Book Review: P. N. Elrod’s Hex Appeal

Posted July 12, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: P. N. Elrod’s Hex Appeal

Hex Appeal


Carole Nelson Douglas, Carrie Vaughn, Erica Hayes, Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Lori Handeland, P.N. Elrod, Rachel Caine, Simon R. Green

It is part of the , , , Delilah Street #5.1, Vampire Files Universe: Ellinghaus and Goldfarb #x.5, Nightside #x.5, , Phoenix Chronicles #x.5, , Kitty Norville #4.5 series and is a fantasy, paranormal fantasy, urban fantasy that was published by St. Martin's Griffin on June 5, 2012 and has 356 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books in this series include Love Bites

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Chicks Kick Butt, Dark and Stormy Knights, Kitty Goes to Washington, Kitty and the Midnight Hour, "Kitty Meets the Band", Kitty and the Silver Bullet, Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand, Kitty Raises Hell, Kitty's House of Horrors, Kitty Goes to War, Kitty's Big Trouble, Kitty's Greatest Hits, Kitty Steals the Show, Kitty Rocks the House, Kitty in the Underworld, On the Edge, Bayou Moon, Must Love Hellhounds, Angels of Darkness, Hexed, Fate's Edge, An Apple for the Creature, "Magic Gifts", Gunmetal Magic, Innkeeper Chronicles, Steel's Edge, Magic Bites, Magic Burns, Magic Strikes, Magic Bleeds, Magic Slays, Magic Rises, Magic Bleeds, Burn For Me, Night Shift, Magic Shifts, Burn for Me, Magic Binds, Mean Streets, Changes, Side Jobs, Ghost Story, Aftertaste, Welcome to the Jungle, Dangerous Women, Storm Front, Grave Peril, Summer Knight, Fool Moon, Cold Days, Skin Game, Blood Rites, Death Masks, Proven Guilty, White Night, Small Favor, Shadowed Souls, Dates from Hell, "The Devil You Know", Undone, Unknown, Ghost Town, Rachel Caine, Bite Club, Devil's Bargain, Devil's Due, Last Breath, Unseen, Unbroken, Black Dawn, Working Stiff, Two Weeks' Notice, Bitter Blood, Kiss of Death, Fall of Night, Daylighters, Kicking It, Prince of Shadows, Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire, Ash and Quill, Killman Creek, Something From the Nightside, Agents of Light and Darkness, Nightingale's Lament, Paths Not Taken, Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth, Hell to Pay, Just Another Judgement Day, The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny, A Hard Day's Knight, Hex and the City, The Unnatural Inquirer, The Bride Wore Black Leather, Home Improvement: Undead Edition, Man with the Golden Torc, Daemons are Forever, The Spy Who Haunted Me, From Hell with Love, For Heaven's Eyes Only, Live and Let Drood, Casino Infernale, Blue Moon Rising, Tales of the Hidden World, Blood and Honor, From a Drood to a Kill, The Dark Side of the Road, Dead Man Walking, Very Important Corpses, Moonbreaker, Dr. DOA

An anthology of nine short stories revolving around a central theme of magic.


“Retribution Clause” (side story to Kate Daniels, 5.6)
“Bigfoot on Campus” (Dresden Files, 11.4; Bigfoot Trilogy, 3)
“Holly’s Balm” (Holly and Andy, 2)
“Snow Job” (Delilah Street, 5.1)
“Outside the Box” (Vampire Files Universe: Ellinghaus and Goldfarb, x.5)
“How Do You Feel?” (Nightside, x.5 (Walker is still in charge))
“There Will be Demons” (Phoenix Chronicles, x.5)
“Cherry Kisses” (Shadowfae Chronicles, 4.5)
“Arcane Art of Misdirection” (Kitty Norville, 4.5)

The Stories

Ilona Andrews‘ “Retribution Clause” finds Adam Talford (or Talbot) and his partner, Siroun (frost giant and Saiman’s cousin) are sent to fulfill the retribution clause in Mrs. Sobanto’s life insurance. Seems Mr. Sobanto has been a bad, bad boy.

An interesting story with a unique clause. I can think of a few people who would want such a thing.

Jim Butcher‘s “Bigfoot on Campus” takes place several years after “I was a Teenage Bigfoot” and finds Harry checking up on Irwin for his dad, River Shoulders. That boy just can’t stay out of trouble. True to form (for a college boy), it’s girl trouble.

Rachel Caine‘s “Holly’s Balm” is sweet and slightly gruesome with Holly Anne Caldwell, a resurrection witch, helping the police find a serial re-killer. A very touching moment with Andy Toland, her revived gunslingin’ boyfriend.

Their first appearance was in Strange Brew: “Death Warmed Over”.

Carole Nelson Douglas‘ “Snow Job” finds Christophe, a.k.a., Snow, a.k.a., Cocaine, and the CinSims in trouble due to a difference of opinion Christophe had with the original Lilith.

It’s definitely an interesting series Douglas has going. I just wish Delilah wasn’t such a bitchy drama queen.

P.N. Elrod‘s “Outside the Box” was a switch for me. Seems the Company is a vamp-run organization that keeps all the vampires in line and someone out there doesn’t like it. Excellent.

Simon R. Green‘s “How Do You Feel?” is sad and revenge-filled for Dead Boy. He finally tracks down those responsible for his original death and we learn how and why he died. We also get to ride along with him on his quest with his futuristic car, Silicon Lily.

Lori Handeland‘s “There Will be Demons” is just plain mean. Summer Bartholomew finally meets the man she’s been dreaming of for millennia. She even manages to save his life despite the centuries of dreams in which he’s died. Only to find it’s her love that’s a dream.

Erica Hayes‘ “Cherry Kisses” is too cute as Lena Falco, troublemaker extraordinaire almost makes nice when she and Ethan Benford partner up to invade Hell to steal a pendant. I must check out this series!

Carrie Vaughn‘s “Arcane Art of Misdirection” is a magical twist on card counting in Vegas and Julie, the croupier, insists on tagging along after Odysseus Grant, a magician intent on finding the guilty party.

The Cover and Title

The cover is red. Red in every imaginable shade and texture…creating a wall that looks like it’s located in Hell. It doesn’t help when the Hex is made up of flaming letters! Just to liven things up, a long-haired brunette in a black PVC mini dress with a deep cut-out neckline is leaning up against a corner of that wall. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit to learn she’s a demon…!

The title is a bit of a catch-all, as all the stories are about magic in some shape or form. It’s an anthology with a lot of Hex Appeal.