Monday, 8 August 2016

           Otherworld Secrets
                 Kelley Armstrong

Title: Otherworld Secrets
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: October 6th 2015
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN: 978-0-356-50067-6

The collection begins with a brand-new novella featuring werewolf Karl Marsden and half-demon Hope, in what might be Karl's last heist. Meanwhile Elena and Clay are trapped in a wintry small town with a killer on the loose,in the fast-paced and atmospheric novella 'Forbidden'.
In 'Angelic', former black witch and part-time angel Eve is sent on a dangerous mission by the Fates, while necromancer Jamie tackles a ghost with a seriously bad attitude in 'The Ungrateful Dead'. Zoe Takano  is forced to defend her territory in the hugely entertaining 'Zen and the Art of Vampirism'. And in the final novella, 'Counterfeit Magic' Paige Winterbourne and Lucas Cortez  take on a troubling case that will change the couple for ever.


OK, so I'll start this off by telling you a little bit about the series that these novella originate from.
I've been reading my way through Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series for a few years now, and I have to say, I love it!

The series of which these novella draw their origins starts with 'Bitten' (which I'm likely to review later), which is the story of Elena - the only female werewolf.Throughout the Women of the Otherworld series we meet some fantastic female characters,each woman is strong, considered the equal of their men in battle - and their men are by no means weak!

This set of novellas are stand alone stories though they do slot between main books. You don't need to have read the main books (though I highly recommend that you do) to read the novellas as each one gives a small backtrack of sorts. You very quickly get informed of who characters are without it disrupting the story or getting irritating for those who are already familiar with the series.

Karl and Hope's story is one of the novella in this book, and it is a lovely little one at that. The short story focuses around Karl (a werewolf and an ex-thief) being tempted into one last heist, despite being a retired thief,and his dealing with those who try to tempt him. Through the novella you discover Karl retired from the robbery business because he and Hope have a child, and now that she's pregnant for the second time he's ever more determined not to go back; but a client is just as determined to drag Karl back into his old habits. It is a fantastic piece of writing, you really do feel for Karl as he fights against his inner demons, whilst trying to do right by Hope and his child, to be a good man (wolf?)

Elena and Clay come once more into a collection and as always its a great story. This time they get stuck in a small " hick town" when coming to the rescue of a young werewolf, which gets them caught up in small town murders. Morgan (the young werewolf) is a character we've met before but he was in his wolf form when we did; experimenting living as a wolf for a year without changing back to his human form. In that book Elena offered him the chance to visit The Pack and now he's human he decides to take them up on it.

Morgan's choice of town to stop and rest seems appropriate. The high school mascot is a werewolf, but that also causes the odd issue when the murders start happening due to the murders seeming to have been committed by a wolf; is Morgan the killer? Elena and Clay have to figure out the murders and who's responsible before they can risk taking Morgan back to The Pack, their family.

It's hard to pick a favourite out of these novella, each one is fantastic and its a shame they aren't full novels! However, seeing as I'm reviewing this collection of short stories (and let's face it you want to know the good and the bad - spoiler: there is no bad),  I'm going to have to go with Jamie's novella 'The Ungrateful Dead' . It's such a good giggle; the banter between Jamie and the ghosts is laugh out loud funny and her way of dealing with them (which i wont spoil) is genius!

Although I've picked this novella as my favourite they are all filled with little bouts of the giggles because of  the quips that characters come out with and that makes me love them all.

In short i highly recommend this book and direct you to get it out of your library or from your local bookstore without fail! :)

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