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WesternSFA
An Apple for the Creature
edited by Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner
Ace Books, $26.95, 336pp
Release Date: September 4, 2012

A really fun anthology based on a theme of the classroom. All the thirteen stories fit the theme well and all were great choices. Generally, there’re at least one or more stories in any given anthology that don’t satisfy me. But every single one in this book was fun. I just flew through the reading.

The book leads off with a new Charlaine Harris story about Sookie Stackhouse – to be expected, of course. And while I am a HUGE Sookie/Harris fan, I have to say, sadly, that this was the weakest story of the lot.

Better was the story “Iphigenia in Aulis ” by Mike Carey. A sad but poignant piece about a post-apocalyptic world where vampires have overrun the country except for, maybe, a small outpost where the babies of newly turned-to-vampire pregnant women are kept protected and educated. The premise is that the moral right have decreed that a fetus has to be kept alive, even if it’s expected to someday turn into a vampire.

“Golden Delicious” by Faith Hunter was a great detective story with fascinating characters. “Magic Tests” by Ilona Andrews was a standard story but I loved it for the characters. A girl has gone missing at a school, probably hiding from a bully. But the bully is anything but normal and the girl’s solution is interesting.

Steve Hockensmith wrote “An Introduction to Jewish Myth and Mysticism” – a boring title, which is part of the story. This is a typical story about a woman terrorized by her ex-husband who has anger issues. What’s fun about this one is the solution posed by her colleague. A sort of “Pet Semetary” meets “Comedy Central.”

And I think my favorite is Nancy Holder’s “VSI”, a take on the CSI TV show theme. This is about an FBI agent sent to a special school to learn how to identify vampire serial killers. I greatly enjoyed it. ~~ Catherine Book

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