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Title: Noir Fatale
Editors: Larry Correia & Kacey Ezell
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
A collection of short stories that are all femme fatale themed in some or other. Here is the table of contents, ie, the list of stories with their authors:
AIN’T NO SUNSHINE: Christopher L. Smith and Michael J. Ferguson
RECRUITING EXERCISE: David Weber
SPOILS OF WAR: Kacey Ezell
THE PRIVILEGES OF VIOLENCE: Steve Diamond
A GODDESS IN RED: Griffin Barber
KURO: Hinkley Correia
SWEET SEDUCTION: Laurell K. Hamilton
A STRING OF PEARLS: Alistair Kimble
HONEY FALL: Sarah A. Hoyt
THREE KATES: Mike Massa
WORTH THE SCARS OF DYING: Patrick M. Tracy
THE FROST QUEEN: Robert Buettner
BOMBSHELL: Larry Correia
At 4stars, I obviously enjoyed this. Unfortunately, much like in Correia’s Monster Hunter Files, there was ONE story that just annoyed the viss and pinegar out of me. So let me get that out of the way then I’ll go into all the good stuff.
Exactly like MHF, there was one urban fantasy story from a long running series. Unlike Jane Yellowrock, Anita Blake managed to annoy me in a new way. Where Jane was an asshole with an attitude, Blake was a completely competent, beautiful and “everything else” woman, with such huge inadequacy issues that THEY were as big as Yellowrock’s attitude. You want to write that in your novels, to your target audience of women, go for it. But packing in a whole novels worth of feelings of inadequacy into a short story? While I was never going to read anything by Hamilton anyway, that story cemented that determination. It was well written, I actually liked the premise, but my goodness, the “feelinz” just about made me gag.
The other stories on the other hand, I pretty much enjoyed across the board. My favorite though, was the one by Correia. It is a Grimnoir story set in the 1950’s and my guess is it is being used like Detroit Christmas was, ie, to introduce the main character of the new Grimnoir trilogy that Correia has promised is on its way. Grimnoir Chronicles is my favorite by Correia and once the new trilogy is completed, I’ll re-read the original and dive into the new. I am very excited about that prospect, even if it is years down the road. I’ve waited this long, I can wait some more.
Each story has a femme in some sort of pivotal role. Not always front and center, but without them, the story would simply fall apart. I’d never heard of Ezell before, but after this I’ll probably go check out what else she has written to see if it aligns with my tastes. She was the driving force behind this anthology and since I enjoyed it so much I’m hoping I like her full length novels.