Strange Brew is an anthology that features and is edited by P.N. Elrod. It also features other prominent authors such as:
Each week I will do two reviews from two short stories in the anthology. They will feature in alphabetical order as above.
Seeing Eye by Patricia Briggs
Seeing Eye features Moira, a witch who is forever clouded in darkness. Moira is blind. Lately she has been having nightmares, but she knows better. They are visions. The visions are coming closer to becoming real when a werewolf comes knocking on her door. Tom needs help, and help comes in the form of Moira. A coven of witches called the ‘Samhain’ have kidnapped his brother for their own purposes. To save his brother, Tom demands Moira’ help but as events start to unravel and truths come out, will Moria and Tom survive?
Seeing Eye is a classic Briggs story, though we see the witches in the forefront as we haven’t seen before. Moira is a white witch. She is basically a good person and witch but she has seen and done things which have been pretty brutal, although she did it as a sacrifice of herself and not against others. I had compassion for her, but I didn’t pity her as she was very self-reliant and was able to take care of herself in an independent manner.
With short stories there is only so much that fits in and for me I didn’t see much of Tom’s personality. It’s hard to get a feel for a character when you have limited words. I did like him though. Very much. He and Moira worked very well together and the title of the story is very apt for this couple. The information that was provided about the witches was very insightful, especially the sacrifices. I can’t wait to see more about the witches in future books and hopefully Tom, and Moira. I give Strange Brews 4 out of 5.
Last Call by Jim Butcher
OK, I’ve never read the Harry Dresden Files by Jim Butcher before, but after reading this extremely funny short story, you can bet I’m going to get the first set of books. Soon. *grins*
Last Call features Harry Dresden. Harry enters Mac’s bar wanting a beer but gets more that he bargains for and without his beer. Most of the customers are lying on the floor unconscious, bloody and beaten. Harry finds Mac behind the bar who is looking very much the worse for wear. Harry, along with his assistant and Detective Murphy, must find out what happened to Mac and the others before it can happen again.
This was a pretty awesome short story. Harry is a funny character, yet he has a dark edge to him. All he wanted was a god-damn beer. Can’t blame him! I found Harry to be very funny, though he can be rude and crude. There was one line where I snorted with laughter and it takes a lot to make me snort with laughter in a book.
The story flowed effortlessly and I wasn’t left wanting more from the story as the resolution was unfolded in a timely and satisfying manner. The characters were fully fleshed out and I want to learn more about Harry and the world he lives in. I get the sense that people know about magic and know who Harry is, along with his magical rod which I’m very curious about. I give Last Call 4.5 out of 5