Short Story Collection #2

Number two in this series of novella/short story reviews!!

Stone and StringStone and String by Stephanie Flint

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Edyli is stuck with the job of corralling her younger sister. Today is the day, Akymi will go through her first rites of magic ceremony, if Edyli can get her out of the tree of course. When Akymi falls from the tree after crying out about not being able to feel her magic, Edyli does the only thing she can think of. She goes against everything the goddess Madia stands for, and brings her back from the dead, only to take her place. Finding herself in the realm of the dead, Edyli is desperate to get back to the land of the living, she just wants to see her sister take the rites.

I was pleasantly surprised by this short story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Flint was able to write a riveting short story that gave a glimpse into the world of the Wishing Blade series. I found the characters well rounded and likeable, and the world incredibly interesting. I love the concept of ribbons of magic, something about it just makes me smile. Being a short story, there was no room to explain the world, the different races, the magic system or even really the god and goddess system, but this didn’t detract from the story at all. I felt like enough information was given for the reader to be able to become fully immersed in the story and still understand the basis of what was happening.

Reading this story introduced me to Flint, and I have to say, I absolutely LOVE her voice. I cannot WAIT to check out more of her work. I’m super excited!!

The Demon Bunny of Ipswich: A Berkeley Blackfriars StoryThe Demon Bunny of Ipswich: A Berkeley Blackfriars Story by J.R. Mabry

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actual rating of 3.5

Kat is a deacon for the Berkeley Blackfriars, so it’s odd that she’s been sent out on her own for an exorcism. It obviously means that it’s not a serious threat if she’s been sent on her own. A neighbour had contacted the Blackfriars to disclose a possible possession…of a bunny. So off Kat goes, into the middle of nowhere to carry out her task. Once there though, something odd is happening, the bunny is having different reactions to different people…what on Earth is going on?

I found this story to be a super quick fun read. I loved the character of Kat, along with the other characters we meet. I found the story sunk it’s claws into me super quick, there was no way I was putting this one down without finishing it. I loved Kat’s character from the start, I also love how she’s a deacon, yes, but she has a mouth like a sailor and she lets everyone know it. This made me laugh and really endeared her to me.

The bunny itself I found was hilarious and the story surrounding the whole thing was written wonderfully. I won’t go into the story itself too much as I just feel like I’ll be giving a lot of stuff away. I’ll just say, the message in the story was conveyed well, and I loved the little tidbit to do with guilt that was included in it. When thought about, the reasoning behind guilt in this story, really did make a lot of sense.

The only thing I struggled a little with was the whole falling in love with Jesus comments, there were only a couple, this is not a preachy book. It’s just something that I felt could have been left out, or changed to imply that Kat was falling in love with her new found calling, not so much with Jesus.

All in all, a super fun read, I will be checking out the rest of this series for sure 🙂

Hemlock and Hedge (The Witches of Wormwood #0.5)Hemlock and Hedge by Ruby Loren

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hazel has relented and returned to her childhood town of Wormwood. Not in the best circumstances either, her mother has passed away and in her will it was stipulated that her local store remain open, and Hazel run it. Hazel knows that it was mostly guilt that forced her into this situation, but it’s too late to worry about about that now. After finding a map, an envelope containing some strange stuff, and a 27 year old mystery, Hazel has been thrown into the deep end. She’s now on the trail of a 27 year old question, who made the Lemon Cake? Was it her mother? Or someone else who had entered the competition so long ago? Talk about a baptism by fire, Hazel will come to discover a few home truths about Wormwood as well as herself and her new found kittens. Maybe Wormwood is just the place for her after all.

Oh I enjoyed this short so much!!!!!!!!! I feel that it was the PERFECT introduction to Hazel and Wormwood, I’ve added the remainder of the series to my TBR list and plan on purchasing them all as soon as I whittle said list down a bit.

I would put this story a cosy paranormal mystery, which I have a massive soft spot for. Something about cosy mysteries is just so….comforting, that’s the whole point, hey? haha. Throw in a twist of the paranormal and it’s a surefire way to get me interested. This one did not disappoint. Loren was able to endear Hazel, Hemlock and Hedge to me the instant they were all introduced. The story was fast paced, but didn’t FEEL like a short story, which I feel is a testament to Loren’s ability in her craft. The mystery itself was incredibly well thought out and executed wonderfully. The writing was great and this was just all around an awesome read for me. It’s very rare that a short story will receive a 5 star review from me, but there was just something about this one that made me fall in love with it….is it witchcraft? 😉

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