Rating: 4.5 stars
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It amazes always amazes me what comes of a prompt like “Butt Ninjas from Hell” when presented to a group of vastly different authors. This anthology is so much fun. Ranging from contemporary to paranormal, from parody to realistic, from demon ninjas to demon-fighting ninjas, this anthology is full of excitement, energy, imagination, and hilarity.
And let’s be honest, we can all tell from the title, this antho is more about the fun than the serious. It’s one of those books I read after a heart-wrenching story. And I loved it. These stories are wonderfully colorful and everything I hoped for when I picked it up.
Clean up on Aisle Me! by Shae Conner
Working nights at Partysville is not Jonny’s idea of fun, but it pays the bills, at least until he graduates. It’s Halloween, which means it’s busy pretty much from open to close. When Jonny spots a man dressed in a ninja costume, he never expects to be drawn into a world of demons and demon-fighting ninjas. And he never dreamed of falling for a ninja.
This story is cute and very creative. There’s not a lot of character development, which made it hard for me to connect to Jonny, but I liked the imagination of the tale. Over all, this first story of the group did the job of opening my mind to the rest of the anthology.
Sheathing His Sword by J.P. Barnaby
It’s a quiet night at home for Aiden, cleaning the kitchen in barely-there clothes, when a ninja crashes through the second-story apartment window. Literally. Well, that was the scene Todd, the director, wanted anyway, except for the crash. Aiden is up for whatever, but Nicky the Ninja is ready to get laid and their director seems to be hell bent on keeping that from happening.
Guys, this story killed me. Among the many wonderful and hilarious stories in this antho, this is my favorite. I laughed so hard I was in tears. It was beyond funny and super sexy. I was immediately drawn into this porn shoot and fell for these guys instantly. It’s well-written, fun, and adorable. I could totally handle more of these guys and their story. It was that good.
Twink Ninja Tiger, Flaxen Buns of Fury by Kage Alan
Hidden in the mountains of China is a secret ninja training facility, only known by the church that monitors their progress. When the church’s emissary shows up to observe and make sure nothing untoward is happening in the facility, the Masters who oversee the facility are worried when the usual eighty-five year old emissary is replaced by a young, twenty-something twink seemingly hell bent on tempting the entire facility into wrong doings. Many, many wrongdoings. Many, many times.
It’s hard for me (no pun intended) to summarize this story, but oh my god, guys, this one is hilarious as well. A sort of parody of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Kage Alan fills this story with puns, double entendre, and intentional/unintentional flirting. I laughed throughout the entire story. I’m still a little disturbed by the whole non-con element and how it was made fun of, but then again, it’s sort of a mate/bonding thing, so I’m a little confused by it as well. So whereas I like this one, I have a couple issues with it.
Twerk It by Ally Blue
Hired to get rid of the minor demon L’lousche (Lush), Demon Hunter Hugh Gryffyn travels to Hell to take care of the issue and his own personal problem. In one of Hell’s clubs, Hugh unknowingly falls in lust with the very demon he was hired to take out, then discovers the hidden agenda of them man who hired him.
I’m a huge fan of Ally Blue and this story proves exactly why. Not only can Blue write amazingly angsty, heartfelt stories, she can also pen some of the most wonderfully lighthearted, fun stories as well. I loved this short. It was cute and so much fun. The world is imaginative and the characters are sexy and captivating. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
Hell is Where the Heart Is by Eden Winters
In the sixth level of Hell, Prince Noorvik, Vik to his friends, is challenged by his mother to find a mate, but Vik doesn’t want just any mate, and he certainly doesn’t want a female. Vik wants the one person he can’t have. Diomede, Prince of the Fifth Level, is forbidden since Vik’s mother and the Queen of the Fifth Level had their falling out. So Vik travels to the human realm and meets the human Dillon, who agrees to help Vik with his mate problem. But their situation is more than both men realize, and the fate of the sixth level lies in both men’s hands.
The world that Winters created here is my favorite part of this story. It’s a play on Dante’s Inferno with the circles, but much more fun. It’s light-hearted and exciting. I loved the relationship between Vik and Dillon. There a bond there, but it starts out as acquaintances with benefits. Yes, I adored this one. The world, the characters, and the plot are engrossing.
Ninja, Vanish! By Kiernan Kelly
Kid’s television actor, Colton Creed, is tired of being passed over for good roles and action scenes. He wants more and would do anything for it. Approached by the demon Asmodeous, or Mo for short, Colton signs a contract to be the Face of Hell in a new campaign to make Hell more desirable and marketable to the Everyday Joe. And while he would receive his wildest dream, Colton may have caused a far worse fate for those he loves.
Ha! I love this. I mean the four TV ninjas who are tricked into playing roles that will bring forth disaster. God! I can’t tell you more without giving the whole thing away, and trust me, it’s awesome. This author created a real winner with this story. I loved it so much. The world is amazing. I mean, a marketing campaign to make Hell more desirable? It’s hilarious. The characters are wonderful and sexy. And the story…geez…I loved it.
The Soldier and the Vagabond by Jevocas Green
When street rat Kioshi wakes up seemingly alone, bound, and in a dark, unfamiliar place, he panics. That is until he hears a familiar voice in the shadows. The voice of his hero. The voice of one of the Royal Guard, a Genin. The voice of his Ninja. But how did Kioshi end up where he is? And what will happen to him now?
I want to preface this review by saying this: This is merely my own personal preference, and therefore doesn’t apply to all readers. I am not a fan of first person/present tense. It’s very telling and very little showing. It’s possible to do so well, but it doesn’t happen often. That being said, the basis of this story is good. The story itself is really good. It’s the telling of the story I didn’t care for. And to be honest, had the story been told in a different tense or POV, I probably would have absolutely loved it and wanted more.
A Ninja Walks into a Bar by TC Blue
Ninja to the Demon Lord Nikita, Ki did his job: he located and retrieved the human Dallas on his twenty-third birthday. He has no idea why his lord wants to test the human, but it’s not his job to know. Dallas is royally pissed off about his abduction, but even more so for the lack of answers he’s receiving as to why he’s in Hell in the first place. When their relationship shifts from kidnapper/kidnapped to lovers, Ki is determined to see Dallas get home, although he has no idea how to do so. And both men are surprised to discover the events that have been set in motion long ago involving their fates and the fate of the world.
This story. So much. I love Dallas. He’s outspoken, disrespectful, hard-headed, and mouth. Just my kind of guy. And then Ki. I can just picture his strong, sexy self doing all he can to protect the man he’s falling in love with. The world that Blue created is vast and colorful. The writing is captivating. And the story is spot on. There’s nothing bad to say about this story. It’s complete and I was more than satisfied with the happily ever after. I loved it. There’s not much more to say than that.
So, after reading the entire collection, I can honestly say there’s not a bad story in the bunch. They are all good and well written and sexy and fun. Fun seems to be the theme of this anthology…well, after butt ninjas, that is. I highly recommend Butt Ninjas from Hell.