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Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love

Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love - George R.R. Martin,  Gardner R. Dozois I guess I expected a compilation with the theme of "star crossed love" to be... darker? Some of the tales (even when not dark) fit that theme, but I felt that some did not (which always irks me in an anthology). Most of the stories were decent, but not grabbing.

What I didn't like (maybe I'm just a sensitive, and yet heartless bitch) was the number of stories that seemed to leave the woman either dependent on, or utterly swooning - for no damned reason - some shitty male. Fuck that.

Notables -

Butcher - 3 st, I love Murphy, it was a cute, if irreverent story. It fit nicely in the Dresdenverse and was OK and gave any fans of pairing Karrin&Harry something to enjoy.

Gaiman's "The Thing about Cassandra" was a delightfully chilling story.

Carey's "You and You Alone" was a punch to the gut and was just such a sad and wonderfully written story. I haven't read any of her Kushiel's series, but this may rope me in. It was wonderfully heart wrenching and fit the theme very well and gave me the darkness I was after.

"Hurt Me" by Hanover was awesome and super empowering. Not so much within the theme, which does bug, but it was still a nice super story.

"Under/Above the Water" by Tanith Lee was quite beautiful. I just love her writing, it's always like sinking into the most delicious and complex of drinks. It's invigorating, pleasuring, and always leaves you wanting to sip just a little bit more. Admittedly I'm (mostly) a Lee fangirl (she has disappointed me in the past), but I feel like this short is up to what I love reading from her.

I was disappointed in:
Beverly's "The Marrying Maid" because it just felt like a very weak fairy tale.
Vaughn's "Rooftops" which was ridiculous. It's some sort of world where superheroes are somewhat real, and the protagonist makes some sort of not-quite-agonizing-and-mostly-boring choice between her working beau and a weak-sauce hero (all while secretly wishing the boyfriend was a hero, ugh).
Holland's Demon Lover, which reminds me of Pearl Jam's "Better Man" which pisses me off, because I. Don't. Get. Settling. Seriously, the "Oh, My Hero! You're not as much of an asshole as that guy. I guess I love you because you are the lesser of two shitty options" angers me.
"His Wolf" by Tuttle just feels likes it's been done before.

The others were OK. I just didn't feel like there was a hole lot of memorable to be found in these stories. Definitely not one of my preferred anthologies, and I probably won't be going back to reread most of these any time soon.