Hex Life by Various Authors
From Goodreads: Brand-new stories of witches and witchcraft written by popular female fantasy authors, including Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine and Sherrilyn Kenyon writing in their own bestselling universes!
These are tales of wickedness… stories of evil and cunning, written by today’s women you should fear. Includes tales from Kelley Armstong, Rachel Caine and Sherrilyn Kenyon, writing in their own bestselling universes.
Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery will take the classic tropes of tales of witchcraft and infuse them with fresh, feminist perspective and present-day concerns–even if they’re set in the past. These witches might be monstrous, or they might be heroes, depending on their own definitions. Even the kind hostess with the candy cottage thought of herself as the hero of her own story. After all, a woman’s gotta eat.
Bring out your dread.
Hey everyone, how are you doing?
I know it’s been a little while, but I thought today I’d bring you a review of a recently released book, Hex Life. First up, I wanted to thank Titan for sending me this book, since it was such a perfect read for October 😀
I always find it a little hard to talk about short story anthologies, simply because I’ve not really read enough of them to do much judging. Rather than talk about each story individually, I’m going to talk about the collection as a whole and possibly hone in on a few of my favourites.
I will say, this is a pretty solid list of authors who contributed. Many of them are names that a lot of fantasy readers will recognise, and it was definitely the selling point for me. Each story also fits so well with the theme, which is another big bonus. While I haven’t read many short story collections, when I do I sometimes find it difficult to see the theme running through each narrative, but in Hex Life it was clear in every story almost from the very first page. For the most part too, the stories were very creative and easy to read. I finished the book in two sittings, which is unusual for me with anthologies, since I usually need a bit of a break between each one.
Although they were fairly consistent, I did notice that quite a few of the stories were a bit confusing. I don’t mind ambiguous endings, but there was once or twice where I didn’t know what was going on. I won’t name specific stories, since I’m trying to review the whole collection, but I think part of the issue might have come from the fact that these writers are creating stories set in their own pre-established worlds, which means there are moments when there’s a fair amount of assumed knowledge and it gets kind of lost. I’m sure for people who have read these series, it’s wonderful to have these stories as additions to these worlds.
There were a few stories that stood out for me. I’m a huge fan of the Morganville Vampires series, so it was great to get to come back to that world and spend a bit of time with the characters I loved. The voices are so distinct and it just made me swoon a bit to be back there again. Personally, I was also really impressed with Angela Slatter’s contribution too. It was short and concise, and yet I thought it delved quite deep into a touching narrative in a way that was heartfelt.
Overall, I’d give Hex Life a 6.5/10 stars. I thought the collection as a whole worked well together, and it was a great, fun and quick read that was perfect for Halloween. But I did feel that there were quite a lot of contributions where you needed prior knowledge otherwise some of the magic of it got a little lost. I’m not the biggest fan of anthologies, so I’m probably not the best person to judge this, but I think if people are looking for an Autumn vibes book to cuddle up with on a rainy day, this is a great choice.
Has anyone else read this book already or plans to? What do you all think of it? Let me know in the comment section down below ❤