J. D. Robb, Laurell K. Hamilton, Maggie Shayne, Susan Krinard - Out of This World

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Out of this world, 4 short stories.... one review!

Sep 27, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Four different stories, characters, authors and styles. Great variety!


The Bottom Line: Four different contributions from wonderful authors.. these shorter novels offer the best of everthing: Action, adventure, romance, sci-fi,and the mystical world.

What is it?

Out of this World is a collection of four short stories, ranging from futuristic fiction to outright mystical.

Who wrote it?

J.D. Robb, Laurell K. Hamilton, Susan Krinard and Maggie Shayne.

Interlude in Death by J.D. Robb:

This book is part of the Naked in Death series and is listed separately because of its inclusion in the short story collection. (I go into a lot more detail about the characters in my review on Vengeance in Death but out of respect for your time decided not to include all of the other character descriptions and sub-plots in this review.)

She is Lieutenant Eve Dallas, Homicide, The New York Police Department. Smart, brash, honorable, haunted, rude, cold, yet having a heart for the dead victims that lay before her.

It is the year 2059 and Eve is off planet, preparing for the seminar that she has been asked to lead. Her husband Roarke, rich, sexy, billionaire…is now living on the right side of the law… thanks in part to his relationship with Eve.

Planning to enjoy a bit or rest and relaxation before heading back to Earth, Eve's dreams for peace are put to rest when she encounters Commander Skinner… a retired police detective who has given over fifty years of excellent service to law enforcement. Skinner offers Eve a chance to take a big bad guy down… in exchange for a juicy promotion. Unfortunately, the bad guy is her beloved, hubby Roarke… and Eve refuses to deal. Getting into a public altercation with Skinner's bodyguards does not help matters much… and neither does finding the same bodyguard dead in Roarke's hotel hours later.

Believing Skinner is trying to frame Roarke, Eve sets out to solve the case. Trying hard not to step on toes of Darcia Angelo, the police chief for the resort is trying her patience. Darcia and Eve are convinced of Roarke's innocence… but can they work together and put their personalities aside long enough to find the killer?

In researching Skinner's previous cases, Eve and Darcia find that Roarke's father betrayed Skinner in the past… when Roarke was but twelve years ago. Skinner has in mind bringing Roarke and Eve down to avenge the lives that were lost due to Roarke's father.
Whew! Now, if I have not lost you yet… it gives even juicier! I will leave the plot information here and tell you that for a short story it was very, very good. I was amazed at how quickly everything was assembled and delivered! (Maybe a bit too quick?) The writing was smooth (although somewhat rushed compared to the full-length novels) and polished as is Robb's sharp style. I really enjoyed the novella and found it an intriguing combination with the other short stories. (Glad JD Robb got top billing!)

Kinsmans by Susan Krinard:
I really enjoyed this story as well… a different style than I am accustomed to, but a terrific look at the offerings of author Susan Krinard.

Jonas Kane VelArhan is a Kinsman, a telepathic mediator between humans and the alien shaauri. Being a Kinsman is not an easy task, they are selected due to their bloodlines or special abilities and separated from humanity to live in their foster homes among the shaauri. Having lived separate from his own kind for so long, Jonas has adopted much of the customs of the shaauri.

Returning back to his own kind, Jonas is approached by an attractive woman who needs his assistance in finding out what happened to a lost ship. As Jonas researches for this young woman, he finds that no one has any knowledge of this ship. Because the woman desperately wants to find out what happened to her family, Jonas agrees to voyage back to the Shaari to find information. His condition: That she go with him now, under contract to be his mate and bear him children until one telepathic child is born. (Telepathics are highly regarded and a duty to bear for Kinsmen.)

Off they go in Jonas' ship… just the two of them. What she does not realize is that Jonas' mind has been injured and part of his telepathic abilities are missing. When they make love (part of the contract yet they are very attracted to each other) there is a part of Jonas' mind that is touched by this woman… and healed. Yet with the healing, the abilities are starting to return… and he realizes she lied to him about her identity. Instead of being a commoner, she is next in line to the throne.

Before they have time to deal with this issue, they are attacked and taken hostage… Jonas is trying to unravel the mystery…but will his newly healing mind fail when he needs it the most? What about their relationship… do they have a future beyond their contract? Hmmm….. good questions….read and find out!
I found this short story to be really interesting. Although the terms and settings were really unfamiliar to me, the author wrote with such clarity that I did not have time for confusion. I was quickly wrapped up in the magic of the Kinsmen…and the chemistry between the two. This story offers romance, action, adventure and fun!

Immortality by Maggie Shayne:

A 2000-year-old Queen survives living in the ocean after terrible heartache and a gruesome fire. A modern man rescues the lady and immediately finds the need to fight for his life.

When Matthew, a businessman on vacation from his life, takes the woman to his home, she learns that she looks exactly like his dead wife. When she starts to ask questions, he tells her only that he killed his wife and their unborn baby. His indifference to her shattered his wife and it killed them. (hmmm…. Not sure that is a good signal in someone I want to date!)

The instincts rising from Puabi push him away, yet at the same time she is called to him. Can Puabi learn to trust this man who so resembles the man she loved and lost? Can Matthew put aside his indifference and respond to the passion that urges him to take Puabi?

To further complicate matters, Puabi is a witch… an Immortal witch who has shared the dark side of the world after the devastation of losing her stillborn son. Can she start all over as a new person in a new world or will her old battles continue to haunt her?

There are many surprises in this short story, some believable and some so mystical that I am not so sure what to think. I liked the ending (won't tell you about it though!) but some may find that there are facets in the story that are out of this world! I would recommend it to any that like adventure and romance...and a few experiments on the side.

Magic Like Heat Across My Skin by Laurell K. Hamilton:

This book is part of another series by Laurell K. Hamilton featuring vampire killer Anita Blake. ( Hey, I told you this was an interesting collection of stories!) I have read one other book featuring Anita Blake, but can not recall which one it was. I enjoyed both books!

Anita is a young professional vampire killer who lives in a world of werewolves, wereleopards, shape-shifters and vampires. Anita is temporary in charge of a group of wereleapards and is called for help when several of her "cats" are taken hostage and a local s and m club. Anita, knowing she is in over her head in her leadership role, asks for backup. She asks Jean Claude, one of her former lovers for assistance and he agrees to meet her.

Problem with Jean Claude is that he is a vampire. She is a vampire killer. He has marked her, so she is incredibly drawn to him.

The other problem is that she is also really drawn to Richard, a werewolf. (And we thought we led complicated lives!) She shares Richard's mark and the three of them have a strong bond.

When she and Jean Claude meet, he convinces her to bond with him for strength…and then Richard shows up. How can these two men keep Anita and not push her away? What's the deal with the weird Narciciss, owner of the violent club and the former relationship he shared with Jean Claude? How are they going to get those cats out alive? Gotta read the rest, cause that's all I'm telling!

I liked this story as well. I actually liked it better than the full-length novel that I read, because I was given smaller pieces of information to digest. The writing was fluid, action on every page… and it made it seem as if Anita and her loves would jump off the page at me. A good read if a bit dark.

Overall Summary:

All four of the female characters had similar characteristics…even though their lives were quite different. They were spunky, creative, intelligent, bold, sometimes appearing cold and heartless… yet sensitive and caring underneath their thick shells of protective armor. The need to defend and protect… while love is pushing down their barriers is a good contrast that is defined by their actions and needs. There is something to admire in each of the ladies…and in their men as well.

Hope you enjoy this review, leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Recommend this product? Yes

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