The stories here are very different in tone, setting and style. I fell in love with one of them and enjoyed the other three, so I’d say, it is a very successful collection that introduced me to some good new authors.
Of Men and Wolves (An Owomoyela)
In a city with nothing but wolves, she has to find a way to survive.
Of Men and Wolves conjures up a great atmosphere, though I was a little confused at times as to what exactly was going on. Which may have been totally me, becasue I also missed that the protagonist is trans, although it’s actually a pretty big point in the story (fortunately, there is also an interview with the author where se spells it out even more plainly. Then I went back, shaking my head at my own cisness and found the clues (not that they are hidden, really). I couldn’t entirely shake the sense of confusion, though. Still, it’s an evocative story that is worth reading.
The Lizard Dance (Gio Clairval, Jeff VanderMeer)
Mai has a secret talent: she can make lizards dance. But other than that her life isn’t exactly great.
The Lizard Dance is a touching and emotional story with an ending that lay heavily in the pit of my stomach in the way I think the authors intended with the way reality reasserts itself. The general topic of the story isn’t all that new, and the parts where Mai gets bullied felt strangely devoid of emotion, but other than that, it was a really good story.
The House That Made the Sixteen Loops of Time (Tamsyn Muir)
Rosamund Tilly lover her house, despite the magical build-up and its generally demanding nature.
How cute can a story be? This cute, really. It was the sweetest. Rosamund and Danny were great, though not quite as great as the house itself which is absolutely fantastic. Still, I can’t remember if I’ve ever rooted for a couple this hard in just a couple of pages. Absolutely lovely story.
The Celebrated Carousel of the Margravine of Blois (Megan Arkenberg)
The Carousel of Margravine of Blois was a wonder of clockwork. But it was destroyed. The events leading up to its destruction need to be shared.
The story works well with the topic, the setting and the characters. Plus, it has creepy robots! Nevertheless, it was partly a little exhausting to read and while I liked it in theory, in the end, I didn’t love it.
Summarizing: A very nice collection.