Hello Humans! It is officially spooky season, I have made a tiny witch hat for my Mia Corvere figurine and I’m ready for some scary stories. When the lovely people at Titan asked if I wanted to read their latest short story compilation Hex Life I basically couldn’t resist!
These are tales of wickedness… stories of evil and cunning, written by today’s women you should fear. Includes tales from Kelley Armstong, Rachel Caine and Sherrilyn Kenyon, writing in their own bestselling universes.
Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery will take the classic tropes of tales of witchcraft and infuse them with fresh, feminist perspective and present-day concerns–even if they’re set in the past. These witches might be monstrous, or they might be heroes, depending on their own definitions. Even the kind hostess with the candy cottage thought of herself as the hero of her own story. After all, a woman’s gotta eat.
Bring out your dread.
Content warnings: sexual assault, violence, eating disorder (there are more so feel free to contact me for more information)
Yes, this is a short story collection all themed around witches. It’s practically perfect for anyone looking for some Halloween appropriate reading!
As with most collections of this kind this was a mixed bag, there were a few stories I really loved and a couple that weren’t quite it for me. I think that’s the best thing you can hope for when reviewing something like this, because it pretty much guarantees that this collection will have something for everyone.
Because I am a soft (yet stabby) soul, my favourite stories were of course the somewhat less spooky ones. I liked the stories where groups of women got together to fix problems (albeit sometimes by murdering people). The real central theme of this book felt like ‘women getting things sorted’ which I’m here for. There are a lot of quite grim stories within this book, if you don’t like the idea of someone filled with bugs – don’t read (I’m still a bit itchy from that one). There’s also a story that I would not recommend reading if you’re about to have a baby as it was a little horrific – although I think that one had the most beautiful writing so maybe just prepare yourself.
I was surprised to find I hadn’t read anything by any of these authors before! I think that’s because I don’t tend to read much paranormal fiction – I like my fantasy to have swords and dragons – but this was a great way to discover some new names. The contributors were diverse which was fabulous and absolutely enriched the offering.
If you like short stories or you’re looking for a lot of different approaches to witches then I’d say this is worth reading. This certainly isn’t just a wholesome girl power book – it goes to some weird and scary places – but hey, it’s Halloween.
My rating: 3/5 stars (averaging all the stories).
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Hex Life is available now!
What say you? What are some of your favourite short story collections? Let me know in the comments below!