Short stories read in March

The wallflowers have been in full bloom since early March. Rays of sunshine even on dull days!

I didn’t read any fanfiction worth mentioning last month though I downloaded a lot to read later. So this concludes my reviews for March.

As usual, I’m giving the best shorts four stars rather than five because I would have liked more lengthy explorations of the themes. Short stories have to hit a higher bar, for me, to get five stars.

The very good:

Bad, Dad and Dangerous by four authors. Rhys Ford (Wolf at first Sight), Jen Moffat (Kismet and Cadavers), TA Moore (Elfshot) and Bru Baker (Monster Hall Pass)**** I enjoyed all four stories and liked TA Moore and Rhys Ford best. All four have shifter fathers trying to have a life of their own despite needing to protect their children. Recommended for anyone who likes stories about shifters and appreciates some family life in their tales.

Blitz by Charlie Cochrane.**** Set in the London blitz. A delightful free short story from Charlie (on her website) embodying mm romance and world war two.

The readable:

Capital Crimes by various authors*** All the stories were about crimes that took place in capital cities. I liked Charlie Cochrane’s Game of Chance and The Drag Queen wore red by JL Merrow more than the rest but probably only because of already knowing the characters from the series. Karma by Alan McDermott was probably the best story in the collection but I couldn’t quite see how it related to the collection title. The rest were not inspiring.

Zikora by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi*** Reflections and discussions around childbirth, circumcision, marriage… Adichi is a good writer but I didn’t find much to inspire me in this story. However, I’m probably not the target audience. Also, I think her writing style demands long and involved storylines, not short glimpses of life.

The Poison Within by Kasia Bacon *** This was too short to get a real sense of the Order Universe where it takes place. It left me wondering whether I would enjoy the main series, and whether I would ever hear anything more about the protagonists. Disappointing, particularly because I approached it as an introduction to the writer’s work.

Abandoned

Wings of Change ed Lyn Worthen. YA stories about dragons. I read a couple of these and thought they’d probably appeal to teenagers. But not to me.

Rainbow Briefs ed Kira Harp. YA – I didn’t bother after the editor’s intro which made it very clear that these stories were for teens.

There is probably nothing to criticise about these two anthologies. It’s just that life’s too short to read a lot of work in a genre you don’t really enjoy!

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