Copyright: November 2010
The amazon.com product description:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mercedes Lackey presents three exciting short urban fantasy novels featuring three resourceful heroines and three different takes on the modern world and on magics both modern and ancient.A book with a new Jenny Talldeer story and a new Diana Tregarde? I just had to read it. Never mind the third one. Trio of Sorcery turned out to be just as good as I'd hoped.
Arcanum 101: Diana Tregarde, practicing witch, romance novelist, Guardian of the Earth. Studying at Harvard, Diana is approached by Joe O’Brian, a young cop who has already seen more than one unusual thing during his budding career. The distraught mother of a kidnap victim is taking advice from a “psychic” and interfering in the police investigation. Will Diana prove that the psychic is a fake? Unfortunately, the psychic is not a fake, but a very wicked witch—and the child’s kidnapper.
Drums: Jennifer Talldeer, shaman, private investigator, member of the Osage tribe. Most of Jennie’s work is regular PI stuff, but Nathan Begay brings her a problem she’s never seen before. His girlfriend, Caroline, is Chickasaw to his Navaho, but that’s not the problem. Somehow, Caroline has attracted the attention of an angry Osage ghost. Thwarted in love while alive, the ghost has chosen Caroline to be his bride in death.
Ghost in the Machine: Ellen McBridge: computer programmer extraordinaire, techno-shaman. The programmers and players of a new MMORPG find that the game’s “boss,” a wendigo, is “killing” everyone—even the programmers’ characters with their god-like powers. A brilliant debugger, Ellen discoveres that the massive computing power of the game’s servers have created a breach between the supernatural world and our own. This wendigo isn’t a bit of code, it’s the real thing . . . and it’s on the brink of breaking out of the computers and into the real world.
The first story in the book, that of Diana Tregarde was easily as good as her three novels: Children of the Night, Burning Water and Jinx High. It had more or less the same feel, and was easy to read and get the gist - even though it's been years since I read the three Diana Tregarde novels. Arcanum 101 is the first Diana Tregarde story as I understand things, so the other three books stand on it, not the other way around.
Drums, the Jenny Talldeer story was a bit more difficult in that way. It's set after Sacred Ground, and again it's been a heck of a long time since I read that book, so I had more than a few "Who?, What?, Why?" moments as I read it. Even so, it made for a great read, once I'd remembered the characters and their relationships, just sucking me into the story. I believe it would be perfectly possible to read this story without the knowledge of the original novel, but that does help.
The first two stories were the ones I was the most excited about, but Ghost in the Machine turned out to be just as good as the other two, and I'm now hoping that Mercedes Lackey comes up with some more books/stories set in this world. The explanations for magic, and the problems it create fit pretty well in my mind, and certainly made for an interesting take.
Overall, three very good novellas, and a book I'm sure to read again (probably after reading the others first). I loved it.