I was really excited about the theme of this anthology, as well as the authors involved.
There are some real stand out stories. In particular, I lovedI was really excited about the theme of this anthology, as well as the authors involved.
There are some real stand out stories. In particular, I loved "Uncertainty Principle" by K. Tempest Bradford and "Pattern Recognition" by Ken Liu - both beautifully written stories with interesting characters and very thought provoking concepts. I loved these two stories equally, despite the fact that they are very different.
K. Tempest Bradford's story is about a young girl, Iliana, who can see the massive shifts in the world around her, while everyone else goes on as if nothing has changed. This was a really intense story. On the surface level, it's a clever time travel tale, but there's so much more going on here about the way our experience of the world is controlled and affected, and the way we experience the rapid changes around us in a kind of vacuum. I found it really affecting.
Ken Liu's story is about David, a boy shut away in a school which restricts the consumption of information and books about the outside world. David steals and explores books with his friends in secret and in between their working at pattern recognition 'games'. I don't know where to begin to talk about this one. There's a light in the determination of David and his friends, but in a way, this makes the horror of their situation and the story's message all the more heart wrenching. Ken Liu's writing is amazing - the sort of writing you can actually feel.
The stories in this anthology are pretty much all heartbreaking. Apart from that, I found the anthology lacked a bit of cohesion. While I enjoyed individual stories, it wasn't the kind of anthology that I wanted to read absorbing each of the stories in combination with one another. A number of the stories I just didn't 'get', which may say more about me than the stories themselves. Following the "Uncertainty Principle" and "Pattern Recognition" my next favourite stories were "Good Girl" by Malinda Lo and "Blue Skies" by Cindy Pon. Unfortunately, while I liked these stories and characters, I felt like both of these read more as the first chapters of novels rather than short stories, and I found that a little frustrating.
All in all, a mixed anthology, but Ken Liu and K. Tempest Bradford's stories definitely made it a worthwhile read. ...more
Brilliantly funny young adult fiction is pretty hard to find, but this one hit the mark for me. I laughed all the way through, except in the sad bits,Brilliantly funny young adult fiction is pretty hard to find, but this one hit the mark for me. I laughed all the way through, except in the sad bits, because (like all the best funny books) there are those too. There were so many fabulous lines that I wanted to hug tight. I adore unapologetically angry Lex. She's definitely one of the more believable teen heroines I've read, even if she is a grim reaper! And her group of friends make the perfect ensemble for this paranormal teen mystery. The outcome of the mystery was a tad predictable, but there were also moments when I literally gasped from surprise. There's a romance too, but it doesn't overshadow the rest of Lex's story, as is too often the case in YA with female protagonists. This one had the perfect balance. I'm going to gobble down the rest of the series this week. ...more