Book Review: Athena’s Daughters Vol 2

Book Cover from Amazon

Athena’s Daughters Vol. 2, an anthology¬†published by Silence in the Library (presently closed).

BOOK BLURB ON AMAZON

Maze running executioners, menopausal super heroes, psychic scientists, precog nuns, sentient crows . . . These are just a sampling of the diverse ladies that will enthrall, excite, and entertain you in this anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories written by women.

 

MY REVIEW

A well-balanced, diverse anthology.

Second of the Women-centric anthologies from Silence in the Library and a much faster read at *only* 330 pages of manuscript fiction and 21 stories. The volume still suffers from the unevenness of skill is present in all anthologies, especially since the editors make a point of developing new writers as well as using some amazing “anchor”/mature writers. Also, again, amazes at the DIVERSITY of characters – Hispanic, black, Asian, white, old, young, middle-age, straight, gay, and doesn’t impact the story. These are stories about women, all females, the full-spectrum of the bearers of double-X chromosome. And the stories themselves range from science fiction to fantasy, past to future, sad to joyous, one-shots to a side story in an established series.¬†

Now to the standout stories
“The Killing Garden” by Carrie Ryan – An amazing character/sociological piece the editors put at the very beginning of the book. If you read nothing else in this anthology, read this historical drama.

“Red is the Color of Mother Dirt” by JY Yang – A political sci-fi. A wonderful sociological study (and anyone who has read my reviews knows how much I love great worldbuilding), which is amazing to find in a short story. So little room to create a whole world while also introducing and developing characters and telling a complete story. Ms. Yang did this all with grace.

“The Black Mamba and the Leopard” by Alison J McKenzie – A folk-myth fantasy-thriller. Loved the main character and her problem solving skills. Not quite the must-read of the Killing Garden, but close. A five-star story in my opinion.

“The Miraculous” by Tess Tabak – Written in second person. No, really, second person. I’ve heard about stories like this, but never seen one. And the story is about what happens after the Zombie Apocalypse you just survived. Did you ever think loneliness…monotony… would be the biggest issue? You understand the main character very well by the last sentence.

“Hot Flash” by Antha Ann Adkins – Another excellent superhero origin story (with an amazing illustration). And I thought only teenagers had the hormonal instability to set off a superhero mutation.¬†

“Crow Bait and Switch” by Tish E. Pahl – A cuddly, creepy sci-fi. ‘Nough said.

Now read the book!