cover image Hex Life

Hex Life

Edited by Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering. Titan, $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-78909-034-5

Witches are both villains and women claiming their power and using it to uplift other women in this capable anthology. The genre ranges from the purely fantastical (“An Invitation to the Burning” by Kat Howard) to the contemporary (“Last Stop on Route Nine” by Tananarive Due). In Hillary Monahan’s deliciously satisfying “Bless Your Heart,” a Texan mother works magic into her famous seven-layer bars to force the mother of her son’s bully to put a stop to the child’s torment. Rachel Caine’s brief “Home,” set in her Morganville Vampire world, starts off leaning toward horror and ends on a surprising note. The collection crosses into the future with “The Memories of Trees” by Mary Sangiovanni, wherein the remnants of current technology are folded into the worship of a new god after the violent death of modern society, and a wise witch relearns how to call on the old gods for help. Though the selections vary widely in theme, women and their power are always at the heart. Nothing here really wows, but fans of witches will find the anthology a pleasant diversion. (Oct.)