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Hidden Youth: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History Paperback – October 25, 2016
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I wasn't as fond of this collection as the previous one. Most of the stories were solid, but didn't grip me, which made the book a slower read than I had anticipated. Most of the pieces had great characters, but a lot also had shaky pacing, which is hard to ignore in a short story. The target audience also felt a bit fuzzy, with some seeming more YA and others aimed at adult readers. Reading the author bios, there are a number of first-time or minimally-published authors, which I think is really great. I hope to encounter more of some of their works in the future.
My favorite stories were:
"The Promised Land" by J.S. Hawthorne, which plays with traditional myths and magic which giving a memorable pair of characters.
"How I Saved Athens from the Stone Monsters" by Erik Jensen had me laughing, but is also a fast-paced adventure tale.
"Genius Jones and the Rolling Rifle" by Michael Ezell did a great job of twisting history just enough to subtly steampunk this 'verse, while letting the reader's knowledge of the time period help fill in the details.
"North" by Imani Josey is a slightly unsettling tale with a slowly revealed backstory.
"In His Own Image" by E.C. Myers was one of the stories I found the most emotionally involving, and it has a interesting setting.