Witches: Wicked, Wild & Wonderful by Paula Guran

Witches Wicked Wild and Wonderful Anthology

Overall Rating of the Anthology: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

 

1. Walpurgis AfternoonDelia Sherman

2 Stars

A couple wake up in the morning to find that a Victorian townhouse has sprung up on the empty plot next door. But that is not the only strange thing about their new neighbours.

A horticolutralist and an AI researcher who are also a witches? Sounds cool, but the story was all over the place and didn’t work for me.

 

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American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods Neil Gaiman

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

Shadow had done three years in prison.

Plot

Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.

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The Unicorn Anthology by Peter S. Beagle

The Unicorn Anthology

Overall Rating of the Anthology: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

About

Unicorns have fascinated people for generations. At once the epitome of purity, they are also dangerous. Their horns contain stronger magic than anything else. A unicorn’s horn can cure any illness, warn of any poison. And it is very, very difficult to get. They cannot be caught, they will kill with their horns, they can only be tamed by innocent girls.

This anthology is all about these creatures. Collected by Peter S. Beagle, they all take different looks at these mythical creatures.

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Burned by Magic by Jasmine Walt

Burned by Magic

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

“Hey, shifter girl!” a human with sandy hair shouted as he leaned over the bar counter.

Plot

In the city of Solantha, mages rule absolute, with shifters considered second-class citizens and humans something in between. No one outside the mage families are allowed to have magic, and anyone born with it must agree to have it stripped from them to avoid execution.

Sunaya Baine, a shifter-mage hybrid, has managed to keep her unruly magic under wraps for the last twenty-four years. But while chasing down a shifter-hunting serial killer, she accidentally loses control of her magic in front of witnesses, drawing the attention of the dangerous and enigmatic Chief Mage.

Locked up in the Chief Mage’s castle and reduced to little more than a lab rat, Sunaya resists his attempts to analyze and control her at every turn. But she soon realizes that to regain her freedom and catch the killer, she must overcome her hatred of mages and win the most powerful mage in the city to her side.

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The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 5 Stars ★★★★★

Sometimes, I worry that I’m not the hero everyone thinks I am.

Plot

For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably.

Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and defeating the Lord Ruler. A new kind of uprising is being planned—one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine: a teenage street urchin named Vin.

Once, a hero rose to save the world and failed. This time, can a young heroine succeed?

 

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The Immortal Circus by A.R. Kahler

The Immortal Circus

Rating: 2.5 Stars ★★★☆☆

“Who the hell did this?” Kingston whispers, staring at the corpse.

Plot

Murdered contortionists aren’t exactly what Vivienne signed up for when she ran away to join the circus. But like most things under the big top, nothing is what it seems. With a past she can’t quite remember, Vivienne finds that running away forever might not be as appealing as it once sounded—especially not when she realizes the devilishly attractive ringleader, Mab, is the Faerie Queen of legend—and that she and the rest of the troupe are locked in an age-old rivalry between the otherworldly Courts.

Aided by her friends Kingston—a feisty stage magician whose magic is quickly stealing her heart—and his smart-ass assistant, Melody, Vivienne finds herself racing against the clock to discover the culprit behind a series of deaths that should be impossible. However, the answer she seeks might reveal more about her own bloody past—and future—than she bargained for.

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Some of the Best from Tor.com: 2016 Edition

Some of the Best from Tor 2016 Edition

Overall Rating of the Anthology: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

You can get the anthology on tor.com here.

About:

Tor.com regularly publishes original fiction, short stories and novellas on their website. And each year, some of them are collected into an anthology. The stories in the 2016 edition are varied, but all are either Fantasy or Science Fiction.

While there were some stories that did not speak to me, there were also some really great and enjoyable ones. The best stories in the anthology, for me, are:

  • The DestroyerTara Isabella Burton
  • A Dead DjinnP. Djeli Clark
  • Autobiography of a Traitor and a Half-SavageAlix E. Harrow
  • Your Orisons May Be RecordedLaurie Penny
  • The Great DetectiveDelia Sherman
  • Finnegan’s FieldAngela Slatter
  • That Game We Played During the WarCarrie Vaughn

Read on for a more detailed review of the individual stories.

 

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