Sons of Thunder (Tales from the Eternal Archives #2)

0886778573-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_Sons of Thunder by Edward Carmien
My rating: 1 out of 5 stars

An air elemental, or maybe djinn, recounts to a missionary his time with Jehua Mashiah as one of his followers along with his brother whom Jehua names James and John, the Sons of Thunder. The djinn tells how the human sons of Zebedee replaced him and his brother as the Sons of Thunder but his brother remained in the group while he left. The djinn mourns his tribe that was converted to Mashiah’s faith by his brother, all of them becoming human in the process and die. The missionary’s sympathy breaks through the djinn allowing him to let go and find others of his kind.

This story could have been interesting, but the missionary angle just fell flat especially when she willingly had her picture taken for internet porn so she could connect with the djinn just blew any good will this story could have gotten for me.

Strange Creatures (Tales from the Eternal Archives #2)

0886778573-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_Strange Creatures by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Dan Retsler, Chief of Police of Whale Rock, overlooks his flood damaged coastal town and thinks back to what led to it. New Year’s Day (1999), Retsler is called to the beach to find a skinned seal pup which is the just the latest in a series animal mutilations. Retsler knows the culprit is probably a teenager, but things are complicated. Maria Selvado, a woman claiming to be employed by a local Science Center, keeps cropping up in various aspects of the investigation which intrigues Retsler. Yet it is Whale Rock’s secretly acknowledged weird history and speculation of mythological creatures, namely selkies, that makes Retsler a hero after learning that a bloody Selvado committed suicide by jumping into the ocean. With barely an hour to evacuate the town, Retsler visits the site of the only two victims of the flood, a father and his teenage son who had both gotten on the bad side of the selkies.

I must apologize for my bad description of this fantastic story, I didn’t do it justice. This one story mean I’ll be keeping the entire book on my shelf because I will want to reread this again.

Out of Hot Water (Tales from the Eternal Archives #2)

0886778573-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_Out of Hot Water by Jane Lindskold
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Jeannette, a CPA on an all-expenses-paid holiday from her company for her performance during tax time, is feeling disappointed with her life and with her holiday. While getting a massage, she engages in a conversation with the masseuse who she thinks is a elderly woman from the local Tewa tribe. Though warned that the hot springs the resort is located on are sacred, Jeannette wishes for excitement. It turns out the old woman is the spirit of the hot springs and grants Jeannette’s wish by enlisting her help to stop thieves from stealing from the ruins of the Tewa’s ancient settlement. Using her common sense, Jeannette disables the thieves’ car and gets to the local police to report the crime including a lead for one of the thieves. Months later, after being the star witness at the trial and using her accounting skills Jeannette has shut down several stolen antiquities rings. The old woman then shows up with her grandson, the Tewa tribe’s legendary hero to end the story.

Frankly the ending–the arrival of the grandson–was unnecessary to this very good story and made me downgrade it by half a star.

Only As Safe (Tales from the Eternal Archives #2)

0886778573-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_Only As Safe by Mark A. Garland and Lawrence Schimel
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

On his sixteenth birthday, Lord Turell saw the blond-haired raiders returning to Brackham almost a year since they had killed his father during their last raid. Learning from the previous year, Turell and his captain have a plan only to find out the raider’s have changed tactics with a ram instead of digging under the wall. The defenders hold as best they can as Turell remembers how he was saved the previous year in the well by the aid of a naiad (who might be his mother). Unfortunately the raiders are on the verge of victory including Turell getting captured but the water from the well is killing the invaders including the foreign king thus saving the day.

I described this story not as well as it deserves, it was a nice story.

Water Baby (Tales from the Eternal Archives #2)

0886778573-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_Water Baby by Michelle West
My rating: 1 out of 5 stars

The story follows the life of the titular character, Amy, from when she assumes the title of “Water Baby” until her death. At the age of five, Amy becomes the emotional conduit for water and must keep the element calm so as not to allow devastating storms from killing innocent people. Throughout her brief life, Amy is given counsel by Grace, her fire counterpart, though only after she’s had an emotional outburst or has done something to anger “water”.

While the concept was interesting, the execution and the narrative structure were just off making this a frustrating read.

An Elemental Conversation (Tales from the Eternal Archives #2)

0886778573-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_An Elemental Conversation by Donald J. Bingle
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Reverend Frank and his friend Randy have weekly Thursday night chess game and discussion, the topic is news from SETI that they’ve detected an intelligent signals from deep underground, in the middle of the ocean, and from inside a Pacific volcano implicating multiple intelligent life-forms that aren’t human. Then as they play their game, they have a philosophical discussion about the implication on religion (namely Christianity) and science with the new of non-human intelligent life. The game ends in a draw and Randy leaves, but afterwards the chess pieces then devour the last donut thus showing that Frank already knew non-human intelligent life existed.

Although I disagree with some of the theological things Reverend Frank proposed, the discussion is still a nice one. The game, even though I don’t understand the lingo, and the talk are well constructed creating a very good story with a nice twist ending.

Dvergertal (Tales from the Eternal Archives #2)

0886778573-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_Dvergertal by Nancy Varian Berberick
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Herthe Amunddatter is angry at her brother Burgen and sister-in-law for ruining the reputation of her late father’s homestead for fair-handed to niggardly. One evening a stranger comes to the homestead and Herthe welcomes him as is right, but her brother and sister-in-law are ill hosts and the stranger turns out to be a dwarf named Motsognir. The dwarf offended by the treatment begins causing ill events to hit the house in quick succession, but Herthe stops him from harming her unborn niece/nephew which leads to Burgen giving her to the dwarf. Herthe is suddenly transported away into a dark area and over the ages is taught by Motsognir about the magic inside her and the dwarves, or spirits. Once she is ready Motsognir returns Herthe to her abandoned home where that night she meets a stranger who turns out to be Odin and she reveals to him Ragnarok and the two survivors.

Honestly I originally was going to give this a better rating, but unfortunately after thinking about it I downgraded it a lot. The first half of my review covered the first 7 pages and the last half the next 22, which should tell you all you need to know.

Family Secrets (Tales from the Eternal Archives #2)

0886778573-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_Family Secrets by Robyn McGrew
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Shalazar, the daughter of Lord Sargon the Priest-King of Babylon, is about to be initiated into Temple of the Winged God but wants to find out what’s behind a sealed down in an old temple. After breaking through the seal of the Winged God, she enters a dank vault with crumbling steps to find a man with a head of the bull who is living in filth. Shalazar brings food, drink, and candles to the prisoner while hiding the fact from her father only to learn that soon the old temple will soon been deserted meaning the man-bull would basically be dead. Shalazar helps the man-bull escape and learns his name is Minoa and the next day is initiated into the Temple of the Winged God, who turns out to be Minoa who was testing her.

My little write up doesn’t do the story justice, but it was a good story that was only hurt because of the incorrect historical and mythological facts laid out.

The Giant’s Love (Tales from the Eternal Archives #2)

0886778573-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_The Giant’s Love by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Stig, the titular Giant who lives underground in a time before the giants diminished into the dwarves, finds a massive emerald in an old mining tunnel then seeing a bright sapphire and begins digging it out. However the “sapphire” is the pale blue sky, something Stig has never seen and is marveled with it. For weeks he journeys to the hole and ventures out, one day he doesn’t return to the tunnel. Stig begins journeying around, finally meeting people and settling down every now and then. Over the years he travels with many people but loves only upper world. Finally Stig mines a huge vain of silver and with other giants creates a massive mirror that is raised into the sky by a wizard friend of his. After Stig dies, the mirror turns gray to create the moon we see today.

A nice story, nothing fancy or anything.

How Golf Shaped Scotland (Tales from the Eternal Archives #2)

0886778573-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_How Golf Shaped Scotland by Bruce Holland Rogers
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Father Iain plays a lot of golf on the flat coast land around St. Andrews and is so good that his parishioners say he is the best in all of Scotland. Iain always admonishes them for this, but they continue saying it that the King and Queen of Faery challenge him to a game and curse the surrounding area to make him play. During the game, the two Faery begin magically changing the ground to create hillocks, bunkers, and uneven putting surfaces. Iain doesn’t complain because besides himself, the two monarchs also hurt each other. On the last hole, Iain breaks his putt to create the first club which he uses to hit the ball into the air above the shifting ground to fall into hole to win the game. The King and Queen begin arguing and battle one another around all the coasts of Scotland making it as we see today.

Through short, this story was straightforward and had no unnecessary words except for the “Chekhov’s Gun” that was repeated a little more than needed.