Book Review: Dangerous Women

Synopsis according to Goodreads:
"The Dangerous Women anthology contains following stories: 
- Introduction by Gardner Dozois 
- “Some Desperado” by Joe Abercrombie 
- “My Heart is Either Broken” by Megan Abbott 
- “Nora’s Song” by Cecelia Holland 
- “The Hands That Are Not There” by Melinda Snodgrass 
- “Bombshells” by Jim Butcher 
- “Raisa Stepanova” by Carrie Vaughn 
- “Wrestling Jesus” by Joe R. Lansdale 
- “Neighbors” by Megan Lindholm 
- “I Know How to Pick ’Em” by Lawrence Block 
- “Shadows For Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson 
- “A Queen in Exile” by Sharon Kay Penman 
- “The Girl in the Mirror” by Lev Grossman 
- “Second Arabesque, Very Slowly” by Nancy Kress 
- “City Lazarus” by Diana Rowland 
- “Virgins” by Diana Gabaldon 
- “Hell Hath No Fury” by Sherilynn Kenyon 
- “Pronouncing Doom” by S.M. Stirling 
- “Name the Beast” by Sam Sykes 
- “Caretakers” by Pat Cadigan 
- “Lies My Mother Told Me” by Caroline Spector 
- “The Princess and the Queen” by George R.R. Martin"


Dangerous Women is an anthology from some really well-known Science Fiction, Historical Fiction and Fantasy authors. I mean, just look at that list. Every story somehow relates to a prompt of Dangerous Women. And as with all anthologies, some hit the nail on the head, while others had some vague possible connection with females in general and that was about it. Some had female protagonists, but the 'dangerous women' in some were side characters or characters we never met (but who impacted the main character offstage). I still can't decide whether that's a marginalization, or a clever reminder that not all dangerous women are heroes in their own right.


The majority of these stories were entertaining, and they felt longer than short stories usually do for me. More like novellas. I recommend it for fans of any of the above authors, female protagonists, the concept that women can be dangerous and even deadly (whether they're a force for good, or evil) and short stories. It's long, but even the lackluster stories weren't DNFs, and a handful of them really stood out.


Also, I listened to this as an audiobook, and there were something like 16 narrators for it. All of them did a great job (except Stana Katic, whom I loved in Castle but who chooses the oddest line breaks and thus her narratives came off like an open mic poetry jam). The volume needed adjustment on some as well, but the overall production value was good, and the narrators were engaging.

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