This was my first time ever reading Apex Magazine and I wasn't sure what to expect. This issue was almost solely dedicated to Mary Robinette Kowal's work, an author I was unfamiliar with -- but I can now say I'm a fan. The three stories are wildly different from each other but each is so well-written was I immediately sucked in.
My favorite has to be "The Bride Replete" which blew me away -- Kowal's world-building is marvelous, and she does it in a way that is effortless, easy, and ... sneaky. I say sneaky because even though the story is set on an alien world with an alien race, I was able to get into the story without feeling lost or confused.
My second favorite story was "Scenting the Dark" -- it had a kind of 'Pitch Black' feel to it, in a fabulous way.
Kowal's other two stories were wonderful, but these were the standouts for me. This issue is definitely worth owning -- I'll be rereading these stories often!
(reviewed 18 days after purchase)