Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: 166 pages
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: 7.5 novella in the Iron Druid Series, novellas from Blud and Miriam Black series
Source: Bought for Kindle
Rating: 4/5 stars
Let me start out by saying that the only reason I got this e-book was because I got the next Iron Druid Chronicles for review (Staked) and that book is prefaced by Hearne telling you to go back and make sure you read the story A Prelude to War in Three Slices. Honestly this makes me a bit grumpy because if a novella is that important to the overall series then it should actually be in the next book…either as a prelude or included as an optional story to read in the back of the book. Telling your reader they have to go and dig up some remote novella available only on ebook sucks.
So why did I go and pick up Three Slices? Well I really like Delilah Dawson and this included a story about how Criminy Stain gets his circus. Also I have been wanting to read something by Chuck Wendig for for quite some time so this was a good opportunity to get a sample of his writing. So in the end it all worked out well, but I am still a bit grumpy about being coerced into reading this.
As with any anthology this was a mixed bag; overall though the stories are pretty good. I am going to write mini-reviews for them all below. If you are a Iron Druid Chronicles fan you definitely want to pick this up for the story that is in here. If you are a Criminy Stain fan (or even if you aren’t) Dawson has a very well done and entertaining story in here about how Criminy Stain got his circus. I can’t really say much about how the Wendig story relates to the Miriam Black series because I haven’t read the rest of that series.
All of the stories have to do with tyromancy, which is divination by cheese. Yep, a bit odd…but that is why this collection is cleverly titled Three Slices.
A Prelude to War by Kevin Hearne (3/5 stars)
Atticus is traveling to Africa to meet with a diviner there to find out how to take out a group of old vampires and finish the war he seems to be in with them. Meanwhile Granuaile is trying to figure out how to get Loki’s mark removed from her arm. The two stories alternate and are a bit choppy. This is not a novella that makes any sense unless you have read the previous books in the series and is honestly more of a necessarily evil to find out where things are going than really entertaining.
Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys by Delilah S. Dawson (5/5 stars)
Criminy Stain finds himself on the run after accidentally killing one of his volunteers. Then he runs into the deadly and enchanting Marissa in the forest; she leads him to a new circus which Criminy is determined to make his own. This was a wonderfully entertaining novella that stands well on it’s own. It also gives some great background on how Criminy Stain gets to where he is in the first Blud novel. I love this world and the characters and Dawson’s writing style is incredibly easy to read.
Interlude: Swallow by Chuck Wendig (4/5 stars)
This is my first time reading Wendig’s writing and any of the Miriam Black stories. His writing style is very raw and gritty, it reminds me of Richard Kadrey or Lucy Snyder’s writing style. It’s very adult with a lot of swearing and crude sexual references. I actually enjoyed it and am interested in reading more about Miriam Black. The story didn’t stand alone very well. Miriam is trying to find out how to get rid of this curse she has (which we never get backstory on) and ends up dealing with this serial killer (again a bit vague on what was going on there). Still it was an entertaining and quick read and made me want to pick up the first Miriam Black novel to see what it’s all about.