Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Heroic Hearts by Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, Kelley Armstrong, Anne Bishop, Annie Bellet, Chloe Neill, Nancy Holder, Kevin Hearne, Kerrie Hughes, RR Viedi, Charlaine Harris, Jennifer Brozek
Published by Ace on May 3, 2022
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
An all-star urban fantasy collection featuring short stories from #1 New York Times bestselling authors Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, Charlaine Harris, Kelley Armstrong, and more . . .
In this short story collection of courage, adventure, and magic, heroes—ordinary people who do the right thing—bravely step forward.
But running toward danger might cost them everything. . . .
Heroic Hearts is an anthology of stories by some of my favorite authors. Easily, one could read the stories without having read the author’s work before. Of course, if you are familiar with the author’s world and series, it is a further development and additional knowledge. I’ve added an asterisk (*) by the titles where I have read the author previously and recognize the world.
* Little Things by Jim Butcher is set after Battle Ground. The point of view is that of Toot Toot so it is a further development of a supporting character. We get a view of how / what Harry is doing after the big battle.
* The Dark Ship by Anne Bishop is set in the world of the Others. There is a young woman who lives in a village on the Mediterranean Sea who is not in a good situation. None of the characters are ones I recognize from the series.
Comfort Zone by Kelley Armstrong is not set in a world I recognize but I have read and enjoyed this author previously. This story and its characters were well-developed enough for me to enjoy without any other connection.
Train to Last Hope by Annie Bellet is a very enjoyable LGBTQ story. This was my first experience with this author. I’d be interested to read these characters in a series so I’ll go look for it. I can’t find a series but maybe they are side characters in one of her series. The story is about a couple who is trying to find their daughter.
* Fire Hazard by Kevin Hearne is set in the world of his Iron Druid Chronicles. The series is the one for our Read-along next year and I have read only the first book, but own them all. I LOVED this, as the point of view is Oberon his dog. Sausage, squirrels and poodles are key concepts here. There was so much humor. Based on some aspects, I would guess this sits later in the series.
Grave Gambles by RR Virdi is written by an author I do not know. But now I also want to track down what I hope will be a series about this character. Yes! There is a series called The Grave Report. The basic premise is the monster hunter wakes up in a recently dead body and has to track down who killed him. Fun, right? I loved it.
* Silverspell by Chloe Neill is in her current series, Heirs of Chicagoland. It showed how the community is reacting to Elisa working as an Ombud in a murder case and to her relationship with Connor.
Troll Life by Kerri L. Hughes is an author I have not read previously. Apparently in this world, trolls are involved in running a sort of underground train station. The trains are sentient and can communicate telepathically with the trolls. They both know which stops are for humans and which stops go into supernatural dimensions.
* The Return of the Mage by Charlene Harris is about side characters we met first in her Sookie Stackhouse series. This does not have any characters from that series though, except the Britlingens. There are also mages which I don’t recall in that series but it has been quite awhile since I read it.
The Vampires Karamazov by Nancy Holder is another new to me author. There are a family of vampires living in New York City. The youngest brother, it is all men, studied to be a monk before his father turned him. He is still committed to his faith but unsure of whether he would be wanted. This was my least favorite story with its religious tones.
The Necessity of Pragmatic Magic by Jennifer Brozek is a story set in museum with witches and mysterious artifacts. It seems to be connected to her Karen Wilson Chronicles with some side characters.
* Dating Terrors by Patricia Briggs is another in the adventures in dating for Asil. The world is the same as her Mercy Thompson series. The author has been doing these Asil short stories for a few years now. They are delightful.
I did my first reading of urban fantasy and science fiction fantasy in an anthology not unlike this one. I found stories by Charlene Harris, Keri Arthur, and Carrie Vaughn which I enjoyed tremendously so I sought out their books and read their series. I appreciate the opportunity to try new things with a smaller time commitment. It’s also a gift if I already know the world to learn more, usually about a supporting character.
I found all of these stories to be engaging and well-developed. I would say they are all 4-5 heart reads and not a bad one in the bunch. If there are authors you already enjoy, you will love their stories. And it’s a great chance to try a few new authors, I know I will be reading more in some of those series. I highly recommend this anthology.
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges: