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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Gena Showalter, Shannon K. Butcher, Jessica Andersen, Deidre Knight: "On the Hunt" anthology

Authors: Gena Showalter, Shannon K. Butcher, Jessica Andersen, Deidre Knight
Title: On the Hunt (SMR)
Ratings: V3-4; S4; H2
Publisher: Signet, 2011

     This anthology contains four novellas by four top paranormal fiction authors. Three of the four are extensions of ongoing series. Although anthology selections can sometimes be rather lame, that is not the case here. Each story strongly stands on its own, even the ones that are parts of series. In each novella, a couple progresses through their SMR relationship and participate in a few demonic battles along the way. The good thing about novellas is that their shorter length keeps the amount of angst-driven meditation to a manageable level. All four authors did a good job of creating compelling plots and interesting characters with enough depth and charisma to maintain readers' interest.   

Gena Showalter's "Ever Night"
Rose Pascal is quietly celebrating her 18th birthday when she is swept away to another dimension—a realm of darkness and terror—where monstrous soldiers drag her off to meet their warlord king, Vasili. At first, Vasili threatens to kill Rose, but then, on a whim, he bonds with her instead. As it turns out, Rose is a Dimension Walker, doomed to transport to Vasili's realm on every birthday. The Walkers have a bad history with Vasili's people, so the couple must figure out a way for them to be together.       

Shannon K. Butcher's "The Collector" (THE SENTINEL WARS series)
Neal Etan is a dying Sentinel Warrior—a demon hunter. Neal is searching for a magical artifact that will cure his paralyzed friend. When he finds the artifact, it is in the possession of Viviana Rowan, an antiques dealer—plus a little something more. When a demon attacks Viviana's home, Neal swoops in to rescue her and they go on the run—away from the demons and toward their romantic future.

Jessica Andersen's "Crystal Skull" (FINAL PROPHECY series)
Archaeologist Natalie Albright finds a relic in an ancient temple deep in the rain forest. Unfortunately, the equinox is near, and the local demons have awakened and are attacking the villagers. When a demon attacks Natalie, her ex-lover, J. T. Craig, rescues her. As they rekindle their romance, she discovers that he has lied to her about his past life. As the couple delves into both their pasts, they discover that each of them has a connection with the Nightkeepers. By the end of the story, Natalie and J.T. accept their new destinies and fight off the demons.

Deidre Knight's "Red Angel" (GODS OF MIDNIGHT series)
This novella focuses on the Angel family of Savannah, whom we have seen in other GODS OF MIDNIGHT stories. This time, the hero is Jamie Angel, the womanizing bad boy of the family. (Jamie's sister is Shay; his brother is Mason, who is in a committed relationship with the Spartan Warrior, Nikos). The heroine of this novella is Sunny Renfroe, who appears to be a normal human girl, but is way more than human. As Jamie and Sunny try to find a way to bend some celestial rules so that they can be together, they must thwart a demon attack by one of Jamie's old enemies.

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