Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Urban Enemies by Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong, Kevin Hearne, Faith Hunter, Carrie Vaughn
Published by Gallery Books on August 1, 2017
Villains have all the fun—everyone knows that—and this anthology takes you on a wild ride through the dark side! The top villains from sixteen urban fantasy series get their own stories—including the baddies of New York Times bestselling authors Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Kelley Armstrong, Seanan McGuire, and Jonathan Maberry.
For every hero trying to save the world, there’s a villain trying to tear it all down.
In this can’t-miss anthology edited by Joseph Nassise (The Templar Chronicles), you get to plot world domination with the best of the evildoers we love to hate! This outstanding collection brings you stories told from the villains’ point of view, imparting a fresh and unique take on the evil masterminds, wicked witches, and infernal personalities that skulk in the pages of today’s most popular series.
The anthology includes seventeen short stories from many authors which I have mentioned in the order within Urban Enemies. I have read only five of these authors but they are some of my favorites so I was excited. After all, reading an anthology like this, which was edited by a mystery author, was what took me out of over ten years of reading only mysteries. It turned out to be more science fiction, paranormal romance and urban fantasy stories. I enjoyed many of the stories even though I had read none of the authors before and three series I started on immediately from it were Keri Arthur’s Riley Jensen series, Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries and Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville books. My life would never be the same.
I debated over how to write this review. Ideally, I would like to list all the stories and write a few sentences about each one. There are two difficulties I am having with doing so. First, I feel I would be unfair to all the stories where I don’t read the series or I’m not current. I found it difficult to read some of them with lacking information on the world or depth on the characters. Second, when the stories are an average of twenty pages, it is hard to say much without spoiling their impact.
So I will list all the stories (because I always want a list when it’s an anthology), with ratings for the ones where I am up-to-date on the series. The comments will be very brief. Overall, as I tried to summarize each story and make notes after I read them I thought – dark, cool, very dark, wicked, quite dark, clever, so dark, evil, and daaaark. I wanted very much to read this for the ones from the series I read and I wasn’t wrong. It’s an awesome insight for those series and an extra depth on the character(s).
Even Hand by Jim Butcher (the Dresden Files) 5 stars
This was great fun, a chance to learn more about John Marcone and his team.
Hounded by Kelley Armstrong (the Cainsville and Otherworld series)
It would be easier to read this one with the connection to the world and characters from the series.
Nigsu Ga Tesgu by Jeffrey Somers (The Ustari Cycle)
This was a cool, nasty view of how witches create and power their spells.
Sixty-Six Seconds by Craig Schaefer (Daniel Faust)
I really enjoyed this. It was clever; he felt almost like a good guy and twisty.
Kiss by Lilith Saintcrow (Jill Kismet)
I’m thinking this is providing some history and back story for the series. Now I want to see the perspective of Jill, a main character in the series.
The Naughtiest Cherub by Kevin Hearne (The Iron Druid Chronicles)
Loki visiting Lucifer and making their plans for world domination.
The Resurrectionist by Caitlin Kittredge (the Hellhound Chronicles and the Black London series)
I didn’t understand as much from the world but I still thought this one was pretty good.
Down Where the Darkness Dwells by Joseph Nassise (Templar Chronicles)
This was another insightful backstory where I really enjoyed how clever it was.
Bellum Romanum by Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Norville) 3 stars
This gave the details of how Roman developed and planned his long game. Roman just isn’t very nice or fun.
Altar Boy by Jonathan Maberry (Joe Ledger)
I liked this tale of partial redemption.
Make It Snappy by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock) 5 stars
Wow. It’s no secret I want to like Leo. This might be the ultimate backstory, with the current status. If only Leo didn’t keep so much information from Jane. Deviously twisty, it meshes right into things.
Chase the Fire by Jon F. Merz (Lawson Vampire)
This seems like a series I would like to read, with some competent evil.
Unexpected Choices by Diana Pharaoh Francis (Horngate Witches)
I liked the witches but the guy – he’s an ass.
Reel Life by Steven Savile (Glasstown)
I just didn’t get the point of this story, other than the guy wants everything his way and all the power.
The Difference Between Deceit and Delusion by Domino Finn
Balance by Seanan McGuire (October Daye)
This is a series I intend to read someday. This villain was not cool, in fact, mean.
Everywhere by Sam Witt (Pitchfork County)
The bad was clever. It seems like I’d like to read this series.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Anne: 2017 New Release Challenge
I’m really excited to get to this anthology. There are several authors/series that I love. I also love the premise of writing from the villain’s POV. Great review.
Thanks. I struggled with how much / how little to write. I felt it unfair to judge stories where I don’t read the series, or not up-to-date because it’s a villain. I’m going to be left with some negative feelings even if they were clever. I LOVED the ones where I am current with the series though. And it did make me want to read some of the other series.