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Strange Candy  By  cover art

Strange Candy

By: Laurell K. Hamilton
Narrated by: Kimberly Alexis,Holter Graham
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Publisher's Summary

The number-one New York Times best-selling author's short story collection - including an all-new Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter story.

From a woman who marries into a family of volatile wizards to a couple fleeing a gang of love-hungry cupids, from a girl who seeks sanctuary in the form of a graceful goose to the disgruntled superhero Captain Housework, listeners will revel in the many twists and turns of fortune in these fantastical fairy tales and lush parables. Even hardened vampire hunter and zombie animator Anita Blake gets blindsided by the disturbing motives of her clients in the new "Those Who Seek Forgiveness" and in "The Girl Who Was Infatuated with Death".

©2006 Laurell K. Hamilton (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Featured Article: The 25 Best Vampire Audiobooks to Suck You In


Vampire stories have fascinated people across cultures for generations. From gothic Transylvania to early-aughts Washington, it seems like vampires have taken every form in every culture and every country around the world. From all of these options, we’ve selected 25 of the best audiobooks from the pack—those with the most captivating characters, creepiest settings, and, perhaps most importantly, the best vocal performances available.

What listeners say about Strange Candy

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Strange Candy is Strangely Decent

It's early days yet, and there aren't many reviews of the audiobook as of this posting, but I have to say I disagree with the existing reviews. I actually liked several of the short stories in this anthology. The intros grated on me because most of them were infuriatingly smug, especially for "A Lust of Cupids" where Hamilton announces she's not sending this short story into a magazine that rejected her once when she was a small-time author, even though they liked the story. They needed someone who could sell more issues because...well you know they had a profit margin to think about, just like any other business. But instead of thinking about it like an adult, the author snottily states she'll never send the story to that magazine again cause she's "petty and rarely gives second chances." That's not something to be proud of hon...

But sometimes I can ignore a nasty personality if there is talent to be found in a work. And I was surprised that I found a lot of the stories interesting. The high fantasy stuff felt a bit by the numbers and didn't hold my interest as much as the science fiction and urban fantasy stories. My favorites in order were 1) Here Be Dragons 2) A Scarcity of Lake Monsters 3) A Lust of Cupids 4) A Clean Sweep 5) Those Who Seek Forgiveness.

1) Here Be Dragons was easily the best written and most atmospheric piece of the bunch. I wish Hamilton would have stuck with writing stuff like that because she's wasted on writing erotica. She clearly knows how to write chilling stories even if it is in only short bursts. The twist at the end of this story was great. I won't spoil it, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.

2) A Scarcity of Lake Monsters was short and sweet. It's not quite Anita's world, but close. The only other one that's actually set specifically in Anita's world that isn't told from her point of view is Selling Houses, and I didn't care for it. This is a look at an actual preternatural wildlife biologist, not someone paying lip-service to being one, the way that Anita does in canon. It's not super action-packed but I liked it for what it was.

3) A Lust of Cupids has our main character, a thirty-something lawyer trying to escape from a gang of cupids looking to force her into falling in love. While I find it kind of stupid and extremely outdated that cupids want to force anyone over thirty into marriage and that all mothers want their kids paired off by thirty, I still found the end pretty decent. At least the author showed awareness at some point that forcing someone to fall in love against their will is horrifying. So why, later in the series, does she create the ardeur? The world may never know...

4) I just found this one hysterical. It's a superhero story, unlike anything she's ever written before or since. It shows that she has a sense of humor. I'm just wondering why it doesn't show through in AB or MG. Ten out of ten would lol again.

5) Those Who Seek Forgiveness

While there's a lot of logical inconsistencies going on in the short story (like why Animators Inc doesn't do even preliminary research into the cause of death on a zombie to avoid exactly what happens in the end) I still liked it. It's a bit clunky, and Hamilton is feeling out her world. It's not canon, a lot of things change, but you know what? I actually liked Anita? I thought she felt like a human being. Unlike in later iterations of AB, she wasn't super judgemental of the other woman the entire story. She read like a professional, she had a realistic reaction to seeing a woman die horribly. She wasn't a sociopath, and it wasn't glorified.

Honestly, this review is kind of a backhanded compliment. I see a lot of talent in this book and I'm baffled at how her writing seems to have devolved over the years. Do I think you should pay the almost twenty it costs to get the AB related stuff? No. But if you have a credit or two to spare and are curious, this might be a decent use of your time. Then again, it may just frustrate you. Your miles may vary on Strange Candy.

15 people found this helpful

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Amazing Anthology, Highly Recommended!

WOW, what a surprise this anthology is, I enjoyed it SO MUCH!
It’s a wonderfully diverse collection.
There are 14 short stories. Most are fantasy and urban fantasy, but there is also romance, humor, sci-fi/ thriller, and even a fairy tale like story.
It goes from sweet as pie to darker than Dexter. You will cry, laugh, shudder and be amazed.

Narration is spot on, you really couldn't wish for better.
Holter narrates 2 of the stories with male leads, the rest is done by Kimberly.
If you know the Anita Blake series, you know how good Kimberly is. She is 1 of the reasons I bought this Anthology. (Holter did an excellent job too!)

With almost each story, I wish it was a full sized novel. There is a ton of world building in all of these stories and I almost think it’s a shame they are ‘just’ short stories. I would absolutely love to hear more about these created worlds/ realities.

I love that each short story has it’s own chapter in the Audible App, so you can easily re-listen a specific story (for example, listen to just the Anita Blake stories when you’re going through the series)
I also love that each story is accompanied by an introduction from Laurell. Wonderful to get a bit of background to these stories.

Highly recommended for Anita Blake and Laurell K. Hamilton fans, but also for people just looking for an excellently written & narrated, satisfying, highly diverse collection of short stories.

Included in this Anthology are :
Those Who Seek Forgiveness (Anita Blake prequel),
A Lust of Cupids,
The Edge of the Sea,
A Scarcity of Lake Monsters,
Selling Houses (set in the world of Anita Blake),
A Token for Celandine,
A Clean Sweep,
The Curse-Maker,
Geese,
House of Wizards,
Here Be Dragons,
Winterkill,
Stealing Souls,
The Girl Who Was Infatuated with Death (Anita Blake)

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Not what I expected

I cant even remember what the stories were about except for the last one with Anita Blake. I love all her books but this one could not keep my attention

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fabulously

now I need to hear some of those short stories fleshed out to full books!!! loved this!

1 person found this helpful

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stories aren't as good as her usual

struggled to finish. stories weren't as good as her usual and so.e of the voices were hard to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Collection!

I listened to this one for the Anita Blake stories, but found myself looking up the other series mentioned. I may be hooked on a new series. *lol* I also totally loved her personal intros to the stories. Her admittedly petty side was FABULOUS!

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So many wonderful stories!

I loved every story in this book. The tears of happiness and sadness runith over with this one.

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Meh

I have enjoyed the authors work, enfacted I just finished again Anita blake series...this grouping was good and I could see a few of the shorts I would love to have her revisit and expand.

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lot of stories

Good writing though I am not a big fan of short stories. Well written. Thanks for the change of pace.

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Love Laurel k. Hamilton’s books

I loved these stories and all of her writings. I re-read them all the time.