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Hex Appeal | [Jim Butcher, Carrie Vaughn, Ilona Andrews, Simon R. Green, Rachel Caine, Erica Hayes, P. N. Elrod (author/editor)]

Hex Appeal

Fall under the intoxicating spell of their hex appeal…In the magical world that lies hidden beneath our own, witches and conjurers play deadly games. They know just the right spell to kill a man with one kiss—or raise him back again. And they’re not afraid to exact sweet revenge on those who dare to cross them. But what if you’re the unlucky soul who falls victim to a conjurer’s curse? And if you had the power to cast a magic spell of your own, would you use it?
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Publisher's Summary

Fall under the intoxicating spell of their hex appeal…. In the magical world that lies hidden beneath our own, witches and conjurers play deadly games. They know just the right spell to kill a man with one kiss—or raise him back again. And they’re not afraid to exact sweet revenge on those who dare to cross them. But what if you’re the unlucky soul who falls victim to a conjurer’s curse? And if you had the power to cast a magic spell of your own, would you use it?

In this bewitching collection, nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors tell all-new, otherworldly tales. Spellbinding stories featuring bigfoot, albino vampires, professional wizards, resurrected boyfriends, and even a sex droid from the 23rd century named Silicon Lily. But as our conjurers are about to discover, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hexed. And sometimes, even the best spun spells can lead to complete and utter mayhem.

©2012 Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Carole Nelson Douglas, P. N. Elrod, Simon R. Green, Lori Handeland, Erica Hayes, Carrie Vaughn (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Heavy hitters serve up sharp, dark, witty urban fantasy in this anthology of nine hex tales, each with a unique twist." (Publisher's Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (269 )
5 star
 (70)
4 star
 (91)
3 star
 (71)
2 star
 (26)
1 star
 (11)
Overall
3.7 (233 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (225 )
5 star
 (72)
4 star
 (77)
3 star
 (50)
2 star
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1 star
 (7)
Performance
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  •  
    Shay Bella Lincoln, CA USA 01-17-13
    Shay Bella Lincoln, CA USA 01-17-13 Member Since 2012

    Favorite Genres: Urban/Preternatural Fantasy, Science Fiction, Knitting Favorite Story Components: character development, under-dog success stories

    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    159
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Format, Good Stories"

    On the plus side, each short story was its own chapter so you can easily get between parts of the book. The index of stories is below, along with particular remarks.

    On the overall, I enjoyed the writing, and found the narration to be professional, but disappointing. As I told my husband, the narration quality was like when you're used to working with a 20 year veteran contractor and then you start working with someone who only has maybe 2 or 3 years on the job – the rough patches that the 20 year man smooths over by instinct the younger pro is still learning how to sand. The male narrators went a little too far into the film noir style for my tastes, and Ms. Van Dyck spoke too quickly with a lack of dramatic sense. It was rather like listening on fast forward. Ms. Hendrix reminded me of Tavia Gilbert's irritating voice, but with a more refined sense of dramatic speech.


    1) Retribution Clause, written by Ilona Andrews, read by Marc Vietor
    Overall: 4 Performance: 3 Story: 4

    I think I'm so used to Renee Raudman reading for the Andrews' stories that any other voice is starting at a disadvantage. However, of Mr. Vietor's two performances in the book, this is the better.

    2) Bigfoot on Campus, written by Jim Butcher, read by Jonathan Davis
    Overall: 4 Performance: 4 Story: 4

    This was, in my opinion, the best performance of the book, and while I wasn't quite getting into the Harry Dresden character, that was more about the character's archetype than any fault in the reading or the writing.

    3) Holly's Balm, written by Rachel Caine, read by Jennifer Van Dyck
    Overall: 3 Performance: 3 Story: 4

    Ms. Caine is now on my list of authors to check out. The story was good, and this was probably one of the better performances by Ms. Van Dyck.

    4) Snow Job, written by Carole Nelson Douglas, read by Gayle Hendrix
    Overall: 3 Performance: 3 Story: 3

    I am not a film fan, so a lot of the points just didn't hit it for me.

    5) Outside the Box, written by P. N. Elrod, read by Jennifer Van Dyck
    Overall: 3 Performance: 2 Story: 4

    The reading on this one was so fast forward all the way that the only drama came from the writing.

    6) How Do You Feel?, written by Simon R. Green, read by Marc Vietor
    Overall: 2 Performance: 3 Story: 2

    I think Mr. Vietor did a decent job with a crummy story in this one. The writing was sooooo over the top terrible that I'm wondering if it ever went through a real edit or just got passed through proof readers and stamped "good to go" simply because of the author.

    7) There Will be Demons, written by Lori Handeland, read by Gayle Hendrix
    Overall: 3 Performance: 3 Story: 3

    This was pretty much a "meh" story for me. It maybe needs a longer format to flesh out things like why the heroine is a fairy instead of a fallen angel, and other oddities shoe-horned in.

    8) Cherry Kisses, written by Erica Hayes, read by Jennifer Van Dyck
    Overall: 4 Performance: 3 Story: 4

    Ms. Van Dyck managed to slow down enough for some drama to come into her reading for this story. While there were some troupe moments in the plot, the whole of it was fun.

    9) The Arcane Art of Misdirection, written by Carrie Vaughn, read by Gayle Hendrix
    Overall: 4 Performance: 3 Story: 4

    Set in the Kitty Norville universe, this tales tells more about the day to day adventures of Odysseus Grant, and is up to Ms. Vaughn's usual standards of quality story crafting.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Michigan 08-03-13
    Kelly Michigan 08-03-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
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    508
    80
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    21
    21
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    Story
    "Overall Quite Fun"

    I enjoyed most of the stories in this anthology immensely. It's added some series of books to my to read list. I really enjoyed the story Holly's Balm that revisited characters from Strange Brew. The narrators did a good job and I did like the fact that all the stories weren't read by the same person. I think I'll probably be re-listening to this anthology at some point because I do love short stories.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S Jones Redmond, WA United States 07-08-13
    S Jones Redmond, WA United States 07-08-13 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    705
    11
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great book"

    I have read these authors individually and now in a book of shorts - they shine! I would recommend this anthology to any who want a good listen, and especially if you want quicker bites for short commutes or...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin United States 06-14-12
    Robin United States 06-14-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Read this moslty for Jim Butcher"
    If you could sum up Hex Appeal in three words, what would they be?

    Hungry for more.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That it whetted my appetite for more in the various series.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Freedom to drive the car!


    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katya A new york 06-27-14
    Katya A new york 06-27-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    16
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Grab bag of Urban Fantasy"

    I got this anthology because it promised 'nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors'. My dad writes fanfic pretty much on this level. Recycled ideas, recycled plots.

    RETRIBUTION CLAUSE by ILONA ANDREWS - 4 stars - post-tech world, pretty cool environment, interesting story.

    BIGFOOT ON CAMPUS by JIM BUTCHER - 3 stars - I'm not really a fan of Dresden Files, but the story was interesting enough.

    HOLLY'S BALM by RACHEL CAINE - 2.5 stars - love conquers all but is not an excuse for bad prose.

    SNOW JOB by CAROLE NELSON DOUGLAS - ? stars - a story so bland, i'm not even sure what it was about anymore.

    OUTSIDE THE BOX by P.N. ELROD - 3.5 stars - in a world where vampires are possible, it's only reasonable that there would be a somewhat bureaucratic agency that registers and processes newly risen bloodsuckers.

    HOW DO YOU FEEL by SIMON R. GREEN - 3.5 stars - ok story from a sorta-zombie POV

    THERE WILL BE DEMONS by LORI HANDELAND - 2 stars - Dhampirs, skinwalkers, fairies and fallen angels... I just didn't find it interesting.

    CHERRY KISSES by ERICA HAYES - 2 stars - self-absorbed magical con artist goes to hell to retrieve something. I think amulet, but it didn't really stick.

    THE ARCANE ART OF MISDIRECTION by CARRIE VAUGHN - 4 stars - a blackjack dealer in Vegas who spots a cheater. Pretty good start but kinda sours a little towards the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eleanor Trail, British Columbia, Canada 10-29-13
    Eleanor Trail, British Columbia, Canada 10-29-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    8
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good except for..."

    I enjoyed all the stories, Simon R. Green's was a bit over the top but true to the style of the series.
    My only less than good experience was with Gayle Hendrix's narration. I found the male voice she uses would be excellent for Westerns....but not for the stories she narrated. Just did not care for her work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alynd Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 06-25-13
    Alynd Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 06-25-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    22
    4
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    1
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    Performance
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    "Jim Butcher 5/5 The rest were disappointing"
    What disappointed you about Hex Appeal?

    I love Jim Butcher and have read all of the full length Dresden books. I was hoping to find some new authors to read/listen to. No luck.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Larsen Culpeper, VA USA 01-09-14
    P. Larsen Culpeper, VA USA 01-09-14 Member Since 2010

    Bitman

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    54
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Could not listen to the whole thing"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better story, fewer characters.


    Has Hex Appeal turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No - but it will most likely make me avoid the authors of the book.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I don't know - I only managed to listen to an hour or so .....


    Any additional comments?

    I was weary of picking this to begin with - I should have gone with my intuition and leaving it be.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results
Sort by:
  • Niall
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    7/27/12
    Overall
    "It was entertaining"

    I picked up this anthology because I'd heard about it from somewhere and thought it might be an interesting sampler for a collection of today's better urban fantasy authors. While I've heard of some of the authors, the only one I'd ever read anything of was Jim Butcher, so I came in here with no clue as to the nature of the worlds or the kind of storytelling I was expecting.

    Unfortunately, many of these made poor short stories for the simple reason that they had to expound huge amounts of backstory for you to understand the world, or they didn't and you then didn't understand what was going on.

    I kind of expected the best of the set to be Jim Butcher's, and I wasn't wrong. While there is a vast array of background in Harry Dresden's world, you didn't need to know much of it to get the story or the characters, and Butcher does not reveal it if you don't need to know. The story is pretty cool too.

    I had heard good things about Simon R Green and I'm sorry to say that his story put me off his Darkside series entirely. I didn't like the characters or the storytelling.

    Lori Handeland's "There Will be Demons" has the only decent sex scene in it. (If you're looking at that cover and title, and expecting something sexy, don't be fooled.) Beyond that, it appeared to make essentially no sense. Snow Job by Carole Nelson Douglas suffered badly from the author's desire to place the story within a series. If I heard "Post Millennium Revelation Vegas" one more time I might have shot something. Cherry Kisses by Erica Hayes and The Aracane Art of Misdirection by Carrie Vaughn were good enough, I enjoyed them, but they didn't make me want to hunt down more books, and the remaining tales were just basically filler, from my point of view.

    Maybe, if you are enthused over the series these fall into, you would get more out of the stories. I would not say this was a complete loss, and it did keep me entertained to some degree, but it's nothing to write home about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Niall
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    10/11/12
    Overall
    "Not a total loss"

    I picked up this anthology because I'd heard about it from somewhere and thought it might be an interesting sampler for a collection of today's better urban fantasy authors. While I've heard of some of the authors, the only one I'd ever read anything of was Jim Butcher, so I came in here with no clue as to the nature of the worlds or the kind of storytelling I was expecting.



    Unfortunately, many of these made poor short stories for the simple reason that they had to expound huge amounts of backstory for you to understand the world, or they didn't and you then didn't understand what was going on.



    I kind of expected the best of the set to be Jim Butcher's, and I wasn't wrong. While there is a vast array of background in Harry Dresden's world, you didn't need to know much of it to get the story or the characters, and Butcher does not reveal it if you don't need to know. The story is pretty cool too.



    I had heard good things about Simon R Green and I'm sorry to say that his story put me off his Darkside series entirely. I didn't like the characters or the storytelling.



    Lori Handeland's "There Will be Demons" has the only decent sex scene in it. (If you're looking at that cover and title, and expecting something sexy, don't be fooled.) Beyond that, it appeared to make essentially no sense. Snow Job by Carole Nelson Douglas suffered badly from the author's desire to place the story within a series. If I heard "Post Millennium Revelation Vegas" one more time I might have shot something. Cherry Kisses by Erica Hayes and The Aracane Art of Misdirection by Carrie Vaughn were good enough, I enjoyed them, but they didn't make me want to hunt down more books, and the remaining tales were just basically filler, from my point of view.



    Maybe, if you are enthused over the series these fall into, you would get more out of the stories. I would not say this was a complete loss, and it did keep me entertained to some degree, but it's nothing to write home about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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