Hex Life by Various Authors

Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery by Various Authors, edited by Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering

Publisher: Titan Books
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full length (384 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

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.

We’re fed the idea of the wicked witch, all dressed in black, her haggard face glaring evilly back at you, from a very young age. But what if all witches weren’t evil? What if they did what they did for a good reason? Of course, not all witches are altruistic, but what if some of them were? That’s where Hex Life comes into play. Within the collection, you’ll find all kinds of witches with all kinds of motives. Are you brave enough to take a chance?

Witches have been a favorite subject of mine for a long time. Despite the Wicked Witch of the West and all of the evil witches Disney has given us over the years, I was still drawn to them. So, when I stumbled across this anthology, I knew it was something I needed to read. I’m happy I did because it did not disappoint me in any way. The witches in Hex Life are as varied and unique as the authors writing them.

An Invitation to a Burning by Kat Howard. You go into this thinking one thing and discover it’s quite something else. An excellent way to kick off the anthology.

Widow’s Walk by Angela Slatter. This was probably my favorite of the group because it focuses around three older women, all witches, and the community they live in. It’s sort of like what would happen if Sleeping Beauty’s fairy godmothers grew to be old and bitter, but still cared for the innocent.

Black Magic Momma by Kelley Armstrong. I love her Women of the Otherworld series and getting a bit of Eve’s origin story was a nice surprise.

The Night Nurse by Sarah Langan. This was one heck of a creepy story, but I loved it. As an overwhelmed mother, I could relate to it on a personal level. However, the ending was a bit of a surprise.

The Memory of Trees by Mary SanGiovanni. An odd and, for me, a confusing, story about nature battling back against technology.

Apparently after the 2003 raid of two of the viagra buy australia pharmacists brick and mortar practice, authorities said customers paid much more than normal retail cost for the drugs, but could get them without undergoing proper examinations. The majority of men today prefer to purchase Kamagra tablets from any of pharmaceutical store. viagra without prescription online continue reading this web-site now Of cheap generic cialis course, if illegal drugs are not your thing, then medication alternative is the right call to be freed of impotence. Eat at least 1 gram of protein per a pound of your cheap viagra icks.org bodyweight. Home by Rachel Caine. I’ve always wanted to read her Morganville Vampires series so this was a nice little introduction to her writing style and some of the characters. Definitely makes me want to delve into the series more now. A bit of humor and a lot of fun.

The Deer Wife by Jennifer McMahaon. The only romantic story in the bunch, very sweet and different from your usual fare. There is a heart-stopping moment near the end that nearly made me cry, too.

The Dancer by Kristen Dearborn. I love a story with supernatural powers. I think this was less witchy and more Firestarter, but one of the best stories in the collection in my opinion. I really felt for the young girl in this as her family was creepy and abusive.

Bless Your Heart by Hillary Monahan. Nothing makes me happier than a good revenge story. Especially when the revenge is so well deserved. Bonus points for mom going to such great lengths to defend her son who is being buillied for no other reason than because he’s gay. A bit of a warning though because this one gets rather gross rather fast.

The Debt by Ania Ahlborn. This was an odd, yet intriguing story. It was very fairy tale-like in its structure, but dark and foreboding as well. The end caught me off guard, to be honest.

Toil & Trouble by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Madaug Kenyon. This one started strong and lost me about halfway through. I generally enjoy the Dark-Hunters books so I’m not sure what went wrong with this story. I’ll blame it on me though.

Last Stop on Route Nine by Tananarive Due. This wavered between alternate universes and ghost story but was wholly frightening as well. The heavy overtones of racism only added to the oppressive and scary atmosphere. One of the best in the collection.

Where Relics Go to Dream and Die by Rachel Autumn Deering. I finished this story and was left utterly confused. I’m not sure what really happened in the end, but still somehow enjoyed it. Weird, I know, but that happens to me sometimes.

This Skin by Amber Benson. What a creepy, frightening story! It’s tough being a teenager, but it has to be even tougher to be one who’s homicidal. Really enjoyed this one a lot, despite the creep factor.

Haint Me Too by Chesya Burke. Historical fiction is a huge draw for me, so finding a witchy story sed during the times of sharecroppers intrigued me. It also enraged me because of the way Shae and her family are treated by the white people in the story.

The Nekrolog by Helen Marshall. I went back and forth on this story. It was long and interesting, but I also got confused a time or two. There are a couple of point-of-view and time period changes that threw me off. But overall, it was a decent story.

Gold Among the Black by Alma Katsu. I’m a sucker for a poor waif living in a castle as staff kind of story. Every girl deserves her prince (or princess), right? Jesper was the best part of the story and I’m glad that Greta got what she deserved in the end.

How to Become a Witch-Queen by Theodora Goss. Tied with Widow’s Walk for the number one position, honestly. A unique and fun spin on Snow White that left me smiling at the end. There were so many little things about this story that made me happy. It was the perfect story to end the collection with because it left me feeling good.

Overall, the authors came together to create an exciting and varied collection of stories. They hit many time periods and genres that there’s sure to be something for everyone in this anthology. While there were a few names that drew me to this collection – Kelley Armstrong and Sherrilyn Kenyon for example – I also discovered many new-to-me authors that I’m excited to explore.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.