Thursday, March 3, 2011

Review: Harvest Moon Anthology

Harvest Moon: A Tangled Web\Cast in Moonlight\Retribution (Luna Books)Book Details:
Harvest Moon: A Tangled Web\Cast in Moonlight\Retribution (Luna Books)
By Mercedes Lackey, Michelle Sagara, and Cameron Haley
Genre: Fantasy
Published 2010, LUNA Books
Paperback, 377 pages
ISBN: 9780373803224

          A Tangled Web by New York Times bestselling author Mercedes Lackey
Kidnapping Persephone should have been an easy task. But in the Five Hundred Kingdoms, nothing's ever simple—and the wrong blonde goddess is stolen by mistake, leaving Prince Leopold without his new bride. At least until he braves the realm of the dead to get her back….

Cast in Moonlight by New York Times bestselling author Michelle Sagara
Barely a teenager, Kaylin Neya is a thief, a fugitive and an attempted assassin. She also has a smart mouth, sharp wits and mysterious markings on her skin. All of which make her perfect bait for a child prostitution sting in the city of Elantra—if she survives her first meeting with the Hawks!

Retribution by Cameron Haley
In the underworld, there are tricks to killing. Like executing rivals at crossroads so ghosts won't follow you home. But sometimes retribution is hard to avoid—and now a supernatural hit man has a contract on Domino Riley's life. Luckily she knows a thing or two about death….
I wanted to read this book for the first story by Mercedes Lackey, since I am a fan of the Five Hundred Kingdom series. This story featured Leopold and Brunnhilde in a setting straight out of Greek mythology. In short, I loved it. It weaves Leopold's quest for immortality in with the tale of Persephone and her union with Hades. The perspective is different from the usual story of a victimized Persephone, and turns her into a strong, young woman who will stop at nothing to be with the man she loves. To make Greek mythology fit in with the rest of the series, Lackey explains that the Gods and Goddesses of Mount Olympus are half-Fae who have forgotten their origins thanks to the power of The Tradition.
I am not familiar with the second author, Michelle Sagara. This short story is a prequel to her Chronicles of Elantra series and introduces the reader to the character of Kaylin Neya. I was a little lost when I began this story because of the variety of characters that I was introduced to at the very beginning. I actually was not even sure who the story was about at first. The story seemed a bit bogged down with details and descriptions, and Kaylin seemed to get lost in the mayhem of Sagara's attempt to introduce the reader to the world of Elantra in such a short tale. I stuck with it, though, and by the end of the story I was intrigued enough to want to continue on with the series in Cast in Shadow (The Chronicles of Elantra, Book 1).
The third story, written by Caleron Haley, is meant to be a prequel to Mob Rules (Luna Books). I am not familiar with this author either, and when I began this story I realized immediately that this story was heavily-flavored with gangster-style speak and vocabulary, even more so than the urban fantasy elements. I really tried to adjust to the language used in the story, but the lack of explanation to accompany such terms as "juice" and "outfit", as well as the overabundance of foul-mouthed language and typical gangster lingo like "capping" someone mad me lose interest in the actual plot of the short story halfway through. I am sure there are other readers that enjoy this style of story-telling, but I am not one of them.

The Cover: The cover is a beautiful, generic representation of the anthology title with a moon reflecting off the water and a young woman in a beautiful gown. While this cover works for both the first and second stories, I don't think it fit the third story at all.

First Line: "It was the usual perfect day in Demeter's gardens in the Kingdom of Olympia."
I have always loved the stories of Greek mythology, so this pulled me in immediately.

Favorite Quote: "In my land... the man who tries to force himself on a woman counts himself lucky to get off with only temporary pain."

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