“Micah and Strange Candy” is a book that’s a little different. “Micah” is an Anita Blake novella, and “Strange Candy” is a collection of Laurell K. Hamilton short stories.
“Micah” follows on from “Incubus Dreams” in the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series.
Anita must travel at extremely short notice to fill in for Larry Kirkland on an Animators Inc job. Larry cannot go because his wife is having complications in her pregnancy. Anita is far from a keen flyer, and Micah goes along for to support as well as to feed the ardeur. Anita must finally be with Micah and Micah alone, and must face her inner issues/reservations. She must also help Micah recover from his past.
The assignment seems fairly routine at first. A recently deceased federal witness must be raised in order to testify in an organized crime investigation. But Anita begins to suspect that both Larry and herself have not been given the full story.
I liked finding out more about Micah’s past and how he became a wereleopard, however as I have said before, the sheer number of Anita’s boyfriends is becoming a little ridiculous. And Hamilton seems to like to write about very well endowed men an awful lot.
I really enjoyed this collection. They were a treat to read, and I liked seeing Hamilton explore a variety of characters and subject matter. Each story has its own little note from Hamilton preceding it.
Those Who Seek Forgiveness
Hamilton says this is the first time Anita walked onto paper for her.
It’s a pretty dark and morbid story, about a woman who wants to raise her husband to speak to him one last time.
It’s pretty well written, and if you’d never read an Anita Blake novel, it would be interesting, as it describes a zombie raising, but I thought it lacked a little something.
A Lust of Cupids
Hamilton’s note preceding this describes this short story as being “as light as she gets”. In it, she also tells us that this story was rejected a number of times. Once an editor told her that she truly loved it, but was honest and said she was not a big enough name for her to publish it, as it would not help magazine sales. Hamilton says she never sent it back when she became “a name”. I guess she wanted to sound cool or something. Really she just came across as petty and arrogant. Kinda reminds me why I stopped following her on twitter (apart from her frequent and aggravating spelling mistakes. I mean you’re an author, haven’t you heard of spell check?!)
Anyway, the story is pretty cute. A woman is being pursued by dogged Cupids, and takes refuge in a nearby furniture store.
The Edge of the Sea
Hamilton talks about her fear of water in her note to the reader. She describes this story as sensual and melancholy.
Adria awakes to find her housemate Rachel gone. She hears a strange noise, outside down on the beach, and goes to investigate. She has a strong feeling of foreboding and can’t shake the feeling that there’s something very wrong.
I liked this story, it was dark and deep, but the suspense propels you forward.
A Scarcity of Lake Monsters
Hamilton talks to us about how this story was inspired by her biology degree, and wondering what things would be like if the monsters were real.
It’s a story about an endangered lake monster, Irving, and two scientists that are studying him, Mike and Susan. They are awoken by an early morning phone call concerning Irving and some lake loving tourists.
I really liked this story. It was fanciful, sad, uplifting and informative (if fantastically) all in one.
Hamilton tells us that this story is set in Anita’s world, but Anita or any of the main characters do not feature in it. She says it was born from wondering what those with “normal jobs” would do now vampirism was legalized.
Abbie is a real estate agent who specializes in the “hard-to-sell”. It’s her job to sell a house that was the scene for a mass murder via demon possession.
This one is creepy and somehow at the same time, a little nonchalant. But I liked reading it.
A Token For Celandine
Hamilton says this is a short story set in the world of her first novel “Nightseer”.
Behvinn is an elf, she is escorting (and guarding) the white healer Celandine on her quest. Can they find what they are looking for?
I liked this one! The world it was set in was really interesting. I liked the fantasy feel, and I think I ought to read “Nightseer”.
A Clean Sweep
Hamilton says she wrote this story when her daughter was a baby.
Captain Housework is a superhero with no nemesis or villains to conquer. And he’s not too happy about the fact that his name is being bandied about by housewives as an alternative to a maid…
This was ok. I didn’t really like it. The ending was cool though.
Hamilton tells us that this piece was published in Dragon Magazine.
Sidra seeks the one who harmed her friend, who is a bard. He is near death, so she must hurry if she is to save his life. With the aid of her blood blade Leech and her friend Gannon the Sorceror, she is able to glean who harmed the bard.
I liked this one.
Hamilton says this is the only piece of hers that was born purely of inspiration.
Alatir has been living as a bird for years to escape a geas laid upon her by an evil Sorceror. But the time has come where she can no longer ignore the geas.
Loved this one.
House of Wizards
Hamilton says she is nothing like Rudelle, and likens herself to the wizards in this story. She says she admires those like Rudelle.
Rudelle is a very practical woman who has just done a very impractical thing. She’s married a wizard. She herself has no magic to speak of. But all the same, she brings something very special into her husband’s life.
I liked this one. It was very cute.
Here Be Dragons
Hamilton says this is her only science fiction piece to date. She said an editor once rejected this piece by saying it made her feel unclean.
Dr Jasmine Cooper is an empath who can enter dreams. She works in a facility helping to rehabilitate murderers. She gets a call from Dr Bromley at “The School”, the place where she spent her childhood. The place she never wanted to return to. Dr Bromley needs her help. Apparently he has a student who is out of control.
This one was very creepy and very cool.
Hamilton says this one is also set in the world of “Nightseer”. She likens the main character Jessa to Edward in the Anita Blake series, they’re both assassins.
Jessamine Swordwitch has come home to face an enemy. Cytherea of Cheladon is killing the land and it’s people. She needs killing, and Jessa wants to do it.
I liked it.
Hamilton tells us this is the first story she ever sold.
Sebastiane, now Sidra Ironfist, needs to steal some souls back. They’re the souls of her sisters, imprisoned by a wizard performing forbidden magic.
I have really enjoyed Hamilton’s work in the fantasy genre.
The Girl Who Was Infatuated With Death
Hamilton says this Anita Blake story occurs before the novel “Narcissus in Chains“.
Anita is visited in her Animators Inc office by a distraught mother looking for her daughter Amy. She believes Amy is attempting to become a vampire, and would like Anita to find her and talk her out of it. Anita agrees, not only to find Amy but to save the vampire who will be turning her. Amy is seventeen and still underage, so the penalty for the unknown vampire will be quite severe.
I like this one. It’s a nice little snippet of Anita.