Review: The Very Best of Kate Elliott

Kate Elliott

  • Author: Kate Elliott
  • ISBN: 9781616961794
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications
  • Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

There isn’t much in The Very Best of Kate Elliott that I didn’t love.  I’ve never read anything by her before, but I plan on reading more of her work.  I hope that it lives up to this “Best of” collection.  If it weren’t for a couple of the essays and one of the short stories, I would give this book 5 stars.  However, the 2 essays I didn’t care for came off more as personal rants than they did professionally written and well researched essays.  I appreciated her point of view.  I just wasn’t impressed by the way in which it was presented.  As for the one short story I didn’t like, it was an erotic story that felt way too much like amateur porn.  I know there are millions of readers out there that would have no problem with that, but I prefer my erotica to be a bit more elegant.  I’m not sure if that’s really the right word I’m looking for, but it’s the one I’m going with.

The rest of the stories, and the other 2 essays, are amazing.  They’re Feminist without being preachy or completely excluding men or making them all antagonists.  Most of the stories’ main characters are female, but there are a couple male narrators, which I found to be interesting and, in a way, refreshing.  I love Feminist female authors, but they tend to write exclusively from a female point of view.  While that’s perfectly fine, especially if that’s what they’re comfortable writing, I enjoy the attempt to get inside the head of a male character.  Male authors have been doing that with female characters throughout the history of the novel, so why not?

While the stories do fall into the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres, they feel closer to speculative fiction than stereotypical genre fiction.  All of the characters are well defined and full of depth, but Kate Elliott doesn’t skimp on the world building, since that is just as important to her, as discussed in one of the essays.  There are only 2 stories that I would say are lighter reads, so be prepared for some heavy thinking, but definitely give this book a try.

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