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    Review of STRANGE CANDY by Laurell K. Hamilton (see her website)


    Berkley Books, October 2006

    Imagine Anita the Vampire Hunter before she hunted vampires, flying cupids and sea monsters, a real estate broker who'll do just about anything to sell a house, and a talking, blood-drinking sword which is certain to kill its owner eventually, but which just might be helpful in the meantime. In a series of short stories, author Laurell K. Hamilton (see more reviews of books by Hamilton) explores different facets of her imagination. These short stories, written over Hamilton's career, show both the diversity of imagination and the development of Hamilton as an author.

    The short story is a distinct art form than the novel and Hamilton's stories bring out her strength. Without the word-count needed to get into the elaborate sexual situations of her novels, her short stories are crisp and to the point (with the exception of the last story, "The Girl Who Was Infatuated With Death," in which pretty much nothing happened except Anita trying to decide whether to have sex with Jean-Claude or not. Hamilton regulars already know the answer to that one).

    The stories in this collection range from hard-core sword-and-sorcery fantasy to a gentle and fun cupid story, with Anita and an angry psychic in between, but Hamilton's style provides a connection between them--with a universally strong female lead and a sense of danger behind every corner (even the cupids can be dangerous). Hamilton fans (like me) will definitely want to get their hands on STRANGE CANDY. But prepared to have your mind expanded--despite the cover, this collection definitely tends toward the earlier Hamilton with more action and less obsessive sex than her recent stories.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 1/26/07

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