Cindy (USA: NV) (2012/02/05):
Loosely themed anthology with the usual ups and downs. Action based plots.
"The Howling" BY Erin McCarthy I can't review as I didn't read it. I really dislike the Russian folktale that is the basis of the term "throwing someone to the wolves" and since it opens with that I moved on the next one. I'm sure the author wrote it beautifully - she always does - it just wasn't for me.
"Smoke On The Water" BY Bianca D'arc was a good read - zombies and spies oh my! Our hero is the surly but well trained agent and resents being assigned to work with our heroine is not. A chemist by training who happens to be immune to the zombie infection she's been dumped into the deep end and told to swim. As the heroine says to herself: "I'm no Chuck Norris, I'm not even Chuck E. Cheese!" Frankly, the whole shambling undead thing is a turn-off for me but the interplay between the hero and heroine kept me reading.
"Redeeming The Wizard" BY Jennifer Lyon was the real winner of this anthology. I loved it. The hero is a wizard with issues [fried powers, a portal that leaks demons, and trust issues - all generated by the betrayal of a woman] and a heroine with issues [no magic which puts her way at the bottom of the food chain, undeserved guilt over the death of her parents, and now her beloved grandmother has been kidnapped]. She marches off to demand the wizard find her Gram - she threatens him with blackmail and then promises anything his heart desires... Interesting world, I'd like to see more of it.