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Unbound by Kim Harrison, Melissa Marr, Jeaniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson, & Jocelynn Drake
Review by Gayle Surrette
Eos Mass Market Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061699931
Date: 01 September 2009 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Unbound contains five stories by some of the top authors of urban fantasy: "Ley Line Drifter" by Kim Harrison; "Reckoning" by Jeaniene Frost; "Dark Matters" by Vicki Pettersson; "The Dead, the Damned, and the Forgotten" by Jocelynn Drake; and "Two Lines" by Melissa Marr. If you read any of the series that these authors write you'll want to get this book to fill in some background--and for just plain fun.

In "Ley Line Drifter" by Kim Harrison, Jenks is preparing the stump for the family to move back into from their winter quarters in Rachel's desk when a pixy comes under flag of truce to ask to hire Jenks to get rid of a ghost and save his daughter's life. Jenks is more than flattered and sees this as a change for the better in pixy society. He takes the job and requests backup from his son Jumoke and Bis the gargoyle. Jenks learns that going on a run when you're the person in charge is very different from just being one of a team. This was a nice chance to see Jenks as more than Rachel's partner and to learn more about pixy society.

Jeaniene Frost in "Reckoning" has immortal hitman Bones called by the Queen of New Orleans to deal with the return of two undead serial killers. Finding the killer is difficult enough but he has to avoid a colleague who is out to kill him while it does it.

JJ is a warrior for the Light in "Dark Matters" by Vicki Pettersson. Unfortunately, he's feeling a bit adrift, wondering if the fight is worth it. Then he meets a woman who is everything he's been looking for, except she's a warrior for Dark. This is no Romeo and Juliet retelling, there's real ramifications when you can't trust the person you've shown your vulnerable side to and what happens is worse than JJ can imagine.

Mira finds that someone is killing vampires in her city and the council already knows about it and has sent Bishop to warn her that, if she can't control her city, she must return to Europe and their tender care. "The Dead, the Damned, and the Forgotten" by Jocelynn Drake is vampire political intrigue at its finest. Mira has not been paying attention to her territory and now she's going to suffer the consequences of that lapse. We learn more about vampire society and rules in this story as well as getting a good mystery--just who is committing the murders and why?

In "Two Lines" by Melissa Marr, Eavan is struggling to remain human, but she is driven to free the women that Daniel is turning into zombies to sell as sex slaves. She's got a vampire friend who is helping, but it's only a matter of time before the family finds out what she's doing, because they've said to leave Daniel alone. Thwarting him is even more dangerous because she's unaccountably drawn to him, and sex and death can turn her, although she's gotten very good at just saying, "No." To add to the temptation, her grandmother hires a personal bodyguard for Eavan. Eavan suspects the bodyguard is to be a 24/7 temptation. What's a girl to do? You'll have to read the story to find out.

Five great works in one book. If you've never read the series that the stories come from it will give you a taste of what the novels are like. Each story is a stand alone and you don't have to be familiar with the novels to enjoy them. Look at it as a buffet to try new authors--you'll be glad you did.

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