Tales of the Hidden World

Tales of the Hidden World - Simon R. Green

(I got a copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

I'm not quite sure what to make of this anthology. I only know Simon R. Green through his Hawk & Fisher series, of which I only read the first volume, so I applied for this one thinking it'd make a good introduction to his writing in general, but... I'm not so sure anymore. For instance, the first story, for instance, deals with the Armourer of the Drood family, and while I mostly got what it was about, it feels like not knowing the corresponding series is a slight problem. Or maybe it's just me.

Also, I admit I skipped the second story ("Street Wizard"), because I had already read it a few weeks ago in another anthology.

Most of those stories were rather dark, which was all right with me, since I was in a mood to read about characters put in such situations. I guess mostly my problems with this anthology stemmed from the choice of stories, whose plots in general didn't seem so thrilling, and whose twists were fairly predictable ("Dorothy Dreams"), or kind of flat ("Down and Out in Deadtown"). The last third of the book is made of older shorts dating back to the 70-80s, and they feel different, incomplete, somehow... unfinished? The last two in particular puzzled me: the prequel was printed after the "main" story, and it removed all suspense as to whether the characters would survive their adventure. I don't really understand that choice.

I read Hawk & Fisher in French, not in English, so I can't compare the author's style here with that in his novels. When it comes to this specific collection, I thought it was heavy on the adverbs.

All in all, lots of good ideas, but not so well executed.