Sonofawitch! is a collection of six stories about what happens when a spell goes unexpectedly, hilariously wrong, and it's absolutely the best thing I've read in AGES.
All of the stories are original and they all stand alone without the need to be familiar with any of the author's other works - the major gripe I had with the Jim-Butcher-headlined Urban Enemies - and even more delightfully, every one of the six is equally strong.
Good Spell Gone Bug by Laura VanArendonk Baugh had me laughing out loud at the frantic efforts of the heroine to undo a disastrously interrupted spell that was meant to remove a magical tattoo from her own back onto some cockroaches. The interference of a dense neighbor and his new kitten cause utter havoc.
The Trouble With Love Spells by Sara Dobie Bauer really brings home the moral 'be careful what you wish for, you just might get it'. Violet doesn't want to interfere with the free will of her crush, so she casts a spell to change herself into someone he could love. She really, really should have checked on his sexual orientation first...
All The Petty Curses by Lissa Marie Redmond was the only story in the bunch that seemed to be a continuing part of a larger universe, though it stood well alone and I was never confused about what was going on. Hipster James owns a coffee shop which, now that the Faerie Queen has gifted him with the Sight, has become a magnet for the Fair (and the Fairy Tale) Folk. Problem is, James is a sucker for a pretty girl in trouble.
The Perfect Mate Fiasco by Frances Pauli - this one probably made me laugh the loudest of all. Rowan casts a spell to find her perfect mate, but her list of attributes in what she wants really does resemble a perfect pet rather than a man. The interference of her Golden Retriever makes her realize that she might need to revise that list just a tad... once she gets Max back on his four paws again.
A Matter of Perspective by Mara Malins - a Harry-Potter-esque little story about the boy in his class who's got amazing magical genes but no talent at all. I was perhaps reminded inevitably of Neville Longbottom, but the story had a twist I didn't see coming and I enjoyed it a lot.
A Poppet Named Dave by Adam Millard - River Everbleed is at that phase in her training where her spells never quite go right, so trying to cast a spell to get the hottest boy in school to notice her might not be her smartest move. How is she going to get Dave out of the poppet and back into his real body?
This is a wonderful collection just in time for Halloween. I highly recommend it for a few good laughs, and I'll be looking for more works by these authors in the future. Five stars.
Sonofawitch! is available now.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.