Bold and deadly female characters of many genres stride through the pages of this massive anthology.
When genre collections include this many big-name authors, they’re typically a grouping of series outtakes and Easter eggs. Readers who want to know how Molly got that cool apartment in Jim Butcher’s Cold Days; meet Shy South as a young fugitive before the open of Joe Abercrombie’s Red Country; get a glimpse of Quentin Coldwater after the events of Lev Grossman’s projected Magicians trilogy; or encounter Jamie Fraser as an inexperienced (in several senses) but still clever mercenary soldier prior to meeting Claire in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander will surely be satisfied by these and other entries (which of course include a bloody slice of history from Martin’s own blockbuster A Song of Ice and Fire universe). But the stand-alones in this smorgasbord of fantasy, science fiction, noir, historical fiction and paranormal romance are also worthy of notice, particularly Megan Abbott’s chilling “My Heart is Either Broken,” concerning a young mother’s socially inappropriate response to her daughter’s kidnapping; Megan Lindholm’s sadly believable “Neighbors,” in which a lonely widow becomes ever more alienated from her daily routine, her family and her neighborhood; and Brandon Sanderson’s gripping “Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell,” about an innkeeper/bounty hunter who must defeat rapacious ghosts, brutal outlaws and greedy bureaucrats to keep herself and her daughter safe and free.
Everyone will find something to like here.