The theme of this collection is simple: short stories (and one novella) about powerful women. It’s a great concept, and most of these stories are fantastic. The first one features a barefoot cowgirl bandit taking on three former compatriots, and the tales mostly just get better from there. I want to pick a favorite, but I can’t. Too many of them are simply excellent. The writers chosen for this anthology are masters of bringing the reader completely into a new world, and the results are perfection. The big draws of this book are Jim Butcher’s “Bombshells” and George R. R. Martin’s “The Princess and the Queen.” Both live up to their series and are incredibly exciting reads.
My only complaint about this collection is that a few of the stories don’t seem to fit. “I Know How to Pick ‘Em,” for example, features a male narrator describing a woman he meets at a bar, and not once in their entire encounter does she have the upper hand. I suppose the dangerous woman there would be the narrator’s mother, but it doesn’t feel like a celebration (or simply a description) of female strength like the other stories do.
Still, the phenomenal stories more than make up for a flawed one here or there, and Dangerous Women is an excellent collection.
Edited by George R.R. Martin, Gardener Dozois