I love anthologies for the simple reason they allow you to a) find new authors and b) allow an author to explore secondary characters’ stories that us readers tend to beg for *G*. Chicks Kick Butt was no exception. There are something like 12+ authors who wrote for this particular anthology, including Rachel Caine, Jenna Black, Rachel Vincent and Karen Chance.
Chicks are awesome–and never more so than when they are kicking some serious vampire/werewolf/demon/monster butt.
Chicks Kick Butt is an anthology that features one of the best things about the urban fantasy genre: strong, independent, and intelligent heroines who are quite capable of solving their own problems and slaying their own dragons (or demons, as the case may be).
Edited by Kerrie Hughes and Rachel Caine, Chicks Kick Butt features original stories from thirteen authors, eleven of whom are New York Times bestsellers: Rachel Caine (with a story from her bestselling Weather Wardens universe), L.A. Banks, Rachel Vincent, Karen Chance, Lilith Saintcrow, Cheyenne McCray, Susan Krinard, Jeanne Stein, Jenna Black, Susan Krinard, Jeanne Stein, Elizabeth Vaughan, Carole Nelson Douglas, P.N. Elrod and Nancy Holder.
Now I will go ahead and admit that due to real life issues that I have to be very judicious with what I’m reading because I don’t have much time here lately. So, I only read the stories from series I’ve previously read. These included Rachel Vincent, Karen Chance and Jenna Black. I’m working on getting through Lili Saintcrow’s series as I can, so I skipped hers for now.
The premise for Chicks Kick Butt is to highlight strong female leads. Some of the authors are showcasing awesome females who were secondary characters in their series, others are giving us a snippet with the main characters. Since there are so many authors who participated (YAY!!), the stories are really really short, shorter than what you will see in many anthologies that contain 3-5 authors; b34ut, I’m certainly not complaining. Do I wish they were longer, of course, but hey…I still got to read some awesome stories *G*.
The story Rachel Vincent wrote is from her Shifters series and features Abby. I don’t want to giveaway any spoilers for those of you who haven’t read Shifters yet, and I wouldn’t recommend this short story if you haven’t at least read the first couple of books in Shifters series as I think you’d need to in order to pick up on some of the references to an event Abby went through. Since Shifters ended last year, I LOVED getting to sneak a peek back into this world and see how people are doing. Although, you really don’t see any of the other characters, besides Jace who makes a brief cameo. Reading this makes me really hope Ms. Vincent will come back to this world again and do something with maybe Abby or Jace as the leads in the future.
Karen Chance gave us Dorina fans a peek into what Dory is up to. Of course, she’s gotten herself in yet another predicament. This short story takes place shortly after Death’s Mistress and you’ll see a brief glimpse of Louis-Cesare (squee!). Again, I would recommend reading the first two Dory books prior to reading this short story simply because you may not understand who the players are and some nuances of Ms. Chance’s world.
Now on to Jenna Black’s story. Morgan Kingsley fans will be excited. If you’re like me and were sad to see this series come to an end with Devil’s Playground, you’ll really enjoy Ms. Black’s story. Morgan is contacted by a family to investigate whether their daughter is possessed and if so, wants Morgan to perform the exorcism. Well, you know it isn’t quite that simple. Chaos and mayhem ensue, and Lugh fans, yeah, you get more of him (NO, not in that way….dang it *G*). Also, for those of you who are not Brian fans, you’re spared from seeing him. I think readers new to Ms. Black would be OK to read this particular short story. There aren’t a lot of references to past events and you get a decent feel for the world. You may not fully understand the “why” behind what is going on, but you get a good taste for Ms. Black’s writing style and a peek into the fun that Morgan always finds herself getting into.
Overall I am so happy I got Chicks Kick Butt. I love strong female characters and seeing an anthology highlight these types of characters makes me happy. You better believe that, time permitting, I’ll be going through the rest of the authors.