Friday, April 06, 2012

Strip Mauled (Supernatural Suburbia)Strip Mauled by Esther M. Friesner
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Part of a series of anthologies set in suburbia, each looking at the trials and tribulations of a particular brand of supernatural species (or occupation, in the case of the witches), Strip Mauled is the werewolf part of this set. Unfortunately, while most of the stories have humorous moments and are at least worth a smile, most of the authors in turn sacrifice tension and interest in favor of levity. Sometimes, it's hard to suspend disbelief; other times, it's hard to care. When the characters aren't emotionally invested, how can the reader be?

There were some aspects of the anthology I enjoyed. For instance, some of the stories - but not all - link to the tales in Witch Way to the Mall. The sense of continuity was nice. And of course, some of the humor is enjoyable enough that it doesn't matter that the attached story isn't the most gripping of tales. Superlative in the volume - no surprise - was Friesner's own contribution. Incisively witty and hilarious, the satisfaction and suspense in the tale is to see how the odious narrator is outmanuevered. Usually, I object to editors including their own stories ... here, I just can't.

This is a serviceable anthology - only one or two of the stories are actually bad. With the exception of Friesner's, however, I can't really say that any of them stand-out, either.

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