Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)'s Reviews > Masked

Masked by Lou Anders
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Aug 05, 10

bookshelves: reviewed
Read in July, 2010

This review was originally posted on my blog at: http://jewelknits.blogspot.com/2010/0...

A fresh and new take on tales of superheroes, this anthology is filled with stories that will capture your interest and pull you along for the ride.
As with all collections, some were stars and a couple were not to my taste, but NONE of them were boring.

I may be biased, however, as I am a true lover of all things sci-fi/fantasy/horror, especially in an anthology form. I like reading different voices telling different stories with the same root theme. When reading imaginative stories such as these, I find myself wondering, "Wow ... WHERE do these ideas come from? How do these talented writers even THINK of some of these situations?".
In attempting to choose a favorite among these stories, I'm torn between "Cleansed and Set in Gold" by Matthew Sturges and "Thug" by Gail Simone. If forced to choose, however, I think I would choose "Thug" because of the unique fashion that this story unfolds.
In "Cleansed and Set in Gold", we have a hero who has a number of different powers that he acquires in a method that repels even himself. It is a tribute to him that he works to use these powers for good, because, given his circumstances, he could easily have gone to the dark side. He risks exposure to fight the good fight, and in the end, we love him in spite of how his powers are acquired.

In "Thug", we meet a mentally-challenged boy who is bullied and picked on, but stands up for one of the only girls who has ever been nice to him, causing his life to go into a downward spiral. He and a friend team up later in life, doing various odd 'jobs' for various villains, until he finally meets up with the villain that could set them up for life. The twists in this story, short as it is, make this a thoroughly enticing read.

Although these two are my personal favorites, every story in this book will appeal to a particular reader, certainly some more than others, but altogether, a wonderful collection of stories of just the right length to read in short gaps of time.

QUOTES:

From "Thug": stormy said we were WEED and SPEED and i was weed and he was speed and we sold those and some other things too and pretty soon i liked to have money and respect and i had lots.
pretty soon i liked snapping fingers too.

From "Downfall": ..."Every time I moved to a new neighborhood, he's track me down and make damn sure that everyone in town knew who I was; who I'd been. Every time I tried to start over, he'd show up and destroy everything I'd built. Town after town after f---ing town. You can't even begin to imagine what it was like."

From "Cleansed and Set in Gold": At the door to my apartment, I kiss her on the cheek. "I'm sorry about this," I say. "I really am. But I've reached a point where one more immoral act barely weighs in the balance. And I don't think you'll suffer for it."
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