An interesting compilation of stories with a consistently high standard of writing, although If you have an issue with ‘adult themes’ etc. you may prefer the companion anthology ‘Nice People’ (1) . A number of genres are represented – there are many fantasy / sci-fi stories but also crime, mystery and detective works with a few real ‘genre-benders’ like Roaring Twenties which takes place in a speakeasy in the 1920s with an ‘unusual’ clientele. This is both a strength and a weakness as the editors have clearly assumed that if you like one genre you will also like others which is not necessarily so – I found the mystery ‘Provenance’ boring (I guessed the ending half-way through) and the crime / comedy ‘Bad Brass’ far too long and not funny enough, although I did like a few of the others – the murder / mystery ‘Diamonds from Tequila’ is a stand-out for anyone who shares my admittedly warped sense of humour. Surprisingly the George RR Martin story ‘The Rogue Prince’ was also disappointing – it finished without explaining why he was a rogue and the endless list of Targaryen royals and others was rather tedious. There are however enough 5-star stories to make the collection as a whole worth buying even though I suspect not many readers will like all of them equally. Like all good anthologies it also gives a thumbnail sketch of the author before each story with references to their other works, awards won etc. which I found very handy and will use in future when looking for some of my favourites. (1) I lied – there is no such book. Rogues has clearly had a bad influence on me ;-)
I can't actually think of one story in this collection that I would call a dud. What a fabulous premise for a collection...each story centring around a rogue of some description. It was wonderful slipping back into the worlds of some of my favourite authors...and I suspect I may have uncovered some new favourite authors along the way.
Really high quality collection of short stories, lots of variety, very clever and creative, with some excellent female characters which is always a plus! Bought it for the GRR Martin story but honestly it wasn't actually the best one in there