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2. Brendan on 8/10/2017, said:
Overall Review: 3.5 A good collection of stories, a couple great ones, and only one or 2 I'd truly call bad. I'd certainly buy it again in paperback for my physical collection. As editing goes, I didn't catch any major errors, though the interstital lead-in lines for each story are currently at the end of the previous story, which is wierd.
Corriea- 4 Well-written and concise, and Correia didn't telegraph the ending, which is always a nice touch, and which I found is generally harder than average in shorts like this.
Butcher- 3 A nice little story, if a bit predicable. I liked the bit with the rats, but the characterization was a bit off for me; I can't really get into it without spoilers.
Kupari- 4 Good story, good characters, I enjoyed how he tied it back to previous work in the series. Kupari does a great job scripting action sequences, and doesn't disappoint here.
George- 2 Pretty standard, nothing stood out.
Wright- 1 Worst story of the collection. The prose is stilted and confusing, the characters are cardboard, and the story is a mess. It has no relation to the MHI universe other than a painfully contrived acronym agency in the first paragraph. All in all it's trash. So, pretty standard for Wright.
Broaddus- 3 I liked the story, plus it's the first one to focus on an established character which wasn't written by Correia, so props for that. Good characterization, good action; though it stopped pretty abruptly and I didn't feel like a really got any resolution for Tripp's internal conflict.
Torgersen- 5 Best story in the collection! A fun little historical piece, well-written and engaging. Plus, it builds a little more backstory in, and allows for further development in the main series.
Hunter- 4 It's always hard bringing an existing character from another series into a different setting, and results are often uneven. Hunter does a very good job here, and both the story and the character fit very well.
Nye- 3 Another story set in the past, during the Vietnam era. Entertaining, but the author ignored some aspects of the setting (Special Task Force Unicorn) that would have really made sense to use here.
Allen- 2 Hypercompetency is to be expected in MHI Stories, but this one treads dangerously close to Chad Gardenier levels. It's also a coming of age story, so the super-prepared kids thing is especially grating. That said, the prose is competent and if the story has absolutely no surprises, at least that means there's no bad ones either.
Shvartsman- 4 Shvartsman turns in a tale about what happens when a newbie can’t hack the MHI, which is an interesting change of pace. It also ties into some of the more recent mainline books, which is cool. Well-written, good characterization; solid story.
Kim May- 4 Franks! And a pretty good characterization by an author new to the character, which is a nice surprise. Grant also gets to shine as his weaselly self. Of course the real star is the new character created by May, and she does a great job of capturing both the action and the humor of the main series.
Diamond- 3 I admit, this story surprised me. Initially I skipped it, finding it predictable. I only finished it out of completionism. and I have to say, it surprised me! I did not see the twist coming, which is always good with a short like this. Turned me around on the story and bumped the rating.
Ringo- 3 Chad Gardenier’s MarySue-dom is a lot less grating in short story form, for some reason. The story is well-written, entertaining and funny, and manages a slightly unexpected ending. All around, pretty good. He’s still a Mary Sue, but since the story’s only really focusing on one aspect of his perfectness, it’s pretty ignorable.
Schmidt- 3 A fun yarn. It's particularly novel as it goes over events from the first book from the perspective of a bad guy, and seeing that seen scene someone's eyes other than Owen's is really interesting.I particularly enjoyed the Legion of Low-Rent Evil.
Hoyt- 3 Hoyt, who's working on a full novel from Julie Shackleford's perspective, turns in a short peice about Julie's formative years. It's a good foreshadowing of what we'll see from the Guardian novel, and she does a good job of capturing Julie's voice, in my opinion. I do question that Julie made it to 16 in a monster-hunting family without realizing the truth about her imaginary friend. She's supposed to be the smart one.
Mayberry- 2 Mayberry’s depiction of Franks is sadly underwhelming, particularly after May’s piece. He swears a lot, is fairly loquacious and just doesn’t feel like the unfeeling slab of meat we know and fear. The story is interesting, but the logic doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, internally.
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