Dark & Stormy Knights by Various (GR Cleanup Project)

Dark and Stormy Knights - P.N. Elrod, Jim Butcher,  Ilona Andrews, Rachel Caine, Vicki Pettersson, Deidre Knight, Lilith Saintcrow, Shannon K. Butcher, Carrie Vaughn

GR Cleanup Project

I read this book on audio during my too long ride to work. Each story seems to have a different narrator and I enjoyed the change of voice for each story (even if every story wasn't so great).

The first story A Questionable Client by Ilona Andrews is a prequel to the Kate Daniels series featuring Kate's first run-in with sexy, shady shifter Saiman. I loved it. It's filled with sarcasam, gore and Saiman doing his creepy shifting thing and attempting to find the perfect form that'll make Kate jump his bones. He has found himself in a world of trouble after stealing a magical acorn (yes, you read that correctly), and she is called in as a bodyguard. Sounds weird when I write it all down here but trust me it works out. 4.5

Next up is Jim Butcher's Even Hand. I haven't been following the Dresden Files series. I think I made it to book 3 or 4 and was so sad when the tv series came to an untimely end and then sort of forgot about the series. Fortunately, this story stood well enough on it's own. Set in the Harry Dresden universe, it's not about Harry but about another gumshoe type. A young lady and a baby arrive and need his help. Creatures show up, adventure ensues. The writing was crisp but it didn't thrill me. Actually, if I'm being honest it kinda bored me for the most part. 3

The Beacon by Shannon K. Butcher is a very average tale about a man who slays "Beacons". Beacon's are people who somehow have the capacity to bring monstrous man-killing beasts into the world. This Beacon Slayer has spent his life murdering the "Beacon's" before the monsters arrive. They are typically old men so he doesn't feel all that bad about his dutyt but when the latest Beacon turns out to be an adorable little cherub with a beautiful young, single mother he has a change of heart. This is an ok monster tale with some action and emotion but it's not one I'll remember for too long. 3.5

Even a Rabbit Will Bite by Rachel Caine was more my thing. It starts out slow but the payoff was worth it. The last dragonslayer is being forced to retire and train her replacement. She's crotchety and a bit of a bitch and I loved that realism about her personality. But be warned, it's a sad, melancholy story. 4.5

Next up was Dark Lady by P.N. Elrod featuring vampire and private investigator Jack Fleming. This is part of the Vampire Files family and is a well written, noir type of mystery written in the same tone as the rest of the series. Not my favorite, honestly I found it a wee bit boring, but certainly not bad by any means. 3.5

Beknighted by Deidre Knight felt so very stereotypical. A beautiful artist is attempting to bring to life the knight of her dreams by way of her puzzle artwork. Only problem is she doesn't have the cash to buy the special gold stuff needed to spring him free and must take on a patron in order to raise the bucks. She pisses and moans that's shes not a nine to fiver but I think this book is set in the past? This was a little unclear to me. The man with the gold coin is, of course, gorgeous but a terribly Evil guy who has nefarious plans. This was a bit disjointed and didn't gel together for me. 3

Shifting Star by Vicki Pettersson may well be a fabulous story but the narrator was so monotonousness that I tuned much of it out. I haven't listened to a narrator this awful in ages. This one also confused the hell out of me and I found the lead character wooden and odd. She's after something called a "Tulpa" that *I think* has been kidnapping young tweens. It feels very mid series and is not a story that reads well on its own. 2.5

By the time I reached the last two stories by Lilith St. Crow and Carrie Vaughn my attention had left for good and I can't remember enough about either story to write up any kind of synopsis.