Hex Appeal

  • by Jim Butcher, Carrie Vaughn, Ilona Andrews, Simon R. Green, Rachel Caine, Erica Hayes, P. N. Elrod (author/editor)
  • Narrated by Jennifer Van Dyck, Marc Vietor, Gayle Hendrix, Jonathan Davis
  • 13 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Fall under the intoxicating spell of their hex appeal…. In the magical world that lies hidden beneath our own, witches and conjurers play deadly games. They know just the right spell to kill a man with one kiss—or raise him back again. And they’re not afraid to exact sweet revenge on those who dare to cross them. But what if you’re the unlucky soul who falls victim to a conjurer’s curse? And if you had the power to cast a magic spell of your own, would you use it?
In this bewitching collection, nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors tell all-new, otherworldly tales. Spellbinding stories featuring bigfoot, albino vampires, professional wizards, resurrected boyfriends, and even a sex droid from the 23rd century named Silicon Lily. But as our conjurers are about to discover, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hexed. And sometimes, even the best spun spells can lead to complete and utter mayhem.

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What the Critics Say

"Heavy hitters serve up sharp, dark, witty urban fantasy in this anthology of nine hex tales, each with a unique twist." (Publisher's Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good Format, Good Stories

On the plus side, each short story was its own chapter so you can easily get between parts of the book. The index of stories is below, along with particular remarks.

On the overall, I enjoyed the writing, and found the narration to be professional, but disappointing. As I told my husband, the narration quality was like when you're used to working with a 20 year veteran contractor and then you start working with someone who only has maybe 2 or 3 years on the job – the rough patches that the 20 year man smooths over by instinct the younger pro is still learning how to sand. The male narrators went a little too far into the film noir style for my tastes, and Ms. Van Dyck spoke too quickly with a lack of dramatic sense. It was rather like listening on fast forward. Ms. Hendrix reminded me of Tavia Gilbert's irritating voice, but with a more refined sense of dramatic speech.


1) Retribution Clause, written by Ilona Andrews, read by Marc Vietor
Overall: 4 Performance: 3 Story: 4

I think I'm so used to Renee Raudman reading for the Andrews' stories that any other voice is starting at a disadvantage. However, of Mr. Vietor's two performances in the book, this is the better.

2) Bigfoot on Campus, written by Jim Butcher, read by Jonathan Davis
Overall: 4 Performance: 4 Story: 4

This was, in my opinion, the best performance of the book, and while I wasn't quite getting into the Harry Dresden character, that was more about the character's archetype than any fault in the reading or the writing.

3) Holly's Balm, written by Rachel Caine, read by Jennifer Van Dyck
Overall: 3 Performance: 3 Story: 4

Ms. Caine is now on my list of authors to check out. The story was good, and this was probably one of the better performances by Ms. Van Dyck.

4) Snow Job, written by Carole Nelson Douglas, read by Gayle Hendrix
Overall: 3 Performance: 3 Story: 3

I am not a film fan, so a lot of the points just didn't hit it for me.

5) Outside the Box, written by P. N. Elrod, read by Jennifer Van Dyck
Overall: 3 Performance: 2 Story: 4

The reading on this one was so fast forward all the way that the only drama came from the writing.

6) How Do You Feel?, written by Simon R. Green, read by Marc Vietor
Overall: 2 Performance: 3 Story: 2

I think Mr. Vietor did a decent job with a crummy story in this one. The writing was sooooo over the top terrible that I'm wondering if it ever went through a real edit or just got passed through proof readers and stamped "good to go" simply because of the author.

7) There Will be Demons, written by Lori Handeland, read by Gayle Hendrix
Overall: 3 Performance: 3 Story: 3

This was pretty much a "meh" story for me. It maybe needs a longer format to flesh out things like why the heroine is a fairy instead of a fallen angel, and other oddities shoe-horned in.

8) Cherry Kisses, written by Erica Hayes, read by Jennifer Van Dyck
Overall: 4 Performance: 3 Story: 4

Ms. Van Dyck managed to slow down enough for some drama to come into her reading for this story. While there were some troupe moments in the plot, the whole of it was fun.

9) The Arcane Art of Misdirection, written by Carrie Vaughn, read by Gayle Hendrix
Overall: 4 Performance: 3 Story: 4

Set in the Kitty Norville universe, this tales tells more about the day to day adventures of Odysseus Grant, and is up to Ms. Vaughn's usual standards of quality story crafting.
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- Shay Bella

Some excellent -- some not so great.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Most of the stories in this collection are excellent. Retribution Clause by Ilona Andrews and Big Foot on Campus were both excellent. The reader performing Big Foot did an amazingly good rendition of Dresden -- so good that I was halfway through the story before I realized that it was different from Marsden's interpretation. Holly's Balm was a nice little visit with resurectionist Holly and Andrew. But I found the forced, tongue in cheek style of Snow Job to be so poor a presentation that I skipped to the next story half way through it. Outside the Box by P.N. Elrod was up to her usual excellent standards. The rest of the stories were moderately good, but not memorable.


How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

No. the three best authors are writers whose work I already follow. I enjoyed the addition to their worlds.


What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

It was a decent sampler.


If this book were a movie would you go see it?

The narrators all did well. The reader for Big Foot gave an outstanding performance.


Any additional comments?

I've read similar collections and enjoyed learning of new authors. This one had some good storyes by authors whose works I already collect I always hope that a book of this nature will turn up someone new that I've not read before. Such was not the case with this collection.

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- Ona

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-05-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios