Fantastic Hope

Berkley. Apr. 2020. 432p. ed. by ed. by Laurell K. Hamilton & William McCaskey. \ISBN 9780593099209. pap. $17. FANTASY
Finding a way out of the darkness means more than surviving. One must believe, have faith in something, maybe even onesself. This collection of 16 stories shows that life is not all hearts and rainbows—sometimes it is brutal and deadly, but there can still be happiness at the end. A woman who tries to change her life each time she dies find some support from past friends in Sharon Shinn’s “Not in This Lifetime.” Kevin J. Anderson’s “Heart of Clay” features Dan Shamble, Zombie PI, searching for a killer of golems who takes their hearts. A convenience store owner gives her employee a second chance for a job, even after becoming a vampire, in “Working Conditions” by Patrick M. Tracy. Plus readers get to see favorite characters from Patricia Briggs (“Asil and the Not-Date”) and Laurell K. Hamilton (“Zombie Dearest”).
VERDICT Themes of hope and light in worlds that may seem dark and despairing thread together this collection of stories from new and seasoned authors. A fine addition to collections.

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