Title: Otherworld Nights: An Anthology
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Penguin Group Plume
Publication date: October 28th 2014
Page Count: 368 pages
Age Rating: Adult (semi-explicit sexual scenes, blood, violence)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received an ARC to review
Publisher’s page: Otherworld Nights
Rare and never-before published short stories featuring fan favorites from the New York Times bestselling series
It’s been more than ten years since Kelley Armstrong began the Otherworld series and drew legions of fans to a realm roamed by witches, werewolves, necromancers, vampires, and half-demons. Many of the novels have become bestselling favorites, but not all of the Otherworld adventures have been easy to find. At last, Otherworld Nights shares short stories that have previously been available only online or in obscure collections. Fans have long been clamoring for this anthology and they won’t be disappointed—they’ll find plenty of surprises are in store.
I have a confession to make: I’ve never read any of the books in the Otherworld series. I’ve always meant to, but the closest I’ve come to it is watching the Bitten TV show, based on the book of the same name, airing on the Syfy channel. I decided to read this collection of short stories as a way to get a little of sample of the much acclaimed series and see if it fit my taste, as one might buy a sample assortment of a popular brand of chocolates before investing in a five pound box based on word of mouth alone.
I’m happy to say Otherworld Nights: An Anthology completely lived up to the hype I’ve been hearing and I feel an absolute need to get my hands on the novels in this series as soon as possible. Populated with extraordinary, and yet fascinatingly flawed, strong paranormal characters who’ve overcome some terrible circumstances, the short stories presented in this collection really drew me in and had me wishing for a chance to get to know these characters better and spend more time in their stories (lucky for me there are several full length novels for me to do so 😉 ) It’s a great introduction to the series, and as someone who’s never read a single book in the series, I can also say that this anthology works in and of itself as a standalone collection as well – I wasn’t lost at all since the author gives small pieces of series history and backstory when needed.
I recommend this anthology to anyone who loves urban fantasy, from those getting their first taste of the Otherworld series to hardcore fans (I’m sure this collection would feel like Christmas come early for them 😀 ), and anyone in between. Werewolves, witches, half-demons – there’s a bit of something for everyone. I can’t wait to read more from this author and can’t believe I haven’t yet.
The short stories in this collection aren’t season specific with the exception of Hidden, by far the longest story in the anthology (it’s actually a novella), which takes place at Christmas and features Elena, a bitten female werewolf, wanting to give her kids the kind of traditional holiday she never had while growing up in foster care. One of the important traditions she clings to is baking gingerbread cookies together. Since Christmas is right around the corner, and gingerbread cookies are my favorite as well, I’m recommending Coffee AM Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Flavored Coffee for that awesome spicy/sweet creamy gingerbread flavor.