From the editors of Home Improvement: Undead Edition comes a smooth anthology of thirteen new tales of magic, terror and the paranormal from noted authors in the genre. The collection opens with a new Sookie Stackhouse story “Playing Possum” that feels as though it was wrenched from the latest news coverage and includes Sookie’s young telepathic nephew Hunter. While a nice enough tale, there are several stronger entries like “Sympathy for the Bones” by Marjorie M. Liu that tells of a young woman’s justified revenge upon the old witch who raised her. Spellcaster 2.0 by Jonathan Maberry is a spirited tale about an egocentric professor and his brightest students who attempt to distill all the known magic spells down to a single all encompassing incantation, but do they believe? Mike Carey presents a chillingly different twist to zombies with the addition of a powerful right to life movement in “Iphigenia in Aulis”.
While most anthologies tend to have a few strong stories sprinkled amongst an assortment of weaker offerings. This is an exception because nearly all are fresh, inventive and downright entertaining with several including nice comeuppances or clever tweaks that are good fun. Short stories are too often overlooked and that is a shame because as this collection shows, they can be delightful treats.