Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mysteria - Anthology

MaryJanice Davidson, Susan Grant, P.C. Cast, and Gena Showalter
Berkley Sensation

Paranormal Romance – Short Fiction

Centuries ago, a demon committed an act of kindness and created the town of Mysteria for a group of outcasts. Mysteria provides a haven for magical and nonmagical beings alike. Over the years, the population of witches, werewolves, vampires, fairies, and humans has grown. The town is the connecting thread of this collection of novellas.

In Susan Grant’s “Mortal in Mysteria,” Satan gets wind of the act of kindness that created the town and punishes the demon by sending him, in mortal form, to live in Mysteria. The male demon lands, naked, in the garden of the female pastor. Their relationship, and the consequences of his decision to stay mortal or return to the demon realm, makes for great reading. “Alone Wolf,” MaryJanice Davidson’s contribution, follows Cole Jones, a werewolf in search of a house. As any house-hunter knows, the ‘perfect’ house always has one flaw. In Cole’s case, it’s the presence of a snarky ghost. There are some secondary characters here that could really use a story of their own. Maybe that will happen in a follow-up collection.

Gena Showalter’s entry follows the story of Genevieve Tawdry, a witch, and Hunter Knight, a vampire slayer. While the two are undeniably attracted, they both realize that personal involvement could very well lead to Hunter’s death. Rounding out the collection is P.C. Cast with the tale of a fortysomething high school teacher who finds herself falling for a former student. Before you alert the PTA, the former student is twenty-six. And a werewolf.

A collection like this is the perfect way for new readers to sample authors; and a nice fix for fans in between full-length novels. Beyond that, these stories are just plain fun. The town of Mysteria makes a great vehicle for a compilation. There’s plenty of history, plenty of diversity, and plenty of tension to create good stories. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see more stories of the denizens of Mysteria. In fact, I’m hoping for them.

Rating: 8
July 2006
ISBN# 0-425-21106-1 (paperback)


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