Shadowed Souls Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
In this dark and gritty collection - featuring short stories from Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire, Kevin J. Anderson, and Rob Thurman - nothing is as simple as black and white, light and dark, good and evil....
Unfortunately, that's exactly what makes it so easy to cross the line.
In number-one New York Times best-selling author Jim Butcher's "Cold Case", Molly Carpenter - Harry Dresden's apprentice-turned-Winter Lady - must collect a tribute from a remote Fae colony and discovers that even if you're a good girl, sometimes you have to be bad.
New York Times best-selling author Seanan McGuire's "Sleepover" finds half-succubus Elsie Harrington kidnapped by a group of desperate teenage boys. Not for anything weird. They just need her to rescue a little girl from the boogeyman. No biggie.
In New York Times best-selling Kevin J. Anderson's "Eye of Newt", Zombie PI Dan Shamble's latest client is a panicky lizard missing an eye who thinks someone wants him dead. But the truth is that someone only wants him for a very special dinner....
And New York Times best-selling author Rob Thurman's infernally heroic Caliban Leandros takes a trip down memory lane as he deals with some overdue - and nightmarish - vengeance involving some quite nasty "Impossible Monsters".
Also includes stories by Tanya Huff, Kat Richardson, Jim C. Hines, Anton Strout, Lucy A. Snyder, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Erik Scott de Bie.
Full cast of narrators includes Jon Lindstrom, Sumalee Montano, Mozhan Marno, Karissa Vacker, and Macleod Andrews.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 3 minutes|
|Author||Jim Butcher - editor, Kerrie L. Hughes - editor|
|Narrator||Jim Butcher, Julia Whelan, Emily Rankin, Justine Eyre, David de Vries, Mia Barron, Jon Lindstrom, Sumalee Montano, Mozhan Marnò, Karissa Vacker, MacLeod Andrews|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||November 01, 2016|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #18,375 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#41 in Fantasy Anthologies & Short Stories (Audible Books & Originals)
#101 in Fantasy Anthologies
#204 in Contemporary Fantasy
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Top reviews from the United States
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Cold Case by Jim Butcher: 3.5 stars
The story is about Molly Carpenter in her capacity as the new Winter Lady. Mab has sent her to collect a tribute from a small group of Fae, the Miksani, in Unalaska. There is something odd going on in the town and it may cause trouble for what she needs to do. Carlos Ramirez also happens to be in town which makes it even more clear that there is a problem in the town that cold make the Winter Ladies job even harder.
The characters are just as well drawn here as if they were simply pulled away from their lives in Chicago and the never-never. The new characters are a little hazy and their place in the Fae world are not very clear. The story is enjoyable if a little slower than expected. There is also no appearance by Harry, this is strictly about our Molly and the lesson that Mab has to teach her.
Sleepover by Seanan McGuire: 3.0 stars
Elsinora 'Elsie' Harrington is half human/half succubus in a world that does not really know that supernaturals live among them. Elsie is at a roller derby match rooting for her cousin when she meets a pretty girl and does something totally silly, she follows her out without telling anyone. Before she can formulate a thought she is drugged and taken away by a group of teenage boys who want her to get back the sister of one of the boys.
The characters are a little dull and boring but they still manage to keep you reading. The story has not real snap to it but you can push through and find something interesting in what the are doing. Not sure it really fits the theme.
If Wishes Were by Tanya Huff: 2 stars
Vicki Nelson is a detective who also happens to be a vampire, though this does not seem to have any bearing on anything. When a woman comes to her about a lamp she has found which contained a Jinn, she wants help to set things right. The problem is that she is tricked into doing just what the Jinn wants. Vicki makes an attempt to handle it on her own with less than satisfactory results.
Truth be told this was one of my least favorite stories. I could see potential but it never materialized. I was bored with it almost from the start and it never got better for me.
Solus by Anton Strout: 2 stars
The Department of Extraordinary Affairs-Other Division goes to investigate the claims of ghosts in a castle. They found the ghost of a lonely young woman, Agatha Sedgwick, who was haunting the castle.
I was so bored I cannot even remember anything much about this story. I actually went to sleep while reading it so draw your own conclusions.
Peacock in Hell by Kat Richardson: 3.5 stars
Emily Ann Peacock is half dead and a master thief. She is sent into Hell to rescue Lenny Red Mane for a sketchy character named Peter Fiori. What she finds is though Lenny may be the one in Hell she is working for a devil. The thing is what can she do about it.
I really liked this story and the characters. They held my attention and made me like them and the situation they found themselves in. This is a good one.
Eye of Newt, A Dan Shambles Zombie P.I. by Kevin J. Anderson: 2.5 stars
Dan Shambles has a new client, a newt named Geck who comes to him because there seems to be a hit out on him. He was attacked and one of his eyes was taken out. He needs help and Dan goes on the case.
This was a nice story with a different kind of hero and a different kind of world.
What Dwells Within by Lucy A Snyder: 3 stars
Jesse Shimmer, a magic user and his ferret familiar Pal are outlaws in the magic community. When a friend of hers is compelled to kill himself and his girlfriend is taken Jesse steps in to help. She is very good at killing devils and this one needs it more than most.
Nice short story that holds your interest and makes you want to know more about the characters.
Hunter Healer by Jim C. Hines: 4 stars
Julia Chapel ran from a life that she could not live any longer. Now she is a Healer who has an assistant who is a hearth fairy, Hob. Terrence Chapel is Julia's father and a Hunter, he is also the reason that Julia ran away. Julia had a twin sister, who was a very good Hunter, but now her sister resides within her making Julia double souled. When a Harvester comes to her it is only to gain her attention because it also leads a rogue hunter named Shard to her, and he wants to be the only one with a double soul.
Good story that draws you in and sets up the back story in a quick and effective way. The characters are well fleshed and give you a good look at who they are and can be. I enjoyed this one a lot.
Baggage by Erik Scott de Bie: 3 stars
Vivienne Cain, aka Lady Vengeance, former demon possessed super-villain turned edgy it-girl superhero turned fugitive from vigilante justice. She is a high functioning alcoholic who uses the drinking to keep her powers under control. V has been going to a gym working through some of her frustrations for a while when she senses a demon lurking about. As V becomes friends with a girl at the gym the demon gives glimpses of itself but never fully shows itself.
I really like the character of V but she is never as fleshed out as I would like her to be. None of the other characters are very fleshed out either and the story is a little thin.But it was still a good read.
Sales.Force. by Kristine Kathryn Rusch: 3.5 stars
Kaylee loses her fiancee, Dex, in a car accident after he has sworn that they would be together forever. Kaylee had not worked very much while she and Dex were together, her job is killing evil supernaturals. Kaylee goes back to work after only a week and her boss gives her an assignment that is not exactly up her alley, she is sent to investigate, not kill. When she looks into a love potion it may be the best thing for her.
Good story premise with characters who are likeable and make me willing to see more of in a longer version.
Impossible Monsters by Rob Thurman: 4 stars
"Infernally heroic Caliban Leandros takes a trip down memory lane as he deals with some overdue-and nightmarish vengeance involving some quite nasty Impossible Monsters". Caliban has two lists, one that his brother made for him in order to keep him from doing something unforgivable and inhuman. The other list is one he has made for himself that has the names of people who have done things he feels are wrong but that he wants to give them a chance to change. It's time for him to start working on that second list.
I totally like the Caliban and plan to read the books which can give me a closer and deeper look into who and what he is.
Like with most anthologies this one has good, bad, and iffy stories in it. What did not work for me might work for someone else just as what I liked might not be as good for another. I would recommend this to anyone who likes urban fantasy.
It is Molly's first assignment as the Winter Lady. She is in Alaska collecting tributes to Mab. What she finds is a community whose children have been taken. With the help of Warden Ramirez she is going to get them back.
A woman that is half succubus is watching her cousin in a roller derby match when an enticing woman strikes up a conversation. You'd think a part succubus would have better control over her own libido. Then maybe she wouldn't have been captured. It was a funny, bittersweet story.
If Wishes Were
Characters from "Blood Ties". Should give the books a try. I have only seen the series on Lifetime. This obviously takes place way after the show's timeline. Vicki is now a vampire. She is still with Mike. Henry is mentioned only in passing. Someone tried to kill Mike. He doesn't have any memory of the attack, so it's up to Vicki to find out what happened.
Simon-a psychometrist and new hire at the Department of Extraordinary Affairs, along with his senior partner, goes to investigate a haunted castle that is situated on top of a NYC skyscraper. There are unicorns-LOTS of unicorns.
Peacock in Hell
As the title says Peacock is in Hell-literally. She has gone there to rescue Redmayne- an artificer. Fiore, a necromancer owns her sent her on the mission. She died at one point and he resurrected her. Now he owns her. Peacock and Redmayne just need to work together to make it back to Earth before they become the Hell’s next permanent residents.
Eye of Newt
Kevin J. Anderson
Kind of funny, but it tried too hard. Geck, a newt- has had his eye stolen. It is up to Dan Shamble to track down the eye.
What Dwells Within
Lucy A. Snyder
Would really like to read this, but not at full price.
Jessie Shimmer and her familiar, Pal, are driving around Columbus when they come upon something that only Jessie- with the aid of her glass eye, can see. Realizing it is her friend Kai and that he is under a compulsion to kill himself, she quickly breaks the spell. Once Kai is free tells her his friend Alice has been taken. It is up to Jessie and Pal to save her.
Jim C. Hines
Julia has a "second" soul. She shares her body with her late sister's soul. She is a healer who just wants to help anything that she can. Aided by a foul-mouthed hearth fairy named Hob she heals everyone that comes to her. All are welcome with the exception of her adopted father-Terrence Chapel. He is the reason her sister is dead. When a creature shows up with the exact wounds as her sister she knows he is back. He claims he is a hunter who hunts monsters-too bad he is more of a monster than anything he ever hunted.
Erik Scott de Bie
Vivienne Cain owns a bar where she is perfectly happy. She's what's called an "empathic projector"-meaning she feeds on emotions. Alcohol dulls her powers enough that she can function. When her bartender gifted Vivienne a free membership to a nearby gym she was skeptical. Once she realized she can go late at night and be left alone she starts to enjoy punching bags. When a demon showed up-well that makes it even better.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Kaylee is grieving the death of her boyfriend. After she assures her boss Nia that she is ready to return to work she regrets it. The job is finding out if a love potion works or if it's a scam.
Very violent, so not my type. Similar to Dexter (it even name drops SHO) except Caliban is literally half-demon. Like Dexter, he has a list of things he's not supposed to do. His brother made him the list when he was a little kid. At thirteen he started his own list-those other predators he encountered. Twelve years later he has decided to visit number one on his list-an evil junior high coach.
Top reviews from other countries
After a rather pointless 'Introduction' and an awesome 'Foreward' (former by the editor, latter by the great Jim Butcher) we have the stories. They were~
1. "Cold Case" by Jim Butcher: When the first story in the anthology is either the best story or one of the best three, it reeks of sales tactics. Nevertheless, it was great in terms of action, humour, and pathos.
2. "Sleepover" by Seanon McGuire: Funny, edgy, and brilliant.
3. "If Wishes Were" by Tanya Huff: Simply terrific. Three winners in the very beginning. What can go wrong?
4. "Solus": Somewhat inferior compared to the first three, but readable.
5. " Peacock in Hell" by Kat Richardson: Wonderful! Beautiful characterisation, serious action, awe-inspiring landscaping (hellscaping?). Loved it.
6. "Eye of Newt" by Kevin J. Anderson: This Dan Shamble story alone is worth the price. I would recommend you to get hold of author's 'Zomnibus' ASAP.
7. "What Dwells Within" by Lucy A. Snyder: Good one. Predictable without any punch whatsoever, but crisp and readable.
8. "Hunter, Healer" by Jim C. Hines: Rise of the first serious dud, with lots of tissues.
9. "Baggage" by Eric Scott de Bie: Another massive dud, with talk-talk-talk and rubbish action.
10. "Sales. Force" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Began in a similarly tearjerking fashion as the previous two, but improved remarkably.
11. "Impossible Monsters" by Rob Thurman: Complete and unadulterated rubbish.
Overall, had the editor compelled those dud-ists to stick to the formula of wisecracking or silent but focussed and action-oriented hero dealing with their issues while dispatching nasties, without getting into alcoholic angst, this one could have been a five-starrer. She didn't. We ended up with a four starrer.
Molly takes on her first real case as Winter Lady. This story takes place after Skin Game (book 15). I wasn’t thrilled when I found out the Dresden Files story was going to be about Molly but this story gave me a whole new appreciation for her character. I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll just say that it keeps the tone of the Dresden Files novels and gives us a glimpse into some of the inner workings of the Sidhe.
Sleepover – Seanan McGuire ****
I was completely unfamiliar with this author. Loved the story. The main character reminded me a bit of Trixa from Rob Thurman’s Trickster series. Some sass and strength and a lot of humanity in a non-human. Great, quick read.
If Wishes Were – Tanya Huff ****
Vampire PI/cop story set in Toronto. I couldn’t help but think of that wonderful old Canadian TV show, Forever Knight. Clever story, witty and with a likeable main character. This was another author I was unfamiliar with. I thought it was going to go off in a direction I wouldn’t enjoy when I discovered the antagonist but I was pleasantly surprised.
Solus – Anton Strout *****
Another author I was unfamiliar with, this story reminded me a bit of All Seeing Eye by Rob Thurman and the Felix Castor series by Mike Carey. Set in New York City, police investigate supernatural happenings and I would love to read more about these characters. It was a bit of a slow build for me and I wasn’t sure how I’d like this story and by the end, I loved it.
Peacock in Hell – Kat Richardson ***
This felt like I’d been dropped into the middle of a novel and there it was a bit hard to follow at first. I feel like there was a lot left unexplained. Since I’m not familiar with this author, I don’t know if these characters are part of a bigger story that would make this short one make more sense but as a stand-alone story, it was OK, if a bit confusing.
Eye of Newt – Kevin J Anderson ***
This was well written and funny but not at all my cup of tea. It was written as more of a farce with over-the-top everything. Fans of the Nightside series by Simon R. Green may enjoy this though I prefer Nightside to this story.
What Dwells Within – Lucy A Snyder ***
There was way too much unexplained stuff going on in this story. The main character also seemed to be able to do everything. Too much of a deux ex machina for my liking. That said, the writing itself was solid and I’m sure it would appeal to some.
Hunter, Healer – Jim C Hines ****
I really liked this story. If it weren’t for the incredible vulgarity of one of the characters I’d give it 5 stars. I have no problem with some vulgarity but this was excessive and over the top. I assume it was meant to be funny but it seemed low-brow and childish and detracted from an otherwise solid and affecting story.
Baggage – Erik Scott de Bie ****
This one was great. Tough girl(s). Demons. I would definitely like to read more about the characters in this story. I liked that the main character had power but wasn’t invincible either. Also, the story explained itself and didn’t leave me with information overload or a lot of blanks to fill in like a couple of previous stories have done.
Sales Force – Kristine Kathryn Rusch ***
Magic and grief. It was a good story but the characters didn’t really grab me.
Impossible Monsters – Rob Thurman *****
This story is part of the Cal Leandros series which I cannot possibly recommend enough. Buy it. Read it. Cal is part monster, part human and all sarcasm. This story takes place sometime after book 10. This story was excellent and I enjoyed getting to read about Cal again. This story was also the most brutal of the bunch as only Cal can be. Just because you’re a monster doesn’t mean you can’t do some good.