Fans of urban fantasy can read stories from some of the best-known names in the genre and discover new writers in this well-arranged anthology, which focuses on villains. In Jim Butcher’s “Even Hand,” the human crime lord who has been a thorn in wizard Harry Dresden’s side gets his due in an amusing story that pokes some fun at the long-running Dresden Files series. Other highlights include the haunting “Hounded” by Kelley Armstrong; Carrie Vaughn’s “Bellum Romanum,” featuring an immortal Roman centurion who wants to see the world burn; and the deliciously wicked “Balance” by Seanan McGuire, set in her InCryptid world. Other stories, such as Domino Finn’s “The Difference Between Deceit and Delusion” and Jonathan Maberry’s “Altar Boy,” seem more interested in showing how violent and brutal their bad guys can be than in telling a compelling story, though readers already invested in their series might be more appreciative. The collection feels balanced and entertaining and is a solid companion to Nassise’s Urban Allies. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/03/2017 Release date: 08/01/2017 Genre: Fiction
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