Heidi C. Vlach
on May 13, 2014 :
Many human cultures and races appear in this collection, represented by lots of resilient female characters. Always nice to see in speculative fiction! The stories tend to start with numerous small details about the setting and the culture, which is probably helpful if you’re the type of reader who likes a crisp sense of place.
Out of all the stories, I really liked Crawlies (pretty much entirely for the Teutheids, squid-like aliens who are commendably patient with the frustratingly ignorant human POV) and No Gift Of Word (a story of an African woman overcoming a curse, predictable in the good way where the characters got what I was rooting for). I also thought the two stories involving rusalka were particularly well done.
Throughout the collection, I saw some minor niggles — a few homophone and tense errors; an occasional description or detail that didn’t seem to fit no matter how I considered it; endings that fit thematically but seemed abrupt, prose-wise. But these things weren’t numerous or grievous enough to keep me from enjoying all the stories. For the sheer variety of influences, and the presence of things sci-fi/fantasy could use more of, I’d say this short story collection is definitely worth reading.
I received this book for free from LibraryThing's Member Giveaway program, in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed 71 days after purchase)