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When the Villain Comes Home Paperback – July 27, 2012
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Instead, the stories each had their own very unique villain, each with different intentions upon returning home. Some villains wished to reform, some wished to show the people back home what they'd become, and some hadn't changed a whit.
This and the When the Hero Comes Home anthology are among the best anthologies I've read, and this one edges out the Hero anthology for me. I usually skip around, or don't read some stories, but so many of these authors kept me engrossed. If I had to pick a favorite, I'd say Villainelle, by Chaz Brenchley. The ending is a kicker.
The length of the stories within are perfect for someone who has to put down and pick up a book. I read a story or two before turning in for the night.
Would highly recommend.
as being worthy of his editorship.
Interesting stories all.
As always, an anthology is an un-even collection of skills set and stories. This one is about villains returning to an origin point they somehow thought of as "home".
The concept presented in The Sunshine Baron by Peadar O Guilin is still freaking me out; as often happens in fantasy, the land lives and dies by the Hero-King, such as Arthur. Can you imagine the suffering under the Ruler of the Land when he is a selfish, gutless, self-serving Crown instead? I need to imagine no more; Peadar O'Guilin provided the perfect example when this villain is returned home.
Villianelle by Chaz Brenchley shows that villains can return to their roots to start growing again, though the base plant never changes.
Anyway, whether they are bad guys, worse guys, monsters, killers or just thieves, each of these villains must return home again. For some that home was heaven and others hell; most glimpses of home helps give the reader understanding why the character became a villain. Those at home were monsters (Oranges, Lemons, and Thou beside me), or maybe needed protecting from monsters (Hunger of the Blood Reever).
A fun read, mixing fantasy and sci-fi, a little heavy on the superpowered at the beginning.
I also really enjoyed Pinktastic and a few of the other stories. Who doesn't like Super Evil on a shopping spree?
In all seriousness, I enjoy this anthology and found the theme extremely intriguing. Some of the stories go to dark and often scary places, but in beautiful ways and for realistic reasons, not just to be dark and violent.
But then there are stories like PINKTASTIC AND THE END OF THE WORLD which is light and sweet and proves that even villains need love and organic vegetables. But, again, with purpose and thought, not just to be a silly tale in a book about baddies.
Pretty much every story in the book gave me at least one "huh, that's really interesting," moment. Which is unusual for me, as I'm not always a big fan of the short story format, so I am giving these authors props for their mad skillz.
If I had to pick a top five here, they would be
PINKTASTIC AND THE END OF THE WORLD - by Camille Alexa
STARKEEP by Gabrielle Harbowy (this one really fascinated me, without giving away much, there was an ambiguity in it - specifically about who the villain was that made this tale a standout to me - well played!)
OK, now I have to admit, I don't have the book in front of me. So I shall go on author names -
Marie Bilodeau's story - one of the dark ones, but like a black diamond, rare, beautiful and a little scary
Clint Talbert - another dark tale, but well written enough to keep me from looking away
Peadar O'Guilin - I was going to love this one no matter what, as I am a fan of Peader's YA novels, so it was no surprise this story made my top five.
I recommend this anthology to lovers of the short story form, and those new to it both.