, everything that had with magic, believes and religion to do into a program. A program, to tell why man believes, to see if there is anything in common through it all.
But one really should be careful when messing with spells and conjugation of old demons... you'll never know what could happen.
ACADEMY FILED TRIP BY DONALD HARSTAD:
A team selected from the police force to go for a course to learn something new. Little do they know only one is interesting for the group of teachers. Picked for something special, there's only one question:
Will she believe before it's too late?
SYMPATHY FOR THE BONES BY MARJORIE M. LIU:
A story about a young girl who lost everything in this world. An old lady takes her in and teach her the trade of Hoodoo. Now she's grown up and need to make her own decision; will she follow the old lady's ways, or find her own path in life.
LOW SCHOOL BY RHYS BOWEN:
What do you do when you suddenly wake up, back in High school with NO recollection of how you got there? Amy Weinstein is in for a wild ride, trying to figure out where she is and how she got there. It's like she's trapped in her worst nightmare, but you should be able to wake from a dream, right?
CALLIE MEET HAPPY BY AMBER BENSON:
Callie has taken over her father's company Death, inc. after his death. Unfortunately, she has NO idea how to make a wormhole and she needs to figure it out fast, before anyone find out, or she will be the laughing stock of the entire company, not to mention her enemies will try and remove her from the post.
So she's stuck in Remedial Wormhole Calling class lead by the ever charming Mrs. Gunwhale.
Follow Callie on her journey to conjure and master the science of making a wormhole.
IPHIGENIA IN AULIS BY MIKE CAREY:
What happens when everything is changed? What if you were something ...different than the adults you see every day? If you were being locked inside a room and only could leave it strapped to a wheelchair? When you had the chance to make a difference, to make a choice - your OWN choice, what would you choose?
A different story about life after the world ended and how people react to the aftermath.
GOLDEN DELICIOUS BY FAITH HUNTER:
Rick is an ex-cop. Not by choice, but by necessity. He was bitten by a where-panther, caught by a werewolf pack and tortured. Now he will always feel the need to turn when the full moon is there. Deemed to be dangerous for regular people, he was booted from the force.
Now the PsyLED wants to try him on with a few other...creatures. Not everything is all roses and honey, one of the creatures that are a part of Rick's new team was with the werewolf pack who caught Rick...
Will they be able to work together and stay with the PsyLED or will everything go straight to hell?
MAGIC TESTS BY ILONA ANDREWS:
Remember Julie? I wanted to know what happened after Magic Slays, what would happen to Julie, this shows us a little bit of it.
Kate have been trying to get Julie enrolled into a school - many times. Each and every time, she has run off or caused enough trouble to get herself kicked out. Julie doesn't see the necessity with school. All she wants is to be at Cutting Edge, the office Kate and Andrea is running.
This time it's different. Kate hasn't taken Julie to this school to enroll her, but to get her to help the principal at the school. A student is missing and Julie is put on the case to solve it. Soon she finds herself deep into new and different magic and maybe even in bigger trouble than expected.
AN INTRODUCTION TO JEWISH MYTH AND MYSTICISM BY STEVE HOCKENSMITH:
Professor Abrams is teaching when a friend of his comes into class; Professor Mossler. Mossler is afraid, her ex-boyfriend/husband is back into town and given the way he treated her the last time... Abrams' tries to comfort her by giving her the advice to follow her original plan; to leave for the weekend with er friends. And maybe, just maybe things looks different Monday morning.
This story takes a different twist on the Jewish and Christian believes and has a wonderful twist. Maybe there's a reason the professor was so good at remembering dates...
VSI BY NANCY HOLDER:
Claire and Jackson are both FBI agents, working as partners. Both have been ordered out on a top secret hush, hush project for the feds. They're put back on the school bench to learn about... vampires. Yup, you read right. Vampires. But not everything is as it seems and soon Claire's world is turned upside down.
THE BAD HOUR BY THOMAS E. SNIEGOSKI:
This is a short story set in Sniegoski's Remy Chandler series.
Remy and Marlowe is taking it easy in the office, catching up on paperwork when they're interrupted by a knock on the door. In steps Jacqueline Kinney, dog trainer with an extraordinary problem: something is scaring her dogs, and she can't train because they all freak out.
Remy decides to go undercover with Marlowe as new attendants at a beginner course. Remy and Marlowe combined is a force to be reckoned with and both quickly realizes something is terribly wrong.
PIRATE DAVE AND THE CAPTAIN'S GHOST BY TONI L.P. KELNER:
Joyce has been invited to Talbot Seminar for werewolves. Joyce is different than the other weres. One; she got bitten AND she survived. Two; she's not affiliated with a pack. Three; she lives in wonderful, glorious sin with a vampire. :-)
It makes her different, yes, but the other wolves are mostly interested in her, who she is as a person. Right until the lecture with Dr. Hogencamp. Dr. Hogencamp is a supernatural researcher who has a ghost on her "team". A ghost who left this world in a very gruesome way: killed by a vampire. Guess who's just signed up for a personal haunting? As the different events plays out having a ghost haunting you is suddenly the least of Joyce's problems..
Overall I enjoyed this anthology. There was a lot of new authors (well, new to me) and there are a few of them that I will be looking a bit closer at. Not that my TBR Pile will be thanking me... It's scary on its own.
Magic Tests was - as expected my favorite, but Kelner's second short story about Pirate Dave and Joyce was just as wonderful. I still remember the first short story she wrote about them in "Death's Excellent Vacation" and I've been wondering about them since. :-)
Donald Harstad's Academy Field Trip was a great surprise. It was his first attempt on a short story and paranormal and he pulled it off! Wonderful!
Should you buy this only because of Magic Tests by Ilona Andrews or Playing Possom by Charlaine Harris? No. You should buy it to meet new authors as well as old and to dip a toe back into school. A different kind of school. The one where there just might be a magical creature lurking on the other side of the door.show more
by Ed Green