Wednesday, 9 December 2015

A Fantastic Holiday Season - Book Review

A Fantastic Holiday Season: Volume 2 - The Gift of Stories
by Kevin J. Anderson, Mercedes Lackey, Mike Resnick, Kristine Rusch, Jonathan Maberry, Eric James Stone, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Quincy J. Allen, Ken Scholes, Sam Knight, David Boop, Heather Graham, Brad R. Torgersen, and Patricia Briggs
Editor: Keith J. Olexa

What is it about:
’Tis the Season for 14 magical, macabre and merry tales to make your Holidays Fantastic.

Gingerbread houses, caroling carolers, brightly trimmed trees, big family dinners, pristine snowfalls-the familiar pleasures of the season.

But what better pleasure is there than a good holiday story? So open this winter solstice sampler and indulge in fully festive fantasies, nightmares before Christmas, and stunning space-age celebrations. These stories will warm hearts and minds like a blazing Yule log.

What did I think of it:
I will confess I totally got this anthology for Patricia Briggs' story, which is about Asil, one of my favorite characters from her books.

That being said: this is a very entertaining Holiday Anthology. There's lots of Santa Clauses, holiday cheer mayhem, and more.

I will tell a bit about the stories I liked the most.

The Longest Night by Mercedes Lackey:
A story that takes place in a world where there are mages who pose as some kind of super humans as far as I understand. The story is set at a boarding school (one of my weaknesses) where the students get a visit from something a lot darker than Santa Claus. I had some minor grumbles (Midwinter does not fall on December 24!), but otherwise this story was very enjoyable.

Midnight Trains by Kristine Rusch:
A bittersweet story set in Paris. It's about loneliness, belonging, and hope. I loved the mood and setting of this story.

A Christmas Feast by Jonathan Maberry:
This story is set in Maberry's Rot and Ruin world, so that means zombies! It's about a man and his very young brother trying to find a safe place in a zombie filled world. Both full of despair and hope. This story makes that I want to pick up the third book in the series one of these days.

Yes, Virginia2097c, There Is a Santa Claus by Sam Knight:
Not being from the US, I didn't know the editorial this story is based on, but I looked it up and read it afterwards. This story is set in a future driven by consumerism. A young girl starts to question the world around her. It's very touching and a great tribute to the original editorial in my opinion.

A Sufficiently Advanced Christmas by Eric James Stone:
Humans try to colonize a world where an ancient city sleeps... This sounds a lot more ominous than this story is. In fact this is a really fun story that made me laugh and was touching at the same time. A perfect SF short.

Unappreciated Gifts by Patricia Briggs:
Asil, a lone (were)wolf, gets set up by 'well meaning' friends for a blind date. Things turn out a bit different than everyone expected though. I loved this story. As mentioned above, Asil is a favorite character of mine. This story gave him even more depth and character than he already had. I wouldn't mind if he gets his own book, or stars in more short stories.

All in all this was a fun read. There were some stories I couldn't get into, but overall I had a good time with this anthology. I might even check out other books by some of the authors I hadn't heard about before picking up this book.

Why should you read it:
It's a very entertaining Holiday themed anthology.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

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