Reviewed by Tori
Embrace the obscure. In the final installment of the Otherworld anthology series, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong once again opens the gates to the Otherworld. This collection of rare and never-before-published novellas and short stories brings the clever wit, dark twists, and intense suspense Otherworld readers have come to expect. Favorite characters return, secrets are revealed, and several important storylines reach their conclusions. (Goodreads)
Kelley Armstrong’s best selling fantasy Otherworld series has kept me entertained since she first released Bitten in 2001. Intensely entertaining, Armstrong introduced us to a world that blended the supernatural and mundane perfectly; giving us strong heroines and heroes and action packed, suspenseful, multi-narrated storylines. Armstrong’s series ended the arc with the novel Thirteen though she continued to tidy up various plot lines (this world is rather huge and convoluted) with a series of novellas and short stories. The Otherworld Chills anthology is the last of those short stories. This collection is compiled of previously released material and a few new ones that give fans one last hurrah. There are seven stories total.
1) Brazen – Subterranean Press 2013 Nick novella
2) Amityville Horrible – Subterranean Press Jaime/Jeremy novella
3) Chaotic – Hope/Karl novella from Dates from Hell, Hope’s 1st appearance in the series
4) Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word – Zoe short story from Expiration Date
5) Off-Duty Angel – Eve/Kristof story from The Hunter & The Hunted
6) The Puppy Plan – Logan Danvers novella from Gifted
7) Baby Boom – new Paige/Lucas novella
Brazen is aptly titled and takes place after Thirteen. Told from Nick’s POV, we learn how he met his girlfriend, Vanessa. The action packed, violence fueled conflict blends well with the look into the unique position Nick holds in the pack. While I enjoyed the narrative and conflict, I found the romance uninspiring. Vanessa’s insulting faux pas in the beginning and subsequent habit of not listening didn’t endear her to me at all.
Chaotic chronicles the first time Hope and Karl met. A museum jewel heist opens up a can of worms when Hope learns her new job is nothing more than one man’s need for revenge. While I loved the antagonism and verbal foreplay Hope and Karl engage in, the storyline itself moves is long, involved, and moves a slow pace. Armstrong divulges deeply into Hope and Karl’s backgrounds as they attempt to flush out the culprits while trying to stay alive.
Amityville Horrible is probably my favorite of this anthology. Any chance to spend time with Jamie and Jeremy is a guaranteed good time. Once again Jamie is reluctantly pushed into doing a reality show by her agent only to discover that things are not what they seem. When Jeremy joins her on the set, the hijinks begin. A fun character driven story inundated with humor, romance, and a hint of mystery.
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word is a short story revolving around Zoe and Cassandra. In here we learn that even immortals have an expiration date and unresolved issues can affect even the hardest of hearts. An interesting story though it loses it’s steam towards the end.
Off-Duty Angel takes us back into the halls of heaven and bowels of hell in this delightful little romp when Kristoff gives his bored lover, Eve, a mystery to solve. Of course, nothing goes as planned but that is half the fun. Well plotted and filled with plenty of action, adventure, and humor, readers will enjoy seeing this happier more stable version of Eve then what we have seen in the series.
The Puppy Plan visits the Danvers Family at Christmas time. Told from Logan’s point of view, this sweet heartwarming story shines on the love and compassion that resides in the hearts of Clay and Elena’s twins.
Baby Boom wraps up the book and a long ongoing plot line concerning Paige and Lucas. I was rather taken by the sorrowful tone woven through here as this couple not only deals with an unwanted pregnancy but also the future of the Cortez Cabal.
Otherworld Chills offers readers a little of everything while wrapping up existing open story lines. Though some stories are stronger than others, the collection as a whole is an enjoyable reader sure to delight fans of this fantasy inspired world.