Home Improvement: Undead Edition – Book Review

3 out of 5 stars overall

I’m not a short story person, so I’m pretty proud of myself for reading this. It was nice having a book to just leave at work to read on my lunches and I found a couple new authors to look into.

If I Had a Hammer by Charlaine Harris
Sookie Stackhouse short story. Tara and JB are doing a little remodeling after their twins are born and release a negative spirit. Conveniently, their nanny is a psychic and helps to solve the mystery surrounding the spirit and how to get it to move on. 2.5/5 stars

Wizard Home Security by Victor Gischler
A wizard in a wizarding community has his house broken into and all his expensive spell materials stolen. This is the story of his funny failures at securing his place. (Example: a zombie bear sentry.) 3/5 stars

Gray by Patricia Briggs
A heartbroken vampire tries to restore her house to it’s pre-death state in an attempt to reconnect with her long dead husband, who may or may not haunt the place. Vampire politics make things difficult of course. Some fun historical fiction involved. 3.5/5 stars

Squatter’s Rights by Rochelle Krich
Just your basic remodel house, weird things happen, possession story. Main characters are Jewish, so there are some interesting cultural differences. However, at times the author seems to expect you to know specific jewish words/references. 2/5 stars

Blood on the Wall by Heather Graham
Now this is my jam. NOLA private investigator is working a serial killer case. There’s mystery, occult, vampires and werewolves, you have my attention. Will be checking out. 4/5 stars

The Mansion of Imperatives by James Grady
People buy old mansion to remodel, sell and make a pretty penny. House possesses people and makes them do things they wouldn’t normally do. Man’s wife cheats and he discovers this by sticking his face in her crotch, inhaling deeply and yelling, “That’s not our smell!” What the actual fuck? If it wasn’t for that one disturbing line, this story would be absolutely forgettable. 1/5 stars

The Strength Inside by Melissa Marr
Two Bori (which I’m still confused at what that is) move to a new neighborhood for a better family home for themselves and their siblings. They struggle with the home owner’s association and solve it rather gruesomely. May check out. 3/5 stars

Woolsley’s Kitchen Nightmare by E.E. Knight
Translife, as in anyone who has transitioned to life after death. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc. This is a story of restaurants catering to this specific clientele and the interesting ways they come about their meals. May check out. 3/5 stars

Through This House by Seanan McGuire
I’ve been debating this series for years and now that I’ve had a taste, I definitely want more. October Daye is given a fairy mound to live in (along with her people), but fairy mounds choose who to let in and their current inhabitants may not let anyone out. (Talks about types of fae many books never mention.) Definitely checking out. 5/5 stars

The Path by S.J. Rozan
A spirit who has been reincarnated many times is stuck in his current state, unable to move on due to his attachment to a buddha statue. He talks with his other spirit friends (like a mountain spirit) to help him achieve moving on. Interesting premise but ultimately boring. 2.5/5 stars

Rick the Brave by Stacia Kane
Seems to have a unique world set up however, none of the characters were particularly enjoyable. Another reconstruction disturbs ghosts story. 2/5 stars

Full-Scale Demolition by Suzanne McLeod
Kelpies, lamias, pixies, attempted child murder definitely grabs attention. Like the sexual tension between the main character and a beau. Will check out. 4/5 stars

It’s All in the Rendering by Simon R. Green
A house sits between two worlds, human and fae, providing sanctuary for any who seek it. A menagerie of fun characters inhabit the house and provide back up for the house guardians when two associations (one from each side) try to force updates on the enchanted house. My favorite story of the bunch. 5/5 stars

In Brightest Day by Toni L.P. Kelner
A houngan (voodoo priestess/necromancer) resurrects an architect to continue his work on an expensive project. Problematically, the revenant keeps dropping dead (again). Could be good but author uses too many pop culture references for my taste. 2.5/5 stars

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