This is a collection of stories, extensions on the various novels Kate Elliott has written. I’ve categorized these as Fantasy, but there is Science Fiction here as well. Some of these are quite good and others merely fill in some corner of another story and can barely stand alone.
This is not really a problem. I expect this from collections. I prefer a full-length novel that I can immerse myself in, but I read collections so that I can check out new material without making too great a commitment. In this case I’ve read a few books of Elliott’s and never really connected, so I wanted to sample a wider variety to see if the spark was there.
Bottom line: Elliott’s stories are too self-aware. I don’t mean preachy, exactly – more that she’s always aware of the message. I didn’t realize how deliberate this was until I read her essays at the end of this book. To be frank, I think the essay on gender perspective was the piece that will stick with me the longest.
If you’re a fan you may well enjoy these snippets. As for me, I’m more likely to read her essays than her fiction in the future.